Fighting For Important Causes In State And Federal Courts
Driving Under the Influence (more commonly known as a “DUI”), is a criminal offense that violates the law in all 50 states. In all 50 states, anyone with a Blood Alcohol Content (“BAC”) of .08 or greater is considered to be driving under the influence. The legal BAC driving limit for those under the age of 21 is a BAC of .02. Categorical offenses for DUI’s vary between a misdemeanor (tending to produce a lesser sentence and often eligible for a pretrial diversion program like ARD in Pennsylvania) or a third-degree felony (a more serious offense which most often involves jailtime). Penalties for DUI’s vary, but commonly consist of fines, license suspensions, mandatory counseling, probation, alcohol use prohibitions, and/or jail time ranging from a few days or months in a county prison to a sentence of a year or more in state correctional institution (or all three).
State College criminal defense attorney for college students Andrew Shubin discusses if Penn State or another university you attend will be informed of your DUI charge.
How a DUI Offense Affects Your College Standing
A DUI does not just go on your criminal record; it effects your standing at college.
Before applying to college, some applications ask you to discuss and disclose any and all criminal records. Whether you should or choose to report this in a college application depends upon how your case was resolved in criminal or juvenile court. You should check with the attorney who represented you and, if possible, ask for advice in writing so that you have proof you were following the advice of counsel if someone questions your response. You can also call Attorney Andrew Shubin for advice on responding to these questions whether it involves educational or professional criminal history inquiries. An all too often and more urgent concern is what to do and who finds out if you receive a DUI while already accepted or enrolled in college.
Penn State students may experience “double jeopardy” when it comes to DUIs, even if the incident occurred off-campus. What we mean by double jeopardy is that a Penn State student may get into trouble with the law and with Penn State University for the same offense. While most are aware that American common law declares driving under the influence illegal, Penn State’s Code of Conduct prohibits driving under the influence specifically and all “criminal” conduct more generally – regardless of whether the offense occurs on or off campus.
The legal team at The Law Offices of Andrew Shubin has worked to help college students avoid criminal penalties for DUIs and even get complete dismissal of the charges. Contact our Penn State expungement lawyer today.
Penn State Misconduct Policy for Off-Campus DUI Charges
According to the Penn State Student Affairs website, Penn State has an Off-Campus Misconduct Policy which holds students accountable for off-campus misconduct. According to Penn State’s Code of Conduct: “Student behavior off the premises of campus that may have violated any local, state, or federal law, or yields a complaint from others alleging law violations or student misconduct will be reviewed by the University.” With respect to alcohol in particular:
The Off-Campus Conduct Policy allows alcohol-related activities that occur off campus to come under the jurisdiction of the Office of Student Conduct. Use, possession, service, or consumption of alcoholic beverages off the premises of the University campus may all be considered violations of the Student Code of Conduct.
Penn State’s misconduct policies also reach conduct that would not result in criminal exposure. For instance, the University disciplines students for being in the presence of alcohol and marijuana without regard to whether you possessed or used either substance. If you are found liable or accept responsibility for an alcohol or other conduct violation, the University typically imposes both an educational and administrative sanction.
When alcohol is involved, the educational sanction in first, more minor offenses include a requirement to complete a “BASICS” (Brief Alcohol Screening and intervention for College Students) program which involves between two and four hours of one on one counseling at the student’s expense. Student Conduct imposes more involved education sanctions for more serious situations including proof of private mental health treatment and remaining in counseling while a student. Administrative sanctions range from a conduct warning which does not create a disciplinary record, to probation, probation with a notation, suspension and/or expulsion.
Student Conduct determines the seriousness of the violation and the administrative sanction based upon your prior conduct record, if any, and the effects of the misconduct. For instance, a violation involving a sober underage student who is caught opening a can of beer at a tailgate would be considered minor. On the other hand, a violation involving a student who drives drunk and crashes causing property or personal injury would be major and could result in a separation from the University.
Will I Lose Student Financial Aid if I Get a DUI at Penn State?
Not only can you get into trouble with your university for DUI’s, but your financial aid may be halted by your decision to get behind the wheel while intoxicated. DUI’s involving marijuana and or other illegal drugs and which include non-DUI charges relating to the possession can affect your ability to receive Federal financial aid. At Shubin Law, we make sure that our clients understand the collateral issues, like student aid or driving suspensions, that can be implicated by being charged with a DUI or other crime.
Pennsylvania Criminal Defense Lawyers for College Students with DUI Charges
At Shubin Law, civil rights lawyer Andrew Shubin is committed to upholding and protecting the constitutional rights of students throughout the state of Pennsylvania. No matter how serious the charges against you or your loved one may be, Andrew Shubin and his dedicated team can fight for reduced penalties, reduced charges, or even complete dismissal of the charges.
We have a long track record of obtaining acquittals and other favorable outcomes for student defendants in DUI cases and unmatched experienced advising students on how best to respond to university disciplinary actions. Our mission is to protect you and your future. For a free legal consultation with an experienced criminal attorney, contact us online today, or call Shubin Law at (814) 826-3586.