Can An Underage DUI Affect Financial Aid?
For those under the age of 21, being convicted of a DUI can have dire consequences. While jail time is not typically assigned for an underage DUI, the criminal penalties are still serious. They often include being placed in a community service program and a license suspension of 90 days. For repeat offenders, the suspension period can span years. Being convicted of an underage DUI also comes with collateral consequences. For college students, suspension or expulsion is possible, and certain forms of financial aid may become unavailable.
If you or a loved one is dealing with an underage DUI charge, you are likely worried about how your life will be affected. Contact Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC at (412) 281-2146 to see how we can help during this stressful time. Our Pittsburgh underage DUI lawyers have years of experience in fighting these charges. We will use the best possible defense to tell your side of the story and get your charges dropped or reduced, if possible.
Is Financial Aid Really Affected?
According to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), offenses related to alcohol will not affect your eligibility for financial assistance. Only offenses related to controlled substances, such as marijuana and heroin, will disqualify you from receiving federal student aid. While funds provided by the government are not affected by an underage DUI conviction, scholarships are a different story. Scholarships are typically provided by private organizations, meaning they can be withdrawn for any reason. If a scholarship provider catches wind that you were convicted of an underage DUI, it is very likely that you will be disqualified as a recipient for subsequent terms.
Other Academic Consequences
The revocation of your financial aid may not be an issue if you don’t have anything to spend it on. Many colleges have student codes that all students are expected to follow. In fact, the University of Pennsylvania has an alcohol and drug policy that outlines the acceptable conduct. In the section covering alcohol, it specifically states that underage drinking is forbidden and violating this rule will have severe consequences. In many instances, violating a school’s alcohol policy can lead to an expulsion.
While many believe that their college will not find out about their conviction, most schools are notified when one of their students has committed a crime. If the crime is not reported through an official department, it is likely that the school will hear about it through word of mouth. A friend talking to a school official or a story in the local paper is all that is needed to turn your world upside-down.
Contact Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC Today
It is essential to get the help of a Pittsburgh underage DUI lawyer so that you can avoid the horrible consequences of conviction. The best way to avoid these penalties is to fight in court so that your charges are dismissed entirely. Whether you need help for yourself or a loved one, Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys will stand by you every step of the way. Do not be taken advantage of in the court of law.