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Could a DWI jeopardize your teen's college plans?

Like many parents whose teens have been charged with DWI, you worry about the impact such a charge can have on the future, namely on your child's college plans. Consider the following ways a DWI can indirectly and directly affect your teen's acceptance to colleges.

There will likely be many indirect effects

It is important to examine the indirect effects of a DWI charge or conviction because many people forget this part or do not fully examine it. For example, if your teen has a driver's license, he or she may lose it for some time. This can make getting to jobs or extracurricular activities harder, meaning that your child might have to drop activities that would impress a college admissions committee. On the other hand, it is possible that public transportation, family transport and walking are options and that your teen's opportunities are not seriously jeopardized.

Another effect is that your family might have to pay court fees and other costs, meaning you have less money for college applications. Insurance premiums might also increase, further straining your budget. If your teen does not work already but planned to seek employment, some businesses may not hire someone who has a conviction. The lack of a job, whether it is paid or volunteer, on a college application can lower an applicant's prestige and likelihood of acceptance.

Having to disclose a DWI conviction on the application is likely

A charge is not a conviction, but if your child is convicted or pleads guilty, it is likely he or she will have to disclose the fact on college applications. Many ask that applicants reveal whether they have been found guilty of misdemeanors, felonies and other crimes. Being guilty of a crime can cause a college to reject your student, but the good news is that many colleges will not reject a student as long as the conviction is for a low-level DWI offense. The story may be different if the DWI is coupled with other convictions, regardless of when they occurred.

If your child is 17 or under, he or she may be adjudicated instead of convicted. In this case, it is likely that the child does not have to answer "yes" to the criminal offense question. Contacting an attorney can help you understand the process and clear your teen's record if necessary. If your child has been charged, but the case has not proceeded yet, enlisting an attorney may also help a conviction or adjudication from occurring.

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Palazzo Law Firm
732 Behrman Hwy.
Suites F & G
Gretna, LA 70056

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Phone: 504-433-1442
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