Will your DWI Arrest Mean You Lose Custody of Your Children?

After a DWI arrest, your mind is likely spinning, thinking of all of the damaging consequences that could arise from it. If you’re currently in a child custody dispute, the worry of losing custody of your kids may be at the top of the list. While a DWI arrest is certainly not to your advantage in a custody dispute, it does not necessarily mean that you will lose custody of your kids. The circumstances surrounding the DWI will play an important role.

Best Interest of the Child

In every New Hampshire custody dispute case, the child’s best interest is paramount. “Best interest” refers to the standard a judge will use to determine the custody arrangement that will best serve the child’s needs and interests. The judge will assess numerous factors, including:

  • the child’s relationship with the parent
  • each parent’s ability to provide the child with love, care, and guidance
  • each parent’s ability to provide food, shelter, medical care, and a safe environment
  • each parent’s ability to meet the child’s developmental needs.

A DWI arrest, charge, or conviction will factor into the overall picture of your ability to care for your child and provide a safe, loving environment. The more reckless or dangerous the circumstances surrounding the DWI, or if the charge is not your first offense, the more likely a judge is to believe that you will not provide the child with a safe environment.

DWI vs. Aggravated DWI

In New Hampshire, you can be charged with DWI or Aggravated DWI. With some exceptions, a DWI occurs when a driver has an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or greater while driving. A driver may also be considered DWI if they are actually impaired by drugs or alcohol to a perceptible degree. In this case, their blood alcohol concentration is only circumstantial evidence of actual impairment.

An Aggravated DWI is a more serious offense. In this case, the police will have determined that you were driving under the influence and also engaging in one or more aggravating factors that make the situation even more dangerous. Such aggravating factors include:

  • driving at or above 30 miles per hour over the speed limit
  • causing an accident resulting in serious bodily injury to yourself or another person
  • attempting to flee from the police
  • having a child under 16 in the vehicle
  • operating the vehicle with an alcohol concentration over 16.

An Aggravated DWI is more likely to negatively affect your child custody case than a DWI, especially if you had a child in the car at the time of your arrest. Either way, you will need a skilled DWI attorney to help you fight the charges.

Experienced DWI Attorneys Ready to Help

If you’ve been arrested for DWI, you should hire an experienced DWI attorney as soon as possible. At Tenn And Tenn, P.A., our experienced New Hampshire DWI attorneys can guide you through the process and fight for the best outcome possible for your particular situation. Give us a call at (603) 624-3700 or contact us online for a consultation.

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