Visalia & Tulare County Criminal Defense Attorney | Casey D. Martin | 900 West Main Street, Visalia, CA 93291
THE MARTIN LAW FIRM | Serving Visalia & Porterville, CA
3 DUI Consequences of Not Hiring a Criminal Defense Lawyer
March 16, 2017
Short answer: yes.
Even so, it’s important to remember that a criminal record does not automatically result in you losing custody or visitation rights. However, it is one of many factors that the family law judge assigned to your case will consider before arriving at a decision.
Family law attorneys meet their clients during some of the most challenging moments of their lives. Even though it may feel lonely, it’s important to remember that you really aren’t alone. The U.S. has the highest incarceration rate in the world. And sadly, one survey of 188 judges, prosecutors, criminal defense attorneys, and law enforcement agencies determined that as many as 10,000 people are wrongfully convicted of serious crimes every year. What’s more, up to 1.4 million Americans are busted with their first DUI offense each year, while 4.7 million more adults are under some kind of probation at any given time.
When a family law judge makes a ruling on child custody, they are supposed to come to a decision that serves the best interests of the child. If a parent with a criminal record is deemed to be the best legal guardian, then the child’s interest would override the criminal record. These kinds of balancing tests are common in the U.S. legal system, and family attorneys will try and tip the balance in your favor. Family attorneys can also help parents reach a decision between themselves.
Even so, a criminal record can have a serious, negative impact on your particular case. That makes finding a reliable family attorney near you even more important. Because according to one legal guide:
“Even though a drug conviction is not a per se crime of violence, a drug or alcohol related conviction will also make obtaining custody difficult. Once the court is made aware that you have a prior drug related conviction, it will typically order you to submit to a hair follicle drug test. Hair follicle drug tests can reveal drug use for several previous months. A positive drug test will almost certainly preclude joint custody and will likely result in any visitation being supervised. Similarly, a prior DUI conviction is also likely to be a significant factor in custody proceedings.”
In California family law cases, the judge will usually approve whatever custody or visitation arrangement the parents have agreed to. That can provide a powerful incentive for parents to hire local attorneys and come to a mutual agreement on their own. If such an agreement can’t be made, then the judge will make a decision at a family court hearing.