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Will a DUI conviction affect your child custody terms?

Like most North Carolina fathers, your children are the most important part of your life. Since you and your wife divorced, you may have to make extra effort in order to see your children as much as you can, and the situation may not always feel ideal. However, you can work with the custody arrangement that the court set forth.

Of course, situations may arise that have you concerned about your custody and visitation rights. For instance, if police recently arrested you for drunk driving, you may worry that a conviction could prevent you from maintaining custody or that other consequences, such as license suspension, could stop you from picking up your kids or meeting other obligations.

Understandable concerns

If you have found yourself in this situation, these are understandable concerns. After all, the court takes criminal charges and convictions seriously in custody cases, and you do not want to do anything to unnecessarily jeopardize your chances of seeing your kids. While the court has an obligation to act in your children’s best interests, a DUI charge may not immediately mean that you will not see your kids.

Still, the court may choose to intervene and adjust your custody arrangements under certain circumstances. For instance, if you have multiple DUI convictions on your record, the court may view that as an alcohol abuse problem and suspect that you might put your children at risk if they are in the vehicle with you. Additionally, if the DUI arrest occurred while your children were in the vehicle, the court will take that into consideration as well.

Are you out of luck?

A single mistake will likely not have permanent detrimental effects on your child custody arrangement. If you can show that you have taken steps to address the issue and minimize the likelihood of it happening again, the court may look more favorably on you.

Of course, one of the best ways to address the ordeal is to work toward avoiding a conviction for DUI. This can begin from the moment of your arrest as you make note of the actions of officers involved and how they handle your arrest overall. You can also thoroughly explore your criminal defense options in hopes of finding the methods that may allow you to work toward the best possible outcomes for your situation.

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