How a DUII Conviction can affect Child Custody

The rule of thumb in child custody decisions in the U.S. is the best interest of the child. When both parents are equally capable of providing for the child, the judge’s ruling is often based on details that would make one parent just a little more desirable as the custodial parent over the other.

Historically, the custody of very young children is awarded to the primary caregiver, usually the mother, unless there are circumstances that bring into question the fitness of the parent to serve the best interests of the child. One such circumstance that could tip the balance in child custody cases is a conviction of Driving under the Influence or DUI.

In Texas, and indeed in most other states, a DUI is a criminal offense. It is a misdemeanor if there are less than three offenses on record, and a felony if there are three or more DUI incidents. A conviction carries stiff penalties, including jail time, suspension or revocation of the driver’s license, and heavy fines. If anyone you know has been charged with driving under the influence, speak to DUI lawyer Ian Inglis from Austin, TX about your case. More importantly, a DUI conviction implies a recklessness and habit of negligence that may weigh heavily against the parent when it comes to child custody and visitation rights.

A DUI conviction does not necessarily mean that the parent should no longer have an active role in his or her child’s life. According to the website of the BB Law Group PLLC, children generally benefit from the involvement of both parents in their lives after a divorce. However, a criminal record is definitely on the negative side of the slate in child custody decisions. A parent faced with the possibility of a DUII conviction should make every effort to avoid it by engaging the services of an experienced DUII defense lawyer. This can make all the difference when it comes to fighting for one’s rights of child custody and visitation.