When you get a first-time DUI charge, you might feel mixed emotions. Some people fear this charge and feel as though it is a sure sign of conviction in their future. Others treat it flippantly, feeling assured that they will not suffer consequences with a first-time offense.
Neither is exactly right. However, you should note that a DUI conviction – even a first-time one – can and will impact your life in potentially major ways.
Will you get suspended or expelled?
The College Investor discusses how a DUI can impact your time in college. The investigating police officer – especially if s/he is part of your school’s campus police – will report the DUI charge to the college board at your school regardless of whether or not you want them to. Also, your school’s Student Code of Conduct – for example, at Virginia Tech – may require YOU to voluntarily disclose any arrest to the school. Go into the situation understanding that you cannot “hide” a conviction from them.
Separate and independent from the criminal DUI charge, this can also trigger a school disciplinary investigation. In fact, college may suspend or expel a student for a DUI conviction alone. This may happen where the student was under 21, had an aggravated blood alcohol content (.15+), involved other students in the vehicle, and/or caused significant damage to property or injured someone.
However, a college will still often act in a penalizing manner, especially if it feels like this DUI conviction might impact their reputation. One way they may do so is by revoking any financial support or benefits you receive. They could also bar you from using the offered housing on campus. Instead, you would need to find housing in nearby locations, which creates high price points. You would also need to factor transportation costs in. If you are an international student, a DUI could be the basis to revoke your eligibility for your student VISA – meaning if you returned to your home county to visit family, you might not be allowed back into the United States.
Together, these charges and costs can stack up and make it hard or even impossible for you to continue attending. For that reason alone, it is crucial to take these charges seriously from the outset.
If you or a loved one are facing any type of DUI charge, you need an experienced and skilled defense attorney who can fight for you. Contact Frankl Miller Webb & Moyers, to speak with Mr. Gick in a free consultation. Call us at 540-627-5131 or send us an email to schedule your free consultation.