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You may lose custody of your kids if you’re convicted of a crime

On Behalf of | Jun 6, 2020 | Criminal Defense

When it comes to child custody, courts always look at what’s in your son or daughter’s best interest. Courts examine a variety of factors to conclude whether a child will be safe in a parent’s home. Some of the factors that an Upper Marlboro judge is likely to take into account is the proximity of the parent’s house to the child’s school and other family members and their living preferences depending on their age. Other considerations include whether the parent has a history of alcohol or drug abuse or domestic violence or if they have any criminal convictions.

Courts want children to have a stable home environment. If there is evidence of domestic violence, discipline issues or drug, alcohol, emotional or physical abuse, then the court may view a parent’s home as unsafe. If you, as a parent, have a conviction on your record for drug possession, then the court may presume that you have a drug dependency problem. Driving under the influence (DUI) convictions could lead a Maryland judge to believe that a parent abuses alcohol.

If a judge sees a domestic violence conviction on your record, then they may deem you unfit to have custody of a child, and in some cases, even terminate your parental rights.

There may be some conditions associated with your supervised release if you’re on probation or parole that may interfere with your custodial responsibilities.

Not all criminal convictions are treated equally in the court’s eyes.

A family law judge may look at an older conviction and take it to mean that you’ve put your past behind you and turned over a new leaf. Any conviction that isn’t for a drug, alcohol or violence-related offense may have less impact on your child custody rights than other crimes do.

You have a lot more to lose than just your freedom if you’re charged with or convicted of a crime. You could end up unable to gain or retain custody of your child. You may even have to give up your parental rights. You need to have a criminal defense attorney who can come up with aggressive defense strategies that work representing you in your Upper Marlboro case if you want to retain custody of your kids.