Unlike some more esoteric crimes, everyone has heard of DUI, or driving under the influence. However, because the charge is so common, many people assume that it is not too serious. Nothing could be further from the truth. DUI charges are extremely severe, and may lead to weighty consequences that can have a permanent impact on your life.
If you are a college student with your whole life ahead of you, then you do not want to start your transition into adulthood with a DUI conviction, and all its collateral consequences, on your record. The fact of the matter is that law enforcement will pursue DUI charges against university students just as vigorously as they would pursue charges against anyone else. See our DUI defense page for more information on the penalties that you may be facing. It is worth noting, however, that the standard DUI penalties may have a much more significant impact on college students.
For busy students who do not have the opportunity to take sick or vacation time, sanctions like a jail sentence, community service, and DUI school can affect your ability to make it to class. You could lose an entire semester! This difficulty can be compounded if your license is suspended or your vehicle impounded, especially if you live off campus. For students who may be depending on student loans for living expenses, having to pay the expensive fines associated with a DUI conviction can have a devastating impact on your budget. Additionally, a DUI conviction can impact your eligibility for financial aid going forward.
Certain careers and jobs require background checks, so being convicted of a DUI can even mean that you have to change your major and give up on your dream job. Especially if you have already taken a significant percentage of coursework in a given major, this can mean having nothing to show after years of effort and expensive tuition. It is important to have a DUI defense attorney who takes your future as seriously as you do and who has the experience to defend you vigorously.
It is also important for students to know that not all DUI charges are the same. For example, underage DUI (under 21) is a specific type of charge. Other examples of DUI charges include:
DUI drug, also called controlled substance DUI
You may be able to cram the night before a midterm or final and still receive a decent grade on the exam. However, procrastination can lead to long-term consequences if you are facing DUI charges. Every minute you put off dealing with the situation is a minute the prosecution is building the case against you, and a minute you can never get back. The sooner you contact an experienced DUI attorney, the more time they will have to assemble the strongest defense possible.
For many students, a DUI charge is the first time they have been “on the wrong side of the law.” You may be scared and probably have a ton of questions. To have those questions answered, contact our firm for a free and confidential consultation. Our goal is to minimize the impact that a DUI charge can have on your life, so you can put this experience behind you and move on.