If you’re a parent who was recently arrested for driving under the
influence (DUI), and you’re separated or divorced from your child’s other
parent, you may be concerned about what your ex might “do”
if they find out about your
Suppose you were arrested for DUI somewhere in Orange County. Your child
was not in the car that night, so fortunately you aren’t facing
child endangerment charges. However, you have custody and the other parent has visitation.
If your ex finds out that you were drinking and driving, will they jump
at this opportunity to say that you are “unfit” and that they,
not you, should have custody? It’s possible.
If you’re the one that drives your kid to and from school, the other
parent may argue that you’re likely to drink and drive with your
child in the car, and this claim could be a cause for concern, especially
if your ex would jump at the chance to use your DUI to get the kids.
DUIs & Child Custody Battles
While an isolated drunk driving incident without the child present shouldn’t
change custody, a history of drug or alcohol abuse, in addition to a new
DUI can be a problem. Generally, family courts frown upon parents with
substance abuse problems. So, if there is a documented history of alcohol
abuse, including a DUI that could jeopardize the general public and your
kids, it can be a serious issue.
Alcohol Abuse Convictions
Family courts are concerned about drug and alcohol convictions; any drug
or alcohol conviction can have a negative impact on child custody. A DUI
conviction, especially for a second or
subsequent offense will reflect negatively upon you in the court’s eyes. However, the
older the DUI conviction, the easier it is to show that it was an isolated
incident. On the other hand, a recent DUI conviction is viewed as poor
judgement and reckless behavior, thus it would be harder to overcome in
a child custody proceeding.
What if I Go to Jail for DUI?
A jail sentence can pose a stability issue; family courts don’t usually
like it when kids are bounced around from relative to relative as a parent
serves out their sentence. If your ex proves they can provide a stable
and loving home environment, they have a greater chance of getting custody
of your kids.
Since child custody cases vary widely, there is no “one size fits
all” approach to how a family law judge handles a parent’s
DUI conviction. If a custody decision is very close, a DUI conviction
can be the final factor that influences a child custody order.
Are you a parent who was recently arrested for DUI? Protect your parental
rights by contacting an
Orange County DUI defense lawyer at our firm!