Whether you’re a parent of an eleventh or twelfth grader, or a college hopeful, graduating high school is a big deal, and getting admitted into the college of your choosing is likely extremely important to you. After all, your career path may have a lot to do with attending a specific school – your dream school.
As an Orange County DUI defense firm, we represent drivers of all ages in their driving under the influence (DUI) cases, including teens and young adults. While a significant number of these cases are alcohol-related, each year we defend more drivers in drug-related DUI cases, including prescription drug DUIs.
We frequently defend underage drivers who have been arrested for underage DUI, something Orange County is notorious for having a lot of. We are often asked “Should I list a DUI on my college application?” Understandably, this question is unique to clients between the ages of 18 and 20.
Honesty is the Best Policy
If our client is in the process of applying for colleges, we will bring this up if they haven’t already asked us. When it comes to college applications, there will usually be a place for applicants to disclose information about criminal convictions, and sometimes “arrests.” When asked, you should be honest.
While colleges are not in the practice of running criminal background checks on their applicants because this is too expensive, schools do run factual spot checks on randomly selected applicants.
Basically, if there is a place on the application where you are asked to disclose any misdemeanors or felonies, you should answer the question truthfully. On the other hand, if the application does not ask, you are not obligated to tell.
While college applications vary, you can expect to see verbiage that asks you if you have ever been adjudicated guilty of a misdemeanor, felony, or other crime – or something of that nature.
If a DUI conviction is revealed later in your college years, and the college discovers that you failed to disclose it, the fact that you withheld the information would likely be viewed unfavorably, especially at certain schools. It could get you kicked out.
DUI convictions are not uncommon, and an admissions counselor will understand that you made a mistake; however, if you attempt to minimize the incident and liken it to a “silly mistake,” it could mean the difference between being accepted or denied into the college of your choosing.