Will I lose my pell grant if my dui is dropped to a negligent driving or a reckless driving conviction?

Asked almost 3 years ago - Seattle, WA

I was recently arrested for a dui. It is my first offense, no priors and I was told that if i blew under a .08 the officer would let me go on my way. Unfortunately I did not...
I am currently enrolled in medical school (two weeks in) and i had received a pell grant for half of the tuition. I am also a registered nurses aid at my current job as a caregiver to adults.
I am hoping to get my charge reduced to negligent driving. What are the possible outcomes of my school and employment in this situation if I get charged with a dui v.s. if I get it reduced?
Do I need to inform my employer only if I get convicted? Do I need to notify my school even tho I haven't been officially charged in court?

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Scott Weymouth Lawrence

    Pro

    Contributor Level 17

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . The federal Pell Grant program is mainly concerned with drug convictions while receiving financial aid. Unless a DUI (or Negligent Driving in the 1st Degree) involves the use of drugs it will not have any effect. Even if it is drug-related DUI it is unlikely to be a problem. In addition, the loss of a Pell Grant can sometimes be avoided with enrollment in a treatment program. If you are receiving private scholarships you should look into the eligibility requirements of those as they are generally free to impose whatever conditions they like.

    The bigger issue is going to be with your employer and the department of health. If you are convicted you will need to inform the State. When and if you are required to let your employment know will depend. You should contact your union representative to get the answer to this. If you are non-union you should review your employment contract and employees procedural manual to see if there are provisions regarding this.

    This is no blanket answer for notifying the school. Again, you MUST look at whatever agreements you signed and any student conduct requirements. Because you work with patients there may be provisions for these things.

    A reduction may help with the nursing board and employer. It is less likely to have an impact on your financial aid or education. It would be important for licensing consequences, insurance, jail/fines and the future employment opportunities.

    If the officer told you would not be charged if you blew under 0.08% you may have some good legal issues to argue. Make sure you hire an experienced DUI attorney to help you with this as your future in the medical profession may depend on how you resolve this.

    The answer provided is for educational purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-... more
  2. Linda Medeiros Callahan

    Pro

    Contributor Level 16

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Not likely that you will lose your Pell grant, but the crime of negligent driving can be committed by exhibiting the effects of having consumed alcohol OR an illegal drug. Be sure that your plea form statement is specific that it was alcohol, not an illegal drug. Reckless driving has not allegation of substance consumption.

    If you were convicted of DUI you would have to report that to the DOH and it could affect your job as a caregiver.

    This answer is my personal opinion, offered for informational purposes only. It is not a legal opinion, nor is it... more

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