How Will a DWI Affect Getting Into Graduate School?

As a DWI lawyer, I get asked this question frequently. College is a common period of time to catch a DWI or DUI.  One mistake as a young college student can jeopardize an entire future career. The consequences for a DWI first offense in Louisiana vary.

The impact that a DWI can have on graduate school admissions also varies. The most obvious consequence of a DWI is the impact on the criminal record. An arrest for DWI may lead to a conviction or no conviction. Therefore, a graduate school applicant may have on his/her criminal record an arrest for DWI and possibly a conviction for DWI. The process of removing the fact of the arrest and/or conviction from one’s criminal record is called an expungement. It is not automatic. A motion for an expungement must be filed after the case is over for the criminal record to be cleared.

The expungement process removes the record from public view. There are other listed agencies that may have access to it regardless of the expungement. Basically, you must know who is looking at your record to know what they will see. Nevertheless, the expungement process is the best way to clean up the criminal record.

Not every case is set up to be able to even file an expungement. The DWI must be handled appropriately to set up a possible expungement. It is recommended to speak with a criminal defense attorney who can advise you as to the best strategy for you.