What to do if you get a DUI after admission to graduate school? 40 Answers as of June 27, 2011

I was admitted to graduate school a few weeks ago and got a DUI last night. Do I have to call and notify them? Is it illegal to not report it?

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Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller
Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller | Thomas Mueller
You need not disclose it unless asked. But you might keep in mind that a DUI conviction may well impact your ability to get a job. Employers normally ask applicants if they have convictions. You need to disclose then.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/27/2011
Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC
Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC | Jacob Peter Sartz IV
It depends on your grad school's particular policies and the state where your graduate school is located in. You should review your school's honor code and the particular program you are enrolled in. I would recommend consulting with an attorney to assist you with this matter. You have a right to council and have the right to retain the council of your choice. For your OUI case, at least, if you cannot afford to retain council, the court may appoint an attorney to represent you paid for at the public's expense depending on their particular policies. Given the financial costs of graduate school, obtaining legal council may be a wise investment. You are presumed innocent until proven guilty. Speaking generally, graduate schools may have their own separate disciplinary proceedings that impact a student's eligibility to attend that institution. A person may be disciplined and ultimately banned from an institution for conduct that is not necessarily "illegal" in a strict sense pursuant to applicable local state laws per-say, but still considered a violation of that particular institution's honor code. A criminal case, however, proceeds through the local court system. While the factual basis for the alleged event may be the same, a person charged with pending criminal charge in the courts and/or pending disciplinary proceeding at a school of higher education has different rights, different rules to deal with, there is a different burden of proof for the prosecuting authority, and the sanctions may be completely different. Given the stakes and possible consequences, effective legal council may have a substantial impact on the possible results. Most attorneys provide a free initial consultation.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 6/23/2011
Law Office of Tracey S. Sang
Law Office of Tracey S. Sang | Tracey Sang
It's none of their business. You don't need to say a word.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/23/2011
The Law Office of B. Elaine Jones
The Law Office of B. Elaine Jones | B. Elaine Jones
It really depends on the graduate school's requirements. If that type of question was asked of you originally, then you may want to update your answer if you believe that it will come out. Better that you tell them than they find out other ways. Check the admission requirements and try to decipher whether or not you should tell them.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 6/23/2011
Gregory Casale Attorney at Law
Gregory Casale Attorney at Law | Gregory Casale
Unless the school policy stipulates that you must report this type of action there is no rule that I am aware of that says that you must notify the school of an DUI. You obviously need an attorney for the DUI and you can explore the issue with your attorney in more detail, but generally you have no independent obligation to notify the university of the charge that I am aware of. I would advise that you get a policy manual for your grad school and review it and if there is anything that causes you to question this issue further, show it to your attorney. Financial aid may have some different reporting obligations but again, this will all be state, loan and school specific. Speak with your attorney about all of this.
Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
Replied: 6/23/2011
    The Chastaine Law Office
    The Chastaine Law Office | Michael Chastaine
    I don't believe you have any obligation to let your school know about your arrest.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/23/2011
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    I do not know of any requirement for disclosure to graduate school on a DUI arrest. I suggest that you review your student guide or the information as to student conduct rules to see if you do have a requirement to report same.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 6/23/2011
    Law Office of Thomas A. Medford, Jr., PC
    Law Office of Thomas A. Medford, Jr., PC | Thomas A. Medford, Jr.
    While honesty is always the best policy whether you need to notify your graduate school of you DUI arrest depends on the requirements of your school's student conduct policy. At this point you have not been convicted of anything and some educational institutions do not require notification where there has not been a conviction. At a minimum you should review the student conduct policy concerning notification of criminal and/or traffic activity and consider speaking with a local attorney.
    Answer Applies to: District of Columbia
    Replied: 6/23/2011
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer | Cynthia Henley
    When you applied to graduate school, you answered the question posed to you truthfully so there is no problem with your answers. Whether or not you need to update those answers depends on the application request. Read the application again and see if it requests updates to the information if the data changes. (This is not a legal issue but one that could affect you getting into graduate school as well as could affect you in getting licensed for whatever degree you are seeking.) You also need to research whether having a DUI conviction would affect your ability to get licensed in your chosen field so that you do not waste time pursuing that field IF, after consulting with a lawyer, you determine to pled guilty and /or you believe that you will be convicted after a trial.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    Law Office of Jonathan T. Sarre
    Law Office of Jonathan T. Sarre | Jonathan T. Sarre
    Did they ask you about criminal convictions in the initial application? If so they may care about this. Do they do a background check? If so they may catch it. Is there some kind of honor code that you sign that says you must report any brushes with the law? If so, you probably should tell them. The thing is, though, I'm not sure why a grad school would care that you got a DUII, especially if it's for English Lit or something, wouldn't they expect you to drink all the time? I'm kidding, I love literature. I could see a pending criminal charge possibly affect financial aid, as the Feds sometime look askance at people with drug convictions, but I'm not sure a DUII would be that big a deal even for student loan purposes.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    Graduate School for what? I suppose that it would make a difference. If you got one before becoming a lawyer it could possibly stop you. Other professions it does not make a difference.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    If the school asked on your admission forms about criminal arrests, I would suggest you notify them of this violation, however if not questioned on your application, I would not bother to mention it to anyone there. I do not see the relevance in any case, one way or another, because the DUI does not have anything to do with your studies, I would guess. In any case, contact an attorney to discuss your case, as it is serious.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
    I am not aware of a requirement to update an admission application. If it was true at the time you submitted it, then there is no fraud at that time. Also, getting a DUI is not the same as being convicted of a DUI. Therefore, it would seem that there is no duty to report a conviction until after a conviction. You should review the admission application concerning any duty to report or to update the admission application. More importantly, the concern should be directed to what will happen in your chosen career due to any conviction of a DUI. Some fields are very restrictive, and it may impair your ability to get a job later.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    Defend the charges, seek to avoid conviction. You do not have to update them, unless it is called for in your school policies and rules. If serious about hiring counsel to help you in this, and if this is in SoCal courts, feel free to contact me.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    Well that would depend on what kind of graduate program you are entering. For example, if you were going into a field that impacts public safety like Law Enforcement, Law or Medicine, you would probably have to disclose the charge and/or conviction. Your best path would be to look at your acceptance letter and the rules of the program. By way of other advice, you need to take this very seriously. In all likelihood, your license will be suspended for at least 90 days. On top of that, you will have to have an ignition interlock installed on your vehicle for a minimum of one year. Two other tips for you first court date: Have an alcohol evaluation in hand. If the evaluation recommends treatment. Be signed up for treatment. Dress like you are going to an interview and under NO circumstances should you smell of alcohol. Having been a prosecutor and a pro tem judge, I can tell you that you might well be booked if you reek of alcoholic beverage. My practice covers Clark, Skamania and Cowlitz counties. Please feel free to contact me if you would like to discuss this further.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    You are under no legal obligation to inform your school of an arrest. You should retain an experienced DWI attorney. There are many complicated laws, rules, and procedures that come with a DWI charge and you need an expert to get you the best possible results under the circumstances. If you are indigent the judge will appoint an attorney to represent you. If you can afford an attorney my normal fee is around $1,500. I have 27 years experience with DWI cases and would offer you a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    You should not have to report the DUI to the school. You should be able to contact an experienced DUI attorney and resolve the case without involving the school.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    In general you do not have to tell anyone that you were arrested. Exceptions might be if you are a police officer, court officer or prison guard. Just being enrolled in graduate school does not raise any issues about your having to tell them any of your personal business.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law | Jules Fiani
    Do they ask you to report these things to them? You need a lawyer for this DUI matter, it could mean a drastic difference in your future.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/21/2011
    Pontrello Law
    Pontrello Law | William Pontrello
    Get a lawyer, you have not been convicted!
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/21/2011
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
    Until you are convicted there is nothing to report. Also, unless they asked you already about conviction there would be nothing to answer anyway.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/21/2011
    Harden Law Offices
    Harden Law Offices | Leonard D. Harden
    Hire a good dwi lawyer. Do not discuss case with anyone. Grad school can mean many things, a charge is unlikely to have any impact, a conviction may. Consult the best dwi lawyer you can find.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 6/21/2011
    Palumbo and Kosofsky
    Palumbo and Kosofsky | Michael Palumbo
    You need to retain counsel ASAP, and DWI / traffic ticket defense is what we do.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/21/2011
    LT Pepper Law
    LT Pepper Law | Luke T. Pepper
    Look at the application form and terms of acceptance. In some instances there are reporting requirements but if there are no reporting requirements you are safe not to report it. If it is law school, some schools may require you to report it.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 6/21/2011
    Law Office of Andrew Subin
    Law Office of Andrew Subin | Andrew Subin
    You have no obligation to notify your school (or anyone else) about this.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/21/2011
    Anderson & Carnahan
    Anderson & Carnahan | Stephen Anderson
    It may depend on the school you should talk to an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/21/2011
    Harris Law Firm
    Harris Law Firm | Jennifer C. Robins
    I would suggest you get a hold of the school's student manual which may have their policy regarding criminal conduct. Keep in mind, being arrested or accused of a crime does not necessarily mean you have committed a crime because you are presumed innocent until proven otherwise. You may have to report arrests or convictions, depending on the school policy. It may be available on-line through the school's website, avoid you having to ask someone for it and raise suspicions.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/21/2011
    Nichols Law Firm
    Nichols Law Firm | Michael J. Nichols
    It is not necessarily illegal. Check your student handbook and start there for guidance or discuss the matter with your guidance counselor if you have a privilege with that person.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/21/2011
    Miller & Harrison, LLC
    Miller & Harrison, LLC | David Harrison
    It depends on what the graduate school policies say, but I think it is probably unlikely you have to notify them.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/21/2011
    Fitzpatrick, Mariano, & Santos, PC
    Fitzpatrick, Mariano, & Santos, PC | Raymond J. Savoy
    There is no law that requires you to advise a school or employer of a criminal arrest. However, check your school's student handbook, the school may require that you report a criminal arrest.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 6/21/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    It had nothing to do with them. Keep it private and move on with the court case.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/21/2011
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
    You should determine what the code of ethics for the school is. There is no mandatory reporting requirement that I am aware of, however, you school may have a code of ethics that would require reporting.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/21/2011
    Expert Bronx Criminal Lawyers
    Expert Bronx Criminal Lawyers | Alexander Sanchez
    There should be no reason why you must report your arrest for DUI to your graduate school, unless your school specifically mandates such reporting. You may want to place a call to the Dean's office just to ask a general question on the issue. It certainly is not illegal. What you should be concerned about is what effect this may have on future scholarships, the effect on employment, or licensing. Advice; Hire a lawyer now.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/21/2011
    West law Office
    West law Office | Russell West
    There is no legal law requiring you to notify your school. If you are concerned you may want to check your student academic handbook or guidelines to see if there is any clause stating you need to notify the school of any arrest while attending school.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/21/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    The law has nothing to do with an individual school or institution's reporting requirements. You better focus your attention on how to get the DUI reduced/dismissed, and not whether you need to report it.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/21/2011
    The English Law Firm
    The English Law Firm | Robert English
    Generally, a DUI should have no impact on your grad school unless they have a really STRICT student code of conduct.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/21/2011
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    There is no law compelling you to make such a disclosure. However, you will have to check your student handbook or with school officials to see if you have to report criminal convictions to them.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/21/2011
    Law Offices of Elliott Zarabi
    Law Offices of Elliott Zarabi | Elliott Zarabi
    First question, which State did you get the DUI in? Second, if there is a state statute (which I highly doubt), you still haven't been convicted you have just been accused. You may not have even been charged yet. My recommendation to you is get an attorney in your state to fight your DUI. As far as it being illegal not to report, I highly doubt it, but your School may have a policy in place which states you must inform them. If I can be more help, please let me know.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/21/2011
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