How Will a DUI Affect My Family Law Case?23 Jan 2020, by DUI in
Written by Timothy Czekaj
The full impact of a DUI doesn’t really hit home until you’ve had the chance to talk to your attorney. The fact is that driving under the influence does more than land you in court, cost you hundreds in administrative fees, and threaten your driving privileges. It can impact you socially and professionally. On top of that, if you have an ongoing family law case, it’s likely that your DUI will be used against you by the other party.
Facing one legal issue at a time is expensive. When your legal problems start piling up, you can expect your finances to be stretched to their limit. If you have a family law attorney handling a custody or divorce case and you get a DUI, you’ll need to come up with more money to cover your DUI defense fees. This can make it difficult to keep up with your other financial obligations, including child support and alimony.
However, don’t expect the court to be lenient on you. They will expect you to meet all of your obligations on time. Late or missed payments may reflect poorly on you if you are in the midst of a custody battle, as missed payments may indicate that you are not financially stable enough to take on more parenting time.
Being Seen As An Unfit Parent
One of the most challenging parts of a DUI is that it can completely change how people view you. Driving under the influence is often viewed as a selfish or malicious choice indicative of an inherent character flaw, rather than just a one-off mistake. A DUI could lead to an individual being judged as an unfit parent. This is especially true if the other party is willing to use anything they can to make the other parent look bad.
Once the court views you as an unfit parent, it’s an uphill battle to get your parenting rights back. You may lose some of your parenting time or only be permitted supervised visits. Your family law attorney can make a case that demonstrates your good judgment and your overall commitment to your children.
Driving Privileges and Visitation
If you lose your driving privileges as a result of your DUI, your parenting rights could be at stake. The court is unlikely to require the other parent to do all of the transportation between their home and your home, and it gets more complicated if your child needs transportation to and from school, daycare, and other activities. If you are unable to drive or secure other transportation, the other parent may get more parenting time until your driving rights are reinstated.
What If My Child Was With Me When I Was Arrested?
All of the consequences listed above assume that your child was not with you at the time you were arrested. If you are caught driving under the influence with your child in the vehicle, expect even more severe penalties. The court may award emergency custody to the other parent until a more permanent arrangement can be agreed upon. Court officials and your ex-partner are likely to view your DUI as a decision to put your child at risk, which could affect your parenting time indefinitely.
Your child’s other parent or their lawyer may use your DUI to prove a pattern of alcohol or drug abuse. If they can demonstrate this to the court, your parenting rights will likely be severely restricted. Your goal is to prove that your DUI was a one-time occurrence and lapse in judgment, rather than a reflection of your lifestyle.
Limit the Fallout of Your DUI Charges and Contact Us Today
The consequences of a DUI can extend into every part of your life. You need an attorney with extensive experience in criminal defense and family law. We strive to protect your parenting time and help you get a fresh start. Schedule a free consultation with Czekaj Law, LLC today by filling out our contact form or calling us at (717) 275-9770.