Dealing with a separation is already painful. Adding to that, you could be facing a child custody battle. Then you get a DUI and start to panic. What if you lose your kids over this? Could this hurt you in the divorce proceedings?
Are you afraid your DUI charges may affect winning custody of your children? In order to avoid penalties or going to jail, you need the best DUI lawyer.
Learn if your DUI offense can impact your chances of reuniting with your children by reading the post below.
Child Custody Battle
When you are fighting for full custody of your children, your every move counts.
In Texas, the parent to whom the court grants custody is called a conservator, not a custodian. In order to make you the Sole Managing Conservator, the court will take various elements into account. These may include debts, financial situations, and more.
In the end, the court will need to determine if you can provide a healthy environment for your children. Child custody evaluators will also analyze the claims of both parties and assess them.
If the child is above 12 years old, the court might consider the child’s preference of where to live. In other words, they may take into consideration which parent the child wants to live with. This is in the case of joint custody, and this parent’s home will be the child’s primary residence.
If your child is under 12, they will not get to choose. Rather, the parents and the court will come to a decision.
“When it comes to the matters of the heart, you need to be sensible.”
These evaluations are especially important because the court has to decide whether you are a responsible parent. Getting caught in DUI-related offenses works against you. It makes you look irresponsible and suggests to the court that your home may not be a safe environment for the children.
How to Fight Back
Be a Responsible Parent
The court might view your DUI as negligence on your part and deem you an unfit parent. Marijuana DUI indicates substance abuse.
Not only your behavior in your personal life, but also your reaction to DUI arrest is important. If you were rude to the arresting officer, it will show up in your evaluation. Moreover, the court might categorize you as a person with anger management issues. Hence, you should act as calmly and maturely as possible.
“Act as calmly and maturely as possible.”
In matters of divorce and child custody, the court looks into each parent’s past.
Despite being a good parent, there are times when a parent loses a custody battle anyway. There could be many reasons for this.
If you have a DUI record and a felony conviction, this could certainly hurt your custody case. However, if the DUI conviction is sealed or it was before you became a parent, then it is a different matter.
Having said this, the end result depends on how the judge views each case. Although the judge considers your past, they come to a conclusion based on current circumstances and information.
Circumstances of a DUI Arrest
One way you might lose custody is if the DUI arrest happens while the child custody case is pending. Even if they find you not guilty during the DUI trial, the other party can claim that you have anger issues. This could also affect your chances of getting unsupervised custodial time with your children.
In addition, if you are in possession of narcotics, your custody fight weakens. Regardless of whether those are legal drugs, you can get a DUI. Certainly, the judge will be more convinced of any drug allegations made against you.
“You could lose your relationship with your kids because of your DUI.”
If you opt to waive your DUI trial, you can avoid getting convicted. Instead of going to trial, you will be under probation, which is known as deferred adjudication. After completion of probation, the court dismisses the case. Your conviction won’t appear on the record, as there is no trial.
Still, your DUI arrest will show up on a background check. Accordingly, this might have repercussions in view of your custody battle.
Sometimes, when you have had a few drinks, you might assess your situation and avoid driving. Yet, if you are just sitting in a parked car, you might still face DUI charges. You could be facing alcohol-related DUI charges for the first time.
However, if you are with your children at the time of arrest, it will have serious implications. You will face additional penalties. Having children under 15 with you while intoxicated in the car becomes felony child endangerment. In this case, your child custody battle could truly be lost.
What to Do When Charged With DUI
The first thing to do when charged with a DUI is get yourself a competent DUI attorney who can get you out of this miserable situation.
Opt for a DUI lawyer over the court-appointed attorney. Court-appointed lawyers usually do not handle civil matters and are not as invested in your case as they have to divide their attention between scores of cases. However, in this case, your DUI case can affect the outcome of your divorce or child custody. For this reason, you need to hire a lawyer who can invest their time in getting to know you and your case personally.
“Court-appointed attorneys cannot invest proper time for you, so hire a DUI lawyer.”
If the lawyer you consider has a bad attitude or is too busy to hear you out, trust these hints as attorney red flags. Find someone who can dedicate their energy to fighting for your freedom. Additionally, when you find the best DUI lawyer, ask them about all your doubts and they should help ease your mind.
Choose the Best DUI Lawyer to Help You at David Hunter!
Going through a separation or divorce is heart-wrenching, especially when kids are involved. Don’t panic about your DUI arrest or how it will play out. Call David Hunter, the best DUI lawyer to fight your battle.
With a former Texas judge by your side, you can have peace of mind. You will get the best defense possible as David Hunter works for your desired outcome. Schedule a free consultation online by clicking here. Or, you can call him at 281-265-1515, any day of the week, any time!
Will DUI Affect Child Custody? | David Hunter Law Firm – Sugar Land, TX