Will my DUI affect my case for child custody? 38 Answers as of June 19, 2013

I have been convicted with DUI several years ago. Will this affect my case for child custody? Is there a way for me to have my record cleaned up? How can I avoid having this DUI record take its toll on the child custody case that I have right now?

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Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
It could, if the DUI is found to be adverse to the interests of the child. Examples: driving to and from visitation; what are the risks that a DUI presents for the child? It could result in supervised visitation.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 3/5/2012
Cynthia Henley, Lawyer
Cynthia Henley, Lawyer | Cynthia Henley
Probably not if you were not driving with your child. You can't get it off your record if you were convicted.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 3/5/2012
Law Office of Michael R. Garber
Law Office of Michael R. Garber | Michael R. Garber
It shouldn't affect your custody case unless you're habitually drunk. You might be able to have the conviction expunged.
Answer Applies to: Louisiana
Replied: 3/2/2012
Law Office of Thomas A. Medford, Jr., PC
Law Office of Thomas A. Medford, Jr., PC | Thomas A. Medford, Jr.
Several factors can effect this issue and it would be wise to consult an attorney.
Answer Applies to: District of Columbia
Replied: 2/29/2012
Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC
Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC | Jacob Peter Sartz IV
Unfortunately, there is no way to expunge a past OUI under Michigan's current law. If there had been some serious issues with the past conviction, then you might have been able to appeal and attempt to get the conviction set-aside through the appellate process. Generally speaking, judges have set-aside OUI's because of legal issues. However, the current Michigan law that allows people to request that the court expunge a past conviction after five years because of good behavior and rehabilitation excludes traffic offenses. As for your child-custody case, I'd advise you to consult with a family-law attorney. Most family-law attorneys provide free initial consultations. Speaking generally, any conviction for any substances-abuse related issue certainly may come up in a custody dispute since the parents are under close-scrutiny by both the adversarial parties and potentially state-agencies in some situations as well. Speaking generally, convictions for these types of offenses are an even bigger issue if there are concerns that the parent is still using the substance that was at issue with the criminal conviction. I'd advise you to consult with a family-law attorney regarding this matter.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 2/29/2012
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    Do you have your license back? Have you stopped drinking? Have you had any other problems? These are the important questions that have to be answered or order to tell if the conviction will affect your child custody matter. There is no way to erase an OIL conviction.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/19/2013
    Brucar & Yetter, P.C.
    Brucar & Yetter, P.C. | Wayne Brucar
    A DUI cannot be expunged from your record. Discuss strategy with your custody lawyer. Please understand that answering this doesn't create an attorney/client relationship between us, and as hard as I try to answer your question well, it isn't legal advice. No matter how much information you put into a question, the answers you are going to get are still going to be vague.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 2/29/2012
    Robert Mortland
    Robert Mortland | Law Office of Robert Mortland
    Possibly, yes. The DUI could be brought up in court.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/19/2013
    Law Office of Jason D. Baltz | Jason Daniel Baltz
    It may affect it, but there are plenty of people with OWI convictions who are still able to see their children. As long as alcohol is a thing of the past and not an ongoing problem with you, the mere fact of one OWI conviction should not adversely impact your ability to see your children.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 2/29/2012
    Mark Thiessen, Attorney at Law
    Mark Thiessen, Attorney at Law | Mark Thiessen
    It absolutely could affect your parental rights. That's why you need to fight this DWI with everything you got.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Dungan, Lady, Kirkpatrick & Dungan PLLC | Michael Dungan
    Maybe. Criminal convictions and substance abuse issues are relevant to the best interest of the child factors. However, one garden variety drunk driving from sever years ago case does not typically make or break a custody dispute. There is no way to remove the conviction from your record.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Healan Law Offices
    Healan Law Offices | William D. Healan, III
    There is no way to get the DUI off your record.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
    Normally a DUI would have that great an impact on a child custody case. I routinely handle both types of cases and unless the custody case has some close connection it should not be impacted by the DUI. Normally, I look at what if anything you can do to show you're a fit parent so that it does not impact your case.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    Maybe.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/30/2013
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
    A DUI could affect a child custody case if it was close in time to the custody case. If it happened years ago and there is no evidence of repeat offenses, then while it is there it is not of much value. You should discuss this fully with your attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Law Office of Patrick E. Donovan, PLLC
    Law Office of Patrick E. Donovan, PLLC | Patrick E. Donovan
    Contact counsel who has more familiarity with the family law courts. In general, a DUI conviction should not affect your custody rights, but anything goes in the family courts. You cannot move to annul a DUI conviction in NH until after 7 years from the date of your conviction. Call an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    McClendon Owens Melia McBreen LLP
    McClendon Owens Melia McBreen LLP | Richard L. McBreen III
    Unfortunately, DUI convictions are not removable from a person's record in Oregon. However, a good family law attorney is who you need to talk to. Your attorney will be able to help you present the best possible case and guide you through a complicated process.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    The only thing and the best thing you can do is to expunge the DUI. As long as you have successfully completed probation, am not currently on probation for anything else, and have no criminal case(s) pending, you are eligible. Contact a DUI specialist to file the petition for you and conduct the expungement hearing.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq.
    Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq. | Jeffrey Lawrence Pollock
    The Mother may argue that it is unsafe for your child since you to transport a child with your persistent disdain for driving while intoxicated.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Lawrence Lewis
    Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
    The DUI cannot be removed. I recommend that you retain an attorney to put a good spin on it in your custody hearing.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Attorney at Law | Ernest Krause
    That by itself won't affect the case. Of course if there are questionable aspects to your life other than that that is another story. Do google searches for information and the form to remove the conviction. Or call your County law library.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    The DWI will not prevent visitation, but the judge may order that someone else drive. Any criminal conviction will be taken into consideration in a custody petition in Family or Supreme Court. You should retain a good lawyer to handle the case since a DWI is a serious criminal conviction. You cannot have a conviction erased in New York State unless it is vacated or overturned on appeal, which is very unlikely. Drinking and driving is like firing a gun at a moving train and hoping no one gets hit by the bullets. The judge will consider you to be a bad decision maker, but not necessarily a bad parent. The judge will give custody to the parent who can best care for and provide for the children. The other parent will be given visitation, either supervised or not.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Betts Legal Services
    Betts Legal Services | Shawn M. Betts
    DWI's cannot be removed from your record. Assuming it was a first offense and happened some time ago, it should not affect a child custody matter a great deal, particularly if you completed probation successfully.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    It could, if used to show a pattern of current alcohol use that could affect your behavior around the kids, and especially if accused of having the kids in the car after drinking. Yes, you can improve your record, but that won't affect the custody. Some CA convictions can be 'expunged' from criminal records by proper application and Petition to the court, but ONLY IF there was no felony prison time sentenced whether served or not, and if it was not for certain listed sexual crimes, and if all terms of sentencing and at least one year of probation are completed, and if there are no new charges pending. If successful, the conviction would be withdrawn and the charges dismissed. Expungement does NOT clear, 'remove' or erase the conviction, but does change the record to show 'conviction reversed and dismissed by expungement'. It doesn't disappear. The conviction is still a 'prior' or 'strike' for purposes of repeat offense. It still shows on your record that is accessible to government agencies, law enforcement and the courts, such as through LiveScan. Expungement will help in obtaining and keeping employment. When applying for a job in the private sector, in response to any question concerning your prior criminal record, you may deny that you were arrested or convicted of the offense. However, you must disclose the arrest and conviction in any questionnaire or application for public office, for a position as a peace officer, for licensing by any state or local agency, for contracting with the California State Lottery, or for purposes of serving on a jury.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Glass Defense Firm
    Glass Defense Firm | Jason M. Glass
    It has the potential to. If it is a contested case, the other party may present that to the family court judge and it may impact their ruling.
    Answer Applies to: West Virginia
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    H. Scott Basham, Attorney at Law, P.C. | H. Scott Basham
    It might affect the child custody case. You probably can't have it expunged at this point, but if it was several years ago and you have no DUI arrests since, the judge probably won't give too much weight to it.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    A DUI cannot be expunged under current Kansas law. The judge can take the DUI conviction into consideration if there is a current concern about your sobriety status.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Salladay Law Office | Lance Salladay
    It is possible that the earlier DUI could be brought before the court but unless you have a continuing alcohol problem or other alcohol related offenses it is unlikely to have any impact on a child custody matter. The court's interest is what is in the best interests of the child, so unless it is shown that you are a threat to the child- it may be a consideration but not one that should have any significant impact. Your record cannot be "cleaned up"- Idaho does not allow for expungement of records- however the longer ago that the offense occurred the less impact it will have on issues like child custody. You need to establish that you do not have an alcohol problem, and that you are not a threat to the child while the child is in your care.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    A DUI conviction of several years ago should not have a significant impact on your domestic case unless you have an addiction. There is no expungement law in the State of Alabama at this time.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    The Slate Law Firm
    The Slate Law Firm | Dennis M Slate
    A DWI conviction can absolutely affect a child custody case. But if you are involved in a child custody case, you should have a lawyer to advise how to best minimize the effects of the DWI on your case.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    That's a question for a family law attorney; not a criminal lawyer. I can tell you that DUI is forever. It can't be expunged.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Law Office of James E. Smith
    Law Office of James E. Smith | James Smith
    It could if you are considered a risk to drive drunk with your children.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Anderson Law Office
    Anderson Law Office | Scott L. Anderson
    You need to contact a family law attorney regarding the custody issues. You may need to establish that you have taken positive steps with regards to alcohol to improve your case. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Raiser & Kenniff, PC
    Raiser & Kenniff, PC | Steve Raiser
    If enough years passed it should not have an effect. However there is currently no way to expunge your record.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Law Office of Richard Southard
    Law Office of Richard Southard | Richard C Southard
    It may come up in the custody case. Unlike other states NY does not have an expungement statute, so there is little you can do to "clean this up" short of attacking the underlying conviction. which is very difficult and rarely successful.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    The Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache
    The Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache | Stephanie Arrache
    You should consult a family law attorney. An expungement will not affect your case, as it does not remove it from your criminal record. You will want to show that it was an isolated event and not indicative of your interactions with your child.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/28/2012
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