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How an underage DUI can affect a University of West Georgia student

On Behalf of | Feb 2, 2024 | College Student Criminal Defense

Getting into the right college can make a major difference for a young adult’s future. Their enrollment can lead to both networking opportunities and a degree that may help them later achieve career success. Unfortunately, it takes multiple years to secure a degree, and much can go wrong during that time. College students are notorious for being impulsive and making questionable choices. For example, the college years are often when young adults begin experimenting with alcohol, even if they have not yet reached the age at which they can legally drink.

Occasionally, students may not just experiment with alcohol but might also make the decision to drive after doing so. They might then end up pulled over and arrested. What impacts could a driving under the influence (DUI) conviction potentially inspire if a student enrolled at the University of West Georgia is charged with such an offense?

Their college career could be in danger

Perhaps the first concern that people voice after a student’s arrest is whether their criminal charges might affect their future academic opportunities. The unfortunate reality is that criminal charges can have an immediate chilling effect on someone’s education.

A guilty plea or criminal conviction might trigger a disciplinary hearing. Students might also face disciplinary action if charged due to an on-campus crime. Students could be at risk of being put on academic probation. In the worst-case scenario, the school might even expel them. Other times, they may find themselves ineligible for financial aid, either because of their criminal charges or because of their inability to stay in an honors program. Both federal and private financial aid might be in danger after a criminal conviction.

Their freedom could also be at risk

A young adult facing a DUI charge might expect to receive a slap on the wrist, but the state is not always that accommodating. Often, a judge might decide to make an example of a young adult who drinks and then drives so that other students won’t repeat their mistake. Judges could order someone to complete community service, order their incarceration or compel them to pay large fines after a DUI conviction.

Parents with students enrolled at the University of West Georgia may want to help minimize the negative consequences of their charge. Instead of leaving a young adult to handle a complex legal matter on their own, parents can help them with the process of securing proper representation and responding to the charges they face. When it comes to situations like this, given what is at stake, it is almost never a good idea to let a very young adult “learn the hard way” from their mistakes.