DUI and Child Visitation: How Does a DUI Affect My Rights?

A DUI charge or conviction affects many areas of your life. Whether you are currently going through a divorce and fighting for custody, or you already have a custody arrangement in place, past and pending DUI charges could have a negative impact.

If you have recently been charged with a DUI, you need an expert DUI defense attorney on your side. Attorney James Novak defends our Phoenix, AZ clients, working to reduce or eliminate their charges. He understands the impact of a DUI on child visitation rights and will fight to ensure the charges you face do not affect your relationship and time with your child.

How Will a DUI Affect Child Visitation?

The circumstances of the DUI, such as when it took place, whether you caused an accident, if injuries were involved, and more will all factor into a judge’s decision. In child custody cases, the judge’s primary job is to determine what is in the best interests of the child. In many cases, spending extended periods of time with a parent recently convicted of a DUI is not in the child’s best interests.


Timing is everything. If you were convicted of a DUI back in college and 10 years later you are going through a divorce and fighting for custody, a judge is less likely to consider that DUI when making a decision. If, however, you are arrested for a DUI while in the midst of your divorce, the judge may take that into account, even if you are not convicted. Any arrests or convictions for a DUI within the last five years, however, might be taken into account, especially if multiple DUIs occurred less than 12 months apart.

Accident and Injuries

When intoxicated driving results in an accident, the DUI is viewed more seriously. If extensive property damage or serious injuries were also involved, it could have a major impact on your visitation rights.  Drunk driving incidents that involve accidents and injuries may lead to “aggravated” or felony charges, rather than a misdemeanor. A felony can have more serious consequences in all areas of your life, including your relationship with your child.

Who Was in the Car?

If you were arrested for a DUI while your child was in the car with you, a judge may completely revoke your visitation rights, even if you are not ultimately convicted. This may also apply for any other minor in your car – not just your own child – at the time of the incident.

What Can You Do?

If you were formerly charged and convicted of a DUI, make every effort to show the judge you have made vital changes in your life. If you are in the midst of a divorce or custody battle when you are charged with a DUI, hire an experienced attorney like Mr. Novak. He understands the complexities of these cases and he knows what’s at stake.

Schedule a Consultation Today

If you were charged with a DUI, you need the best lawyer possible to protect your visitation rights with your child. Contact our law firm today to set up a consultation.

Contact Information