Is your college student facing DUI charges?

From the time your child was quite young, you probably had dreams and ambitions for him or her. Sending your child to a Georgia college or university was one step to help your child reach his or her full potential.

Of course, you are not too naïve to realize your child will also have a social life while away at college. It is healthy to have friends with whom to share down time and release the stress of college obligations. However, if that stress relief has led to your child's drunk driving arrest, you may be uncertain how to proceed.

Lifelong punishment

One factor you may be dealing with is your disappointment. You may have expected your child to use better sense, and for that reason, you may be tempted to step back and allow your child to take the consequences, whatever they may be. However, those consequences may be more serious and long lasting than you realize, for example:

  • If a court convicts your child of drunk driving, your child will lose his or her driver's license for up to a year, which may complicate matters if your child must drive for off-campus work, internships or other reasons.
  • Your child will likely pay hundreds or thousands in fines, fees, court costs, alcohol education classes and other items related to a conviction, which may be a challenge on a college student's income.
  • The court may sentence your child to jail or order community service, which may interfere with classes and other educational obligations.
  • A drunk driving conviction may result in the revocation of certain scholarships.
  • Depending on the course of study your child is taking, a drunk driving conviction may disqualify him or her from continuing in that path.
  • The student conduct policy of your child's school may require the administration to expel him or her for a drunk driving conviction.
  • A DUI conviction may make it difficult for your child to find acceptance in certain graduate programs.

In some cases, the penalties for a drunk driving conviction can result in lifelong struggle, even for a first offense. Certain professional certifications and career tracks require criminal background checks, and even jobs that require traveling or the use of a company car may pass over your child because of a criminal conviction. If you are unsure whether it is in your child's best interests to offer help at this challenging time, you may find answers by speaking to an attorney who has experience dealing with college DUI charges.

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