DUI arrest how does this impact my child custody case?
Recently on our DUI forum a user asked, “I am in the middle of a contentious child custody battle. Unfortunately, a few weeks ago I got drunk after a late night party and I was arrested for DUI. How will this DUI arrest affect my custody case?”
Unfortunately, not only is child custody very complicated, getting arrested for DUI can negatively affect your rights, including your rights to fight for joint custody or visitation. With this in mind, it’s always important to hire a good family law attorney and DUI lawyer who can help you fight your case.
When does a DUI arrest and conviction impact your custody case?
When considering the impact of a DUI arrest on child custody there are several factors: when did the DUI arrest occur, whether you have multiple DUI arrests and convictions, and the potential penalties for the DUI arrest and conviction.
For example, if you were arrested for a DUI but the arrest was fifteen years ago and you have not had any other violations since that time, the DUI conviction is unlikely to impact your case. But if the DUI arrest was a few weeks ago, as you mentioned, the impact could be more serious, especially if you are going to spend any time in jail or your driver’s license will be suspended for an extended period of time, eliminating your ability to safely transport your children.
Finally, what if you have multiple DUIs and this is your second or third DUI arrest and possible conviction? The state is much more likely to consider you a repeat offender and could possibly determine that allowing the child to spend a great deal of time with you may not be in their best interest.
What will your wife do after the DUI arrest? You mentioned you and your spouse were having a contentious child custody battle. Do not be surprised if she decides to seek sole physical custody of the children following your DUI arrest. If she is granted sole physical custody you would probably still have visitation rights, but she could have the children in her care for a majority of the time.
Bottom line for a DUI arrest, conviction, and child custody decisions
Getting arrested for a DUI is never good. This is especially true if you are in the middle of a heated custody dispute. The good news is a DUI arrest and conviction does not mean that you will not retain the rights to have custody or see your children. It’s important, however, that you do not have any more brushes with the law, and you comply with the terms of the sentence, especially attending any court mandated drug and alcohol treatment classes.
The goal will be to have a lawyer working with you that can help you prove that despite your one DUI arrest, you are still able to properly care and supervise the children and spending time with you in your children’s best interest.