Can an Underage DUI Affect College Applications?

Posted On: December 16th, 2016 by Bradley J. Groene

As the school year continues to advance, high school seniors will soon find themselves facing deadlines for the submission of admission applications to the colleges of their choice. The focus of college admissions may be on grades, SAT scores, and extracurricular activities, but schools also want to know about the character and background of prospective students.

If you made a bad decision and have an underage DUI or other offenses on your record, it is important to know your options in preventing those chose charges from negatively affecting your college applications. Contact Cincinnati underage DUI attorney Brad Groene today at (513) 338-1890 with questions.

Juvenile Offenses Can Be Sealed

If you have a juvenile offense on your record, you have options that can keep your juvenile record from affecting your college application. First is the basic nature of a juvenile offense since it is not considered a criminal conviction. If your college application asks if you have been convicted of a criminal offense, an applicant with only a juvenile record can truthfully answer “No” to the question.

Another option is to seal your juvenile record. When your record is sealed it is removed from the main searchable record files and access is limited to a select few. Most importantly for college applications, the juvenile record will not show up on a background check. A juvenile record is not automatically sealed when a person reaches 18 years of age, but an application to seal a juvenile record can be made at any time six months after reaching the age of 18 or six months after the final discharge of the offense even if the individual is still a minor.

Expungement of Records

If a juvenile record is sealed, there is then also the option for expungement of your record. Expungement of juvenile records can be done five years after the sealing of the record or upon an individual’s 23rd birthday, whichever is earlier.

Criminal records are not eligible for expungement in the same manner as juvenile records. Instead, expungement of a criminal record is the same as sealing a criminal record.

Sealing of a Criminal Record

The only option available to keep a criminal record from affecting your college application is to seal your criminal record, which works much the same way as sealing a juvenile record. However, not all criminal records can be sealed. The Ohio Revised Code provides a long list of offenses that are not eligible to be sealed. The offenses not eligible to be sealed include violent crimes, sexual offenses, and many traffic offenses.

Included in the list of offenses not eligible to be sealed is driving under the influence. So the answer to whether an underage DUI can affect your college application depends on the type of offense. If the charge came as a juvenile, you may have the option to seal and expunge the records. However, if your DUI came while you were underage for drinking but legally considered an adult your criminal conviction is something you will have to address during the college application process.

How a Cincinnati Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help

A criminal conviction for underage DUI could end up having a significant impact on your ability to get into the college of your choice. So if you are underage and find yourself facing a DUI charge it is important to get the best defense possible to not only avoid the legal penalties but to protect your educational future.

Attorney Brad Groene at Luftman, Heck & Associates is a Cincinnati criminal defense lawyer who has represented hundreds of DUI clients over the years and has worked hard to provide his clients with the best possible defense in every case. Contact Luftman, Heck & Associates to get the help that you need. Call (513) 338-1890 to set up a free and confidential consultation.