How to Get Federal Education Funding with a DUI on Your Record

A driving under the influence (DUI) conviction can mess up your chances of getting financial aid for your education. Therefore, if you intend to apply for college financing, and you have been charged with DUI, you need to focus on minimizing the effect on your financial aid chances. Here are some helpful measures:

Avoid Drug Charges

A DUI isn't a drug charge, but it's usually accompanied by a drug charge. For example, if you are suspected of having a controlled substance at the time of your DUI stop, you will face both DUI and possession charges. Unfortunately, if you are already receiving federal student loans and aid grants, then a drug conviction makes you ineligible for more aids and grants. Therefore, your first defense should be to ensure you are not convicted of a drug charge alongside the DUI charge.

All is not lost, however, even if you do get convicted of the drug charges. You may regain your eligibility by completing a qualified drug rehabilitation program. Talk to your lawyer to help you choose a suitable program.

Get Your DUI Classified as a Misdemeanor

A felony DUI conviction will bar you from many federal aid programs. Therefore, if you are facing a felony DUI, fight to have it downgraded to a misdemeanor.

There are several ways in which you can do this; depending on your state laws you may need to prove that:

  • Your blood alcohol level was barely above the legal minimum
  • You did not hurt anyone
  • It was your first offense
  • You have a valid driving license

Avoid Jail Time at All Costs

Lastly, you also need to work hard to avoid getting incarcerated. Being in jail will bar you from getting many different forms of federal financial aids. For example, you can't get Federal Pell Grant or federal student aids if you are incarcerated in a federal or state institution. Here are some of the measures that will help you avoid getting sent to jail even if you are convicted of a DUI:

  • Plea bargain with the prosecution for reduced charges and sentence
  • Register in rehabilitation program even before the court orders you to do it
  • Hold yourself up as a useful member of the society by proving your clean criminal history and gainful employment

Obviously, the smart thing to do is to avoid drinking and driving. If you do get charged with a DUI, however, hire an experienced attorney and tell them about your need for federal financial aid for college education.  The attorney will help you minimize the effect of your charges on your education. Check out for more information.