There are few career paths as long and winding as becoming a lawyer. Anyone dreaming of practicing law or becoming a judge must not only complete their undergraduate work but also graduate from an accredited law school. A law degree does not entitle you to practice law, however. The next step involves passing the bar exam and obtaining gainful employment. Unfortunately, a DWI conviction can throw a wrench in the entire process.
Each year, people across the country see their ambitions crushed thanks to a criminal conviction. While a DWI conviction may not guarantee that your odds of being a lawyer are zero, there is always a risk. The good news is that a misdemeanor DWI is not a crime of moral turpitude. The most important aspect is that you disclose your arrest in your application and in your declaration of intent to study law. Failure to disclose is worse. After all, certain criminal convictions can result in a licensed attorney to face suspension or even lose his or her license. If sitting attorneys face these consequences, it should not surprise you that prospective attorneys could as well.
If you are facing a charge of driving while intoxicated in the Houston area--or anywhere in Texas--your career aspirations could be on the line. Attorney Doug Murphy understands those ambitions and could help you avoid the consequences that come with a DWI conviction. Below are just a few challenges you could face on your path to becoming a lawyer if you have a criminal record thanks to a DWI conviction.
Difficulty With Law School Admissions
If you are convicted of a DWI prior to your admission to law school, having a conviction of your record could impact your chances. Law schools are selective with the final spots in a class often coming down to a large number of qualified applicants.
Most law schools do not automatically disqualify a candidate due to a criminal conviction. That said, a DWI conviction can raise concerns about your character and reliability. When you are under consideration for a spot in a law school class, a DWI conviction could be the factor that causes the admissions committee to pass you over.
Exclusion From the Bar Exam
Even when you are able to complete law school despite a DWI conviction, there is no guarantee you will be allowed to practice law. In fact, you could be prevented from taking the Texas Bar Exam entirely. The Texas Board of Law Examiners sets out Character and Fitness requirements for every applicant. One of the factors they consider is the criminal record of every applicant.
For the most part, a single misdemeanor DWI conviction is highly unlikely to cost you the chance to sit for the bar exam. However, you could be required to plead your case at a hearing before the Board allows you to sit for the exam. And if you have a felony conviction for DWI, there is a real chance the Board could prevent you from taking the exam.
How a Board Certified DWI Defense Lawyer Can Help
If you are considering a career in law, avoiding a criminal conviction is in your best interest. Houston DWI attorney Doug Murphy could help you take on the prosecution in your fight to avoid a DWI conviction on your permanent record. Call Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C to schedule a consultation today.