A DWI can affect scholarships in Texas.
How Can a Texas DWI Affect My Scholarships?
That depends on who is offering the scholarship in question.
Scholarships come in many forms, granted by individuals, trusts and funds, organizations, and educational institutions. Every scholarship carries a set of terms and conditions that students must meet to retain the benefit. That could mean maintaining a specific grade-point-average (GPA) or staying out of trouble with the law.
How a drunk driving offense affects your scholarships may also depend on whether you face misdemeanor or felony DWI charges. Some scholarships and financial aid prohibit having a felony conviction on your record but may consider you eligible if your crime was a misdemeanor.
How Does Having a DWI Affect the Scholarship Application Process?
Getting a DWI in Texas can negatively affect your ability to qualify for scholarships as well as other types of financial aid. Most scholarship applications ask for a variety of personal information. One question you will likely encounter on most applications is whether you have any criminal activity in your background.
If you have a DWI conviction on your record, you must disclose it at the time of application or risk providing false information that would invalidate your application. Chances are, the granting body will run a background check on you anyway, before granting the scholarship.
So, even if you do not disclose your DWI, it will see proof of your conviction and permanent criminal record as soon as it pulls your background information.
How Does Getting a DWI Affect Scholarships You Already Have?
If you are already attending school on a scholarship, getting a DWI may jeopardize your future as a student — particularly if you rely on scholarship funds for all or part of your tuition.
Most schools require students to report any criminal violations they incur while actively enrolled. Consequently, students attending college or university on an athletic scholarship may receive a suspension for getting a DWI. That suspension could, in turn, cause you to lose your scholarship. Many schools also consider criminal convictions to be violations of their student codes of conduct, potentially subjecting you to suspension or even expulsion.
Before doing anything that could jeopardize your academic future, talk to a DWI lawyer to explore your options.
How Will a Texas DWI Affect Other Types of Financial Aid?
Getting a DWI in Texas can also jeopardize any federal student loans and Pell grants you may receive (or hope to receive).
Although a DWI does not automatically make you ineligible for federal student aid, drug crimes typically do. So, if your DWI involved intoxication via an illegal drug or controlled substance, you could lose your financial aid.
What Can You Do to Offset the Risk of Losing a Scholarship for DWI?
If you currently face drunk driving charges in Texas, talk to a lawyer to explore your options for having DWI charges reduced or dismissed. You may also want to consider fighting the charges in court, if necessary.
Look into Diversionary Programs
If you qualify for any diversionary or deferred adjudication programs, you should also consider applying. In Texas, many counties and municipalities offer programs for first-time offenders. You must apply for acceptance and meet the terms of the program within a designated period. Once you complete your obligations, you can petition the court to dismiss your charges.
Depending on your age and the location of your arrest, you may also qualify for a Texas Teen Court program. Participation in Teen Court offers an often-preferable alternative to traditional deferral or diversion programs and provides insight into the criminal justice system.
Talk to a Lawyer
To determine the best way to minimize the effect of a DWI on scholarships in Texas, talk to a DWI lawyer as soon as possible.
Can a Texas DWI Lawyer Help You Retain Scholarships?
Although no DWI lawyer can magically make you eligible for scholarships after a drunk driving conviction, your attorney can help mitigate the risk in a variety of ways.
Your lawyer can help you explore your options for getting into a diversion or deferred adjudication program. This can help you avoid having a conviction on your record and demonstrate to universities and scholarship committees that you understand the gravity of your mistake and are committed to making things right.
You can also talk to a Texas DWI lawyer about the possibility of pursuing expungement or non-disclosure, which can remove some arrests and convictions from your record or hide them from public view.
Contact the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg as soon as possible to learn more about how we can help you overcome the damage of a Texas DWI and ensure the best possible opportunities for your future: 214-696-9253. The consultation is free.