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How a DUI may affect your custodial rights

After an officer charged you for allegedly drinking and driving, you worry about your child custody rights. You currently hold a visitation agreement with your ex-spouse, but if a judge suspends your license, how will you drive to visit your children? Fighting your DUI charge with the help of an experienced attorney proves incredibly important for you and for your non-custodial children.


DUIs and child custody

In the state of Virginia, only drivers with valid licenses may operate a vehicle. Your custody provisions may even indicate that only a licensed driver has the ability to transport your children to and from agreed-upon locations.

If an officer charges you with a DUI in Virginia, a court looks at multiple factors while determining whether your custody or visitation requires modification. A judge may look at:

  • Whether you have been previously convicted of a DUI
  • Whether your DUI involved other factors such as reckless driving or injury to another person
  • Whether you have other traffic violations on your record
  • Your current visitation plan

If the court discovers that you have multiple DUI charges or many instances of traffic violations on your record, a judge may choose to change your visitation rights.

Even if the court determines that the penalties for a DUI in Virginia will suffice, a suspended license directly inhibits your ability to see your children.

Fighting the charge with an attorney

DUI charges are serious, but officers often make mistakes when they arrest and charge individuals with DUIs. Attorneys may aid in finding case loopholes or illegal actions made by the officer at the time. First-time offenders have the best chance of reducing a sentence.

Know that if you are charged with a DUI in Virginia, you are not alone. Seeking the help of an attorney to guide you in the direction that lessens your suffering in a criminal situation is key. Avoiding a DUI charge may even stop a judge from modifying your child custody and leave you with the ability to see your children at a maximum time that your court order allows.

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