College students are known for having a good time, but when alcohol is involved, things can quickly take a turn for the worse. The consequences can be especially harsh if you are a college student charged with a DUI/OWI. Here is what you need to know about the unique challenges of these charges for college students and how expungement can help.
Academic and personal consequences
Most universities have codes of conduct prohibiting illegal behavior, including drunk driving. Depending on the severity of the offense, you could face suspension, expulsion or other disciplinary action from the school. Scholarships and financial aid packages also require students to maintain a certain GPA or avoid legal trouble. A DUI/OWI conviction can jeopardize these awards and affect your education.
What is more troubling is that a DUI/OWI conviction can damage your college reputation. This can make it difficult to form new relationships and even impact future job opportunities.
Expungement as a solution
Expungement is the legal process of sealing or erasing criminal records from public view. This means that if you are successful in getting your DUI/OWI charge expunged, it will no longer be visible to employers, landlords, or the general public.
The qualifications for expungement differ by state. In Michigan, individuals convicted of OWI may request expungement of their first offense five years after the completion of probation. To be considered, applicants must file a petition with the court and have it assessed by a judge. Just note that offenses resulting in a victim’s death or severe injury are not eligible for expungement.
Expungement can be a powerful tool for college students who want to move past their DUI/OWI charge and get back on track. By sealing or erasing your criminal record, you may regain access to scholarships and financial aid, avoid disciplinary action by your university, and rebuild your reputation within the college community.