Effects of a DWI Conviction on Custody of Your Children in North Carolina

A Parent Holding a Child's HandIf you are convicted of DWI in North Carolina, you could face harsh penalties, such as a jail sentence, large fines, and suspension of your driver’s license. In addition, you will have a permanent criminal record that can have long-term consequences on your life. If you are in custody dispute over your children, a DWI conviction could also affect the custody of your children.

How Your DWI May Impact on Your Child Custody Case

When determining custody of minor children in a divorce or other custody hearing, the court’s primary concern is the best interests of the children. A DWI arrest or conviction will not mean that you will automatically lose your custody battle or be denied custody.

However, the judge will examine the facts and circumstances surrounding your arrest in deciding custody. He may appoint a social worker to visit your home, interview your children and spouse, and report back to him. Some factors a judge could consider in making his decision include:

  • Length of time since your DWI conviction
  • Results of your blood alcohol contents (BAC) tests and how much higher they were than 0.08 percent
  • Whether you completed a drug or alcohol rehabilitation program
  • Whether this is a first or subsequent DWI charge or conviction
  • What types of drugs you were taking if you were charged with driving while impaired due to drugs
  • Whether any children or other minors were in your vehicle when you were arrested
  • Whether you caused an accident that resulted in injuries or death when arrested for DWI
  • Any other criminal charges associated with your DWI arrest
  • Your criminal record
  • Any mitigating or aggravating factors

How a DWI Can Affect Child Visitation

A judge could consider the factors listed above in deciding the right to visitation of your children if you are not awarded custody. In addition, you will need to show how your children will be transported if you are granted visitation while your driver’s license is suspended. 

Given the potential long-term consequences of a DWI conviction, you cannot afford not to retain an experienced DWI lawyer in Charlotte to fight the charges you face. Even if you consumed alcohol before driving, you may have strong defenses that can help you to get the charges dismissed or reduced to a less serious offense. Call our Charlotte office today to schedule a free consultation with a member of our legal team to learn how we can help defend you.


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Our Approach To DWI Cases

Simply being charged with DWI in North Carolina often results in your driver’s license being revoked for a minimum of 30 days. However, we can typically get your driving privileges reinstated almost immediately. We do this by either, first, challenging this civil license revocation, or second, getting you a limited driving privilege.
Defend My Case
Whether you realize it or not, a considerable amount of evidence exists regarding your DWI charge, much of which is vital to an effective defense of your case. We will review your court file, subpoena necessary documents, videos, and notes, and file the appropriate pretrial motions in a timely manner.
Defend My Case
As former prosecutors, we are aware of all the potential defenses that may be available to you. We do not automatically assume you intend to plead guilty and face the harsh consequences associated with a DWI conviction. We pledge we will examine every possible defense and take your case to trial if it is in your best interest.
Defend My Case
While it’s our goal to win every DWI case we have, it’s simply not possible for any attorney to win every time. If you are ultimately convicted of DWI, we will help you take every step possible to reduce the potential penalties, such as avoiding jail time, keeping you driving, reducing monetary costs, and more.
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