How Can A DUI Conviction Impact Child Custody In South Florida?
No one leaves the house expecting to drink or drive or get arrested for a DUI in West Palm Beach, but it can happen. In Florida, DUI arrests are fully prosecuted under the law, but can an ongoing criminal case affect a current divorce and child custody case as well? Does a prior DUI conviction make someone an unfit parent?
Disclosing a DUI Conviction for Family Law Cases
If you are already divorced or seeking legal separation, you might have questions about how a DUI can affect custody, you might have questions about how it can impact your family law case. Disclosing a DUI conviction to a former spouse is up to you unless you have shared children together. If you have shared children and maintain shared custody, it is possible that you will be unable to maintain the current parenting plan and custody agreement if your license status or employment is affected. For example, if you lose your job because of the charges, you likely will be unable to make child support payments on time and might need to petition the court for a child support modification due to a change of circumstance. If custody is contested, your co parent could try to use a DUI charge as leverage to paint you as an unfit parent, which is why it is crucial you hire an experienced family law attorney as soon as possible.
Unintended Consequences of a DUI Conviction
A DUI conviction has the potential to affect your license status and your income stability. If you commute to work on drive for a living, your insurance rates might double or triple. If you cannot obtain a hardship license or pay to install an ignition interlock, your license might be suspended for at least three months. In the meantime, you may be forced to use public transportation to get to your job or look for a new one.
If you maintain shared custody or primary physical custody of your children, a DUI conviction may result in a child services investigation to determine if you are fit to care for your children. Even if the kids were not in the car at the time of your arrests, a DUI conviction might indicate that a parent has an alcohol abuse issue and could theoretically place their child in an unsafe position. Attorney William Wallshein understands that a DUI charge does not make you a criminal or an alcoholic. Unfortunately, seeking treatment is often stigmatized, but it could benefit if you are concerned about losing custody of your children, as it goes to show your willingness to accept help.
Call West Palm Beach DUI Attorney William Wallshein
If you or someone you know were recently arrested for your first DUI or a second or third offense, you know how serious the charges are. Not only is your reputation in jeopardy, but you may lose your license, your job, and your freedom. If you are currently engaged in a custody battle, a DUI charge could be used against you to argue you are unfit and shared custody would not be in the best interest of your children. You are not powerless, however. West Palm Beach criminal attorney William Wallshein possesses more than thirty four years of experience handling cases. With his unique perspective, he can assist in presenting the best case for child custody and beating DUI charges. He understands that your life is depending upon the outcome of your case, and he will work tirelessly to help you. Call today to schedule a consultation.