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Can a DUI affect my college acceptance?

Understanding how a DUI affects your college acceptance process.

Can I get a passport if I have a DUI?

Can I get a passport if I have a DUI?

Most likely you have already experienced the challenges that come from having a DUI when applying for a job, securing a place to live, or even moving from one state to another and needing to get your driver's license. While all of these have definite challenges attached to them, you may find that obtaining a passport is not in the same catagory as the others. Typically your driving is directly affected for the first ninety days, and even your license can be restricted or revoked depending on the offense. Yet, as a general rule, your ability to obtain a passport is not affected by your DUI conviction. Simply put, passport privileges are not automatically revoked upon being conviced of a drunk driving offense, even if it is a felony. Although, it is still possible to technically lose the right to obtain a passport following a DUI or DWI conviction. These particular restrictions may be imposed by court order or due to the terms of parole or probation. It is also important to note, that due to the courts determining that a person is a flight risk while they are under federal arrest or facing a felony-related subpoena, his or her passport privileges may also be revoked. Your U.S. passport holds no information about your criminal record and does not provide you with any statement of character. It simply provides you with your identity and confirms your citizenship to a particular country. Every U.S. citizen is eligible to apply for and obtain a passport, unless they are an enemy of the United States, preached sedition and treason, are a convicted drug trafficker either foreign or domestic, under federal arrest, or forbidden to leave the United States. You can be denied a passport by the U.S. Secretary of State if you are identified as a serious threat to national security or to U.S. foreign policy, in the states or out of the country. 

While you may be able to obtain your U.S. passport after your conviction of a DUI or DWI, should you decide to travel abroad it wil be very important to note specific restrictions within your destination Country and the customs you will be traveling through in order to reach your destination. Just because you are in possession of your passport, does not automatically allow you complete access to other countries or clear you from having more restrictions and requirements once you have entered. You will want to intentionally seek out any restricitons and bring documentation necessary to assist you in your travel, which will help in avoiding any unnecesary delays for your arrival. If you are a convicted felon and already hold a U.S. passport, your passport can be revoked at any time or have limited travel restrictions put upon it as stated above. Both Canada and Mexico will not allow entry upon arrival to their countries if you are a felon, including but not limited to DUI convictions. 

Although a DUI or DWI conviction should not affect your ability to obtain a U.S. passport, it would be a wise decision to consult with an established lawyer before applying. They would ensure that your specific circumstances do not interfere with your application for your passport, help you understand any limitations attached to your passport, as well as ensure entry to other countries will be possible.

(Read more: - alcohol - criminal records - DUI Law )

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