Your actions and decisions before, during, after your divorce can have a long-term impact on your legal rights. A judge may scrutinize your interactions on social media or your behavior in the home. How will a DUI affect your divorce? The facts of every case are unique; however, a DUI can influence the results of your custody case. If you have been charged with DUI, it is important to have a clear understanding of your rights and how criminal charges may impact your divorce.
Anyone who has been through a custody dispute knows that the legal process is complex. A DUI by one parent can complicate the process even further. Our Birmingham DUI defense lawyers understand how a DUI charge or conviction could have further implications on the rights of our clients. We will take a strategic approach to review your case and protect your rights at every stage. If you are facing divorce and have been charged with a DUI, our legal team can help minimize or defeat criminal charges and help you achieve the best possible results in your custody case.
One important factor when weighing a DUI in a custody case is, when did the arrest take place? A 10-year-old DUI may raise some questions for the judge; however it is not likely to influence the final outcome of your case. A recent DUI could result in 1 month to 1 year in jail and a second or third offense could land you in state prison for 2 to 10 years. It is no surprise that a jail sentence will impact the results of a custody case. Repeat offenders with current convictions will have the highest risk of losing custody after a divorce. Knowing that a DUI could have an impact, there have also been cases alleging that one spouse set up a DUI sting operation just to achieve a more favorable result in a custody case.
Some offenses are more egregious than others. Take for example the driver who allegedly let his 8-year-old son drive him and his 4-year-old daughter home because he was too drunk. Any conviction or allegation of a DUI involving children in the vehicle could result in aggravated charges and a deeper impact on a custody case.
In any DUI case, your defense is critical to achieve best possible outcome and to minimize the impact on your divorce. If you have received a DUI recently, your spouse may pursue sole custody, giving one parent the right to make all important decisions regarding your child or children involving medical care, education and religion. You could lose your right to weigh in on these important decisions and only see your children at visitation. Remember that a suspended license could also impact your custody rights as a judge may realize that you do not have the ability to transport your child.
When facing divorce and DUI charges, the layers of the case become even more complicated. The court will consider a number of factors, including the results of any criminal conviction when awarding custody. An experienced DUI attorney can protect your rights to reduce criminal penalties and help you achieve the best possible outcome in a custody battle.