Blog

What is the effect of a DUI record on college admission?

Posted by Neil Shouse | Aug 16, 2019 | 0 Comments

youth drinking and driving

If a college applicant has a DUI record, the school or university may do one of three things. These are:

  1. deny the applicant,
  2. may or may not deny the applicant while using the DUI as a factor in the decision, or
  3. ignore the DUI and accept the applicant.

The determination as to which one of these three happens depends on:

  • the policies of the college, and/or
  • the severity and details surrounding the DUI.

In general, the same three possibilities will apply with admissions to universities post college (e.g., admissions for a master's degree or admissions to law or medical schools).

Please note that when a person applies to a college, the application will ask if the person has ever been convicted of a crime. A DUI conviction is indeed a crime and the applicant must disclose it.

If a student does have a DUI record, he can always try to expunge it. “Expungement” of a DUI conviction is an after-the-fact dismissal of the case. Typically, this means that it will not be held against a person for purposes of college admissions.

What is the impact of a DUI record on college admissions?

If a college applicant has a DUI record, the school or university may do one of three things. These are:

  1. Deny the application – The college or university may reject an applicant simply because of the DUI. Some schools have strict policies that say students with a criminal record cannot be enrolled in their programs. Please note, however, that most colleges do not have such firm rules.
  2. Consider the DUI in its decision – Many colleges will consider a DUI record when making its ultimate decision as to rejection or acceptance. Here, the schools weigh the DUI along with the student's other credentials. The universities also weigh the record with other students that do not have past offenses. This means that if two students have rather equal academic credentials, and there are limited enrollment spaces, the college will typically accept the applicant with no record.
  3. Ignore the DUI - Some schools will look the other way if an applicant has a past DUI. This means they will look at the student in the same manner as an applicant with no past DUI.

The determination as to which one of these three happens depends on:

  • the policies of the college, and/or
  • the severity and details surrounding the DUI.

As to the last point, note that not all DUI offenses are the same. Some are misdemeanors while others are felonies. Some DUI offenses cause injury or death. In addition, certain offenses will involve drivers with extremely high blood alcohol concentrations. A college or university will usually look at all of the details surrounding a DUI record. In general, the more damaging or harmful the details, the greater the chances the record may lead to a rejection.

What is the effect of a DUI record on schooling post college?

In general, the same three possibilities above will apply with admissions to universities post college. Examples of these admissions include applications for:

  • a master's degree,
  • a doctorate degree,
  • law school,
  • medical school, and
  • nursing schools.

While the three possibilities still apply, however, there is a greater chance that the college or university will consider the DUI record when determining acceptance or rejection.

Can a person remove a DUI from his record?

If a student does have a DUI record, he can always try to expunge it. Expungements of criminal records in California is authorized by Penal Code 1203.4 PC.

“Expungement” of a DUI conviction is an after-the-fact dismissal of the case. Typically, this means that it will not be held against a person for purposes of college admissions. In addition, after expungement, a conviction does not need to be disclosed to potential employers.

Expungement is available to anyone convicted of either a California misdemeanor or a California felony provided that:

  • the person successfully completed probation for the offense, and
  • the person either:
  1. did not serve time for the offense in state prison, or
  2. served time in state prison, but would have served it in county jail following the implementation of "realignment" under Proposition 47.2

Most California driving under the influence convictions will meet these requirements.

As soon as someone completes probation for a DUI, he may petition the court to expunge the record of conviction. A judge will then review the petition to determine whether that person is eligible for an expungement. If he is, then the judge grants the petition and the DUI offense is expunged.

When is DUI a felony?

Recall that, depending on the facts of a case, a DUI may be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Since a felony is a more serious crime than a misdemeanor, a college is more likely to consider a felony DUI in comparison to a misdemeanor DUI.

Driving under the influence of alcohol in California is typically a misdemeanor offense.

There are situations, however, when an otherwise "simple" California DUI will be charged as a felony DUI offense. A California drunk driving charge may result in a felony if:

  • the DUI caused injury or death to another,
  • the defendant had three or more prior DUI or "wet reckless" convictions within a ten-year period, or
  • the defendant had at least one prior felony DUI conviction.

About the Author

Neil Shouse

A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, Court TV, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.

Comments

There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

Comments have been disabled.

Free attorney consultations...

The attorneys at Shouse Law Group bring more than 100 years collective experience fighting for individuals. We're ready to fight for you. Call us 24 hours a day, 365 days a year at 855-LAW-FIRM for a free case evaluation.

Regain peace of mind...

Shouse Law Defense Group has multiple locations throughout California. Click Office Locations to find out which office is right for you.

Office Locations

Shouse Law Group has multiple locations all across California, Nevada, and Colorado. Click Office Locations to find out which office is right for you.

Call us 24/7 (855) 396-0370