Can a DWI Conviction Hurt My Chances of Getting Into Law School?

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You want to enroll in a law school, but there is this mark on your record called DWI conviction. 

The competition is merciless when it comes to law schools (especially the good ones). Students are willing to create the best applications, build their resumes so they will look perfect. This is done in the hope the institution will be impressed and willing to accept them.

But, what happens when the educational institution actually asks for your criminal history; have you been arrested so far? Does that DWI conviction counts, and will it ruin your potential chance to get accepted in your preferred college?

The answer is not simple, but a DWI attorney in the Houston area can help.

Should I Lie About My DWI Conviction?

Perhaps you want to be honest about it, but the better judgment is not to mention it at all. Forget that it exists. You should not say that you have a DWI if there are no such questions. If you lie on your college application, you may get in serious problems. First of all, lying about your DWI conviction can cost you an expelling or not getting into college at all. You may finish your education in this college without them finding out that you lied about your DWI conviction, but they may learn about it years after you graduated and rescind your degree. Do not lie on your resume. If you don’t get a question about DWI, you have no obligation to mention it at all.

Carefully Read the Fine Print

Students often make mistakes by not reading the questions thoroughly. Or they assume they understood the question well. Different applications have different questions. Some of them will ask you about your criminal convictions, whether you got probation or a sentence. 

If you were arrested for drinking while driving or drinking in public, and your penalty was settled with payment, this means that you were never convicted nor sentences. There is no need to mention this in your application. 

Some applications will have detailed questions about arrests, charges, criminal records, and so on. Don’t just spill the tea. Think well what you will answer, and if this seems too complicated, you can always hire a DWI attorney who will advise you what to do.

Your lawyer has already worked on such a case at least once; they know what the college is asking and, more often than not, will give you the precise answer you should offer. 

Types of DWI

There are two types of DWI, misdemeanor and felony. Most of the DWI convictions (especially with young people) are classified as misdemeanors. If you are a one-time DWI misdemeanor, it will perhaps not be considered as a huge reason for the college to turn down your application. 

When you get the interview, state that you have made a mistake and have learned from it, you have changed and no longer recklessly drive while intoxicated.

A felony, on the other hand, is something else. It may be a bigger challenge, but people do get accepted at colleges even if they have committed a felony. DWI felonies are not red flags, so do not fear the outcome; many people managed to enroll in their desired college with DWI felonies in their criminal records.

Financial Aid

Financial aid is an excellent opportunity for most families that want to send their children to college.

There are federal student aid programs that are not suitable for people only because they have DWI convictions. If this is the case with you, it is very important whether your DWI conviction is a misdemeanor or a felony. Felony convictions will make you ineligible for any deferral student aid program.

Some colleges or universities offer financial aid, but private institutions offer them as well. These institutions create their own rules, and may or may not consider your DWI conviction as relevant while deciding to offer you financial aid.

So, you have a DWI conviction, but you should not be desperate. Nothing is lost, and you can still go to law school (or any other school). The college you want to attend is looking for a smart, dedicated, and good person who is willing to learn. That is far more important than your DWI misdemeanor conviction. 

Be sure to carefully read your application and answer the questions properly, and without panicking.

If you are not sure how to answer the questions related to DWI convictions, call our DWI defense law firm today and schedule your consultation.

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