Will DWI Charges Affect My Financial Aid?

Texas DWI convictions involve many penalties, both criminal and administrative. They range from jail time to fines to license suspensions. One of the “collateral” consequences of a DWI is the fact that you now have a criminal record, even if it’s only for a DWI misdemeanor. A criminal record can affect your future in many ways. Unfortunately, it’s accessible to anyone who knows how to run a background check. Therefore, it can arise when you are seeking employment, trying to rent an apartment or other housing, and when you are applying for financial aid as a prospective student at a college or university.

College Applications

Because of its easy accessibility, it is not a good idea to lie about having a DWI on your record when applying to a college or university. While you don’t have to disclose a DWI if you are not asked, lying about the fact that you do have one when you are asked could lead to trouble. Your application could be denied if it is discovered that you lied. If found out after acceptance or even after years of attendance, you could be expelled and even have your college degree revoked after the fact.

Federal Student Financial Aid

Students often seek federal financial aid through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). FAFSA does not specifically request information about DWI convictions so having a DWI does not automatically disqualify you for this aid. This applies in cases where your DWI was based on alcohol only.

FAFSA does require you to disclose drug crime information. So, if your DWI involved drugs of any kind while you were driving, your financial aid could be lost. This is especially true if drugs were found in your vehicle at the time of your DWI. You may have been charged with both DWI and drug possession. Any type of drug charge can cause the loss of your federal aid, including grants, loans, or work study programs. This applies to those who have already received their aid as well as those who are in the process of enrolling for it.

Is there any way you can avoid losing your financial aid? Yes. If you complete a drug rehabilitation program that meets federal requirements. These requirements include using a drug rehab facility that has been licensed by the government. Under such programs, you will likely be subjected to random drug tests.

Need Legal Help Regarding a DWI or Drug Charge?

A DWI or drug arrest can affect many areas of your life, not just your higher education. Getting expert legal representation is key to fighting charges in the most effective way. At The Law Office of Shane Phelps, P.C., your case can be handled by a Board Certified Criminal Law Specialist who has been handling such charges since 1992. We recommend that you call us to discuss your legal needs and your options in a free consultation.

Reach out to us at (979) 773-7028 or contact us online today.