Can an Arizona DUI Conviction Affect a Child Custody Determination?

When thinking about the possible consequences of an Arizona DUI conviction, the most commonly feared repercussions involve infringements on your freedom, such as jail time, probation, or the suspension of your driver’s licenses. However, Arizona DUI offenses carry a host of other collateral consequences that can also have a significant impact on your life. One common question facing those who are arrested for DUI offenses involves the impact a conviction could have on their ability to obtain or maintain custody of their children. While a conviction alone is not likely to result in someone losing custody of their children, it can play into the court’s decision.

For example, take a recent appellate decision issued by the Arizona Court of Appeals. In that case, a child was born three weeks prematurely. It was later determined that the baby’s mother tested positive for multiple drugs. However, the child’s father sough to maintain custody. At the hospital, the father was emotional and, evidently, security had to escort him out of the building. A week later, the father was arrested for reckless driving and, after a blood test revealed his blood-alcohol content was twice the legal limit, he was arrested for driving under the influence.

In this case, the court had to determine if the lower court’s determination that the child was a “dependent child,” meaning one “who has no parent or guardian willing to exercise or capable of exercising” the care and control a child needs. Among the factors the court considered was the fact that the father had been arrested for driving under the influence. While there were certainly other issues the child’s father had that caused the court concern, there is a reason the court included the father’s DUI arrest in its opinion.

After an Arizona DUI arrest, panic sets in, your thoughts are racing, and you may not know what to do. You may be afraid that you will be unable to provide for your family, be required to pay thousands of dollars in fees, or even be sent to jail. To be sure, it is a difficult time. However, you do not need to navigate the system on your own. A dedicated Arizona DUI defense attorney can go over your options and help you pursue what’s best for yourself and your family. Remember, not every DUI arrest results in a conviction.

Have You Been Arrested for an Arizona Drunk Driving Offense?

If you were recently arrested for an Arizona drunk driving offense, and fear what it may mean for your future, give Attorney James E. Novak a call. Attorney Novak is a veteran Tempe DUI defense attorney with decades of experience handling all types of DUI and traffic-related matters on behalf of a diverse range of clients. Attorney Novak is regarded as an aggressive advocate who unceasingly pursues the interests of his clients at every stage of the process. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation, call 480-413-1499 to schedule a free consultation, you can also reach Attorney Novak through his online form.

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