Does a DWI Conviction in Texas Affect Your Chances of Getting into College?

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Applying for college can be the most exciting and most stressful time in a young person’s life. In fact, even for adults who decide to go back to school, it can be quite daunting. It’s hard enough for any student to get into a good college. Imagine how much harder it can be for someone with a DWI Conviction in Texas on their record.

Having a DWI conviction, or even just an arrest for DWI, can affect whether or not you get into college. Schools want to make sure their students have good character. In addition to having good grades and a full resume of extracurricular activities, character is just as important. For many school admissions officers, a DWI is proof that your character may be in question.

Even if you’re just arrested for DWI, it can have a negative impact on your future. In order to be arrested for DWI, the cops need at least a reasonable suspicion that you’re driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This means that, even if the charges are dismissed, there’s a good chance that you did something wrong.

This is why it’s so important that you have an experienced Texas criminal defense attorney there to help. They may be able to help you after the fact. However, it’s more important that you have one there following your arrest.

Do Colleges Actually Care if You Have a DWI on Your Criminal Record?

When you fill out your college applications, you’ll notice that they ask if you’ve ever been convicted of a crime. Now, some applications may actually ask if you’ve been arrested. But most will limit their inquiry into an actual conviction. When you fill out this section of the application, you need to be honest.

Some people think they can lie and pretend they’ve never been convicted of DWI in Texas. Don’t do this. Odds are, the admissions counselor is going to check. When they see that you’ve lied, your application will most certainly be denied.

Schools really have three (3) options when it comes to an application for someone with a DWI conviction:

  • They can deny your application immediately – Some schools have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to a criminal record. When they see you indeed have a conviction, they’ll move your application to the denial pile.
  • They will take it into account but won’t automatically deny your application – Most schools don’t have a policy that prohibits acceptance of people with a criminal past. However, they will definitely take your DWI conviction into consideration. They’ll treat these applications on a case by case basis.
  • They won’t care – It is rare, but some schools really don’t care if you have a criminal background. But any Texas criminal defense lawyer will tell you they are few and far between. Most of these schools happen to be trade schools or community colleges. A 4-year school will definitely prefer a student with no misdemeanors or felonies on their application.

Medical Schools and Nursing Schools are Unique When it Comes to a DWI Conviction in Texas

Whether or not a DWI conviction in Texas hurts you depends on what kind of school you’re applying to. If you’re applying to nursing school or medical school, a DWI will definitely impact your acceptance. These schools are very particular about who they accept. In fact, medical school is highly competitive in general.

Some of the things the admissions committee will take into account include:

  • How old is the DWI? – If you got the DWI in freshman year of college, the school may not be as concerned. If you have a clean record after that, the admissions team sees that you learned your lesson and cleaned up your act.
  • Whether it was a Misdemeanor or Felony DWI – Texas has both misdemeanor and felony DWI. If you were convicted of a felony, the school will take it much more seriously.
  • Did you have any charges or convictions since? – If your record since the DWI is clean, it works in your favor. It also helps if you attended a drug and alcohol treatment program. It shows you take your responsibilities seriously.

Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer in Texas

If you retain an experienced criminal defense lawyer at Eddington & Worley when you’re charged with DWI, it can help. You don’t want to wait until after the fact when you’re applying to college or medical school. You’re better off having a skilled lawyer get the charges dismissed than you are explaining them later.

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