College campuses will soon be active with students arriving back on campus. Many students celebrate the beginning of the new school year by attending parties where there could be underage drinking or people leaving and driving drunk. Whether a college student is of the legal drinking age or not, getting charged with a DWI (drinking while intoxicated) can severely impact their college career and beyond.
Overview of Texas DWI Laws
Being charged with a DWI means the individual is accused of driving after consuming alcohol or drugs. This serious accusation can result in jail time, loss of the individual’s driver’s license, and high fines.
Texas, in particular, generally follows these consequences for a DWI conviction:
- First Offense — fine up to $2,000; a minimum of three days in jail up to 180 days; and, loss of the individual’s driver’s license for up to a year.
- Second Offense — fine up to $4,000; a minimum of one month in jail up to one year; and, loss of the individual’s driver’s license for up to two years.
- Third Offense — fine of $10,000; two to ten years incarceration; and, loss of the individual’s driver’s license for up to two years.
Additional state fines are assessed to the person convicted upon sentencing typically ranging from $3,000 to $6,0000. If a child under the age of 15 is also in the vehicle during the incident, subsequent consequences will be given such as more fines, jail time, and another 180 days of a driver’s license suspended on top of the final sentence.
DWI Aftermath Before College
A DWI can impact a student’s ability to get into college in a few different ways. First, if they are convicted of a DWI, they may have to disclose this information on their college application. Many colleges ask about criminal convictions and some may not accept students with certain types of convictions.
Some colleges may go as far as not to let someone with a DWI get into certain programs or majors. Some colleges have stricter standards for students in programs like nursing or teaching, and a DWI conviction may make a student ineligible for these programs.
Additionally, a DWI conviction can make it harder for a student to get financial aid. Students with a DWI on their record may not be eligible for certain financial assistance like federal grants.
DWI Aftermath During College
For current college students, having a DWI on their record can impact their eligibility to receive additional or maintain scholarships. Most scholarships have requirements for students to meet specific moral standards, whether applying or maintaining that scholarship, and a DWI conviction is typically considered to break those standards.
Students who participate in extracurricular activities may also be dismissed or let go from a team or club because of a DWI. This coincides with not meeting the standard expectations of a program. Students interested in studying abroad or participating in an internship may also find it more difficult to do so with a DWI conviction.
Subsequently, a student may jeopardize their entire college career if they are convicted of a DWI as many colleges have rules about criminal convictions. While each college has its own student handbook, most outline what processes need to be followed after a criminal conviction and how it could impact a student’s enrollment.
DWI Aftermath After College
A DWI will stay on an individual’s record for a long time, making it hard to get a job. Most jobs perform a background check which includes investigating criminal charges. Additionally, if an individual’s license is still suspended due to the DWI, an employer may not hire that individual as they wouldn’t have sufficient driving privileges.
Protect Your Future After a DWI Charge
If you’re facing a DWI charge, it’s essential to talk to the attorneys at The Law Offices of Jed Silverman. We specialize in DWIs and understand your options to best protect your future. Reach out to our knowledgeable DWI attorneys in Houston online or by phone to schedule a free consultation. (713) 597-2221