If you're preparing for SATs and otherwise starting to plan your future, you've likely heard your parents or other family members commenting on how quickly time has flown with regard to your age and state in life. You yourself might experience mixed emotions, from excitement and eager anticipation of your college days ahead to anxiety and worry about whether you've got what it takes to succeed. There are several factors that could impede your entrance into the California college of your choice, one of which is a DUI conviction.
Perhaps you've been out of high school several years already but wanted to work for a while to save money for tuition or didn't quite know where your life was headed and needed to take time to figure things out. During that time, you might have made some choices you'd not make again if you were to be given a do-over. If a particular choice resulted in DUI charges against you, you might face several challenges as you try to get things back on track, including difficulty getting into college.
Much depends on whether charges were misdemeanors or felonies
If you're worried about your DUI and how it might negatively affect your potential college career, you may find the following list of facts informative and helpful to your situation:
- Most first offense DUIs involve misdemeanor charges. If convicted, this type of charge may not fully prevent your college entrance but perhaps could limit your choices.
- Depending on the events that led to your arrest, the state may file charges as felony offenses. Situations that might lead to felonies include collisions where another life was lost or someone suffered severe injuries. Also, your blood alcohol content level at the time of your arrest may greatly impact whether charges are listed as felonies or misdemeanors.
- The federal government is highly unlikely to grant student financial aid to someone with a felony DUI conviction on his or her record.
- Denial of entrance or financial aid is not set in stone even if you do face conviction for DUI in California. There are often alternatives available if you know where to look.
- An experienced attorney may be able to help you obtain an expungement of your criminal record, which would mean an existing DUI conviction (or any other convictions) would no longer be viewable for public record.
The best case scenario, of course, would be to avoid a DUI conviction altogether, which is sometimes possible if evidence exists to build a strong defense.
Most California residents facing DUI charges seek assistance from experienced defense attorneys who know how to apply their knowledge and experience to combat the tactics and strategies of prosecutors in court.