March 24, 2015 By Paul Wallin
dui with child
Driving under the influence with a child in your car is a serious crime

The role of a child custody judge is to decide the custody arrangements that they believe are in the best interest of the child. Having a DUI arrest or conviction on your record could have a significant impact on child custody decisions made by the court in your case.

Your history will be reviewed by the court in a child custody case. A single DUI arrest could have an impact on the court’s decision. However, multiple DUI convictions most certainly could cause you to lose custody of your child. Likewise, a drunk driving accident in which someone was seriously injured or killed could have an impact on your child custody case.

If you have been arrested for any DUI-related crime, you may have to serve time in jail and your license may be suspended. The court will take both of these factors into consideration when determining the custody of your child as these two punishments may affect your ability to care for your child.

DUI with a Child in the Car

Under California law, if you drive under the influence with a passenger that is age 14 or younger, you violate California Vehicle Code Section 23572 and could face sentencing enhancements in addition to any punishments for the DUI.

Under California Penal Code Section 273(a), you can be charged with child endangerment for driving under the influence with a minor passenger. For a misdemeanor child endangerment conviction, you face a sentence of up to 364 days in jail. For a felony conviction under PC 273(a), you face two, four, or six years in state prison.

In either case, being convicted of a DUI with a minor passenger could have a detrimental effect on any custody case you may be involved in.

Also, if you are arrested for DUI and your child is present, law enforcement could take your child into temporary custody. The police officer involved in the arrest will decide after taking temporary custody, where the child will go and who will take care of your child. The officer may try to place the child with the other parent, family members, or the California Department of Child and Family Services.

A child custody judge would look disfavorably on a current DUI charge, past DUI conviction, and any DUI where a child is put at risk.

Call the Criminal Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich

If you’ve been arrested for a DUI and are worried about losing custody of your children, you need to speak with an experienced DUI defense attorney to help you. Our experienced team of attorneys has been successfully handling DUI and child custody criminal matters for over 30 years.

With offices located in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Tustin, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, we can help you no matter where you work or live.

Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free telephone consultation. We will get through this together.

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