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Will a DWI charge ruin my chance at graduate school?

Looking into your rearview mirror and seeing the flashing red lights of a police officer can make your heart sink. The drawn out process of getting arrested for a DWI will give you plenty of time to consider how this night can affect the rest of your life. Graduate school is an essential step in many young adult's careers and one night's mistake shouldn't have to ruin your future. Unfortunately a DWI can follow you around for a long time so it is important to understand the repercussions and how to better your chances at getting into the graduate school you were looking forward to.

The North Carolina justice system does not take DWI's lightly. If you are under 21 then any amount of alcohol in your system while operating a vehicle can result in a DWI. You can get your license suspended for a period of 30 days and then 1 year thereafter. If you are older than 21 then you can get your license suspended for up to a year for the first offense.

On top of losing your license you can face serious fines and jail time. North Carolina has a system of levels that a judge can determine based on your BAC, number of offenses, driving record, etc. At the lowest level you will get an immediate license suspension for 30 days and up to 60 days in jail. A restricted license could have an impact on getting to class, which could delay graduation. If you receive jail time then you might need to drop your current classes and take them later. Either way, delaying your undergraduate degree can delay your eligibility for graduate school until the next year. When the time comes to apply for graduate school it is important to be prepared.

Steps to take which can help you get accepted into graduate school after a DWI

Graduate schools will always ask if you have had any past convictions that they should be aware of. A past DWI offense can cause an application to be pushed down the line or even rejected. But there are some steps you can take to improve your chances at getting into the graduate school that you want.

1. Hire a lawyer: It is possible to get a case dismissed or charged reduced with the help of an experienced DWI attorney. This is an essential step because DWI charges will be assessed by the graduate school of your choice. The lesser you charge the better chances you will have at getting accepted.

2. Be honest: The best advice you can follow is to be honest on your application. When they ask if you have had any past convictions, then answer, "yes." If you lie or withhold information on your application then they can deny you on the spot.

3. Write a sincere personal statement: After you say that you do have a past conviction the school will likely request police records and a personal statement. In the personal statement you can redeem yourself. Write an honest statement saying that you regret your actions and you want to move forward with bettering your future. It can help to show that you have made efforts at changing your life and taking on community service.

4. Apply early: The process takes a long time because the school will request records, you will have to send them, and then a committee will review your case. This will add a lot of time onto your application process.

If you or a loved one has been charged with a DWI then you do not want to see the repercussions last a lifetime. Contact an experienced DWI defense attorney to build a strong case and lessen the charges.

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