Driving under the influence is a serious crime and is usually punished severely throughout the United States. The consequences that a person faces can span from a loss of license to substantial jail time. Fortunately, many people are able to live with these repercussions, but this isn’t the case for everyone. Individuals involved in child custody cases, for instance, can face serious difficulties due to a prior DUI.
Direct Effects of a DUI
There is no set rule that says a DUI will affect a child custody case, but in reality, it could turn out to be a huge factor. A judge presiding over a custodial case is going to look at potential red flags when making their decision. A DUI conviction, especially a recent one, can stand out as one of these red flags. The judge will likely believe that the conviction shows a certain lack of maturity, and this is never good when fighting for rights to one’s child.
Additionally, the fact that an individual has spent time in jail can also be detrimental. Not everyone will go to jail after a DUI conviction, but it’s a definite possibility. According to group of Orlando DUI attorneys in Florida’s Orange County, for instance, a person convicted of DUI can be sentenced to up to nine months in jail on their first conviction. This will obviously negatively affect an individual if they’re incarcerated during custody hearings, but even having the record will look bad.
Those who have had multiple DUI convictions will face even more difficulties during a child custody case. Multiple DUIs essentially show a reckless disregard of a state and locality’s laws. A judge will not look fondly upon this, and additionally, they may believe that the individual places alcohol over their own, and potentially even their child’s, well-being.
Unfortunately, it’s not only the criminal consequences that can affect a child custody case. A driver’s license suspension, for instance, is an administrative punishment. This repercussion can stop a person from working due to a lack of transportation. Sadly, a judge is more likely to deny a person the custodial rights that they’re seeking if they’re unable to work for a living wage.
Some people think they can avoid the aforementioned situation if they work from home or have others transport them to and from work. It’s important to note, however, that the license suspension can still have negative effects on a child custody case. The simple inability to drive may be viewed as a reason to deny custody since the parent will be unable to drive their child to essential places like school and doctor’s appointments.
Individuals who don’t have families face a difficult enough time when convicted of a DUI, but those facing child custody cases are in an especially difficult spot. This is why it’s so essential for an individual to fight a DUI conviction as hard as they possibly can, and this includes finding legal help to avoid having a blemish on a criminal record. A failed breathalyzer or DUI charge is never an automatic conviction, but without legal help, it may likely seem that way.
Melanie Fleury lived in Orlando and has seen many DUI checkpoints. Orlando DUI attorneys Katz & Phillips know that every DUI case is unique. By having an attorney to help you mitigate your circumstances, you may be able to avoid the many penalties that can be laid down on a DUI offense.