What You Should Know About Facing DUI Charges during another Case Proceeding
In some unfortunate cases, individuals are arrested for DUI or DWI while they currently have a court case going on. While this is often handled as a separate case from their current one, there is always a fear that the repercussions of this arrest will affect the current case. This is often a concern for those who are going through a divorce case, child custody case, or those who are currently on probation.
Any type of additional charges during a current court case can have negative repercussions. The fear with having a DUI or DWI charge is that is shows increased negligence on behalf of the charged individual. Having this type of arrest and charge occur during another court case can make both hearings very complicated and add an extra level of stress and anxiety to the situation, for the individual and their family. Here is what you should know about getting a DUI while going through another court case.
Getting a DUI during a Divorce
Going through a divorce is often a stressful and emotional time for everyone involved just on its own. When a Driving Under the Influence arrest and charge is added to the mix, it can often add extra emotional and financial strain to the situation, as well as making the case more complex. Emotions and frustrations play a huge role in both divorce. DUI cases can add:
Adding these increased emotions to a divorce case can cause it to become more hostile and cause one or both of the spouses to make decisions based off how they are feeling instead of what is best for both spouses and the family as a whole. It may become more about punishing one another than about moving on with each other’s lives and keeping the children and family as stable as possible.
A person who has experienced a DUI-related arrest will also add a level of complexity to the divorce proceedings. Since a DUI case often has a very high financial impact on the individual arrested, the couple’s marital financial assets may come more into play during the divorce. The court will often help the couple decide, through mediation or court order, who will be responsible for paying the divorce court fees and lawyers as well as the fees and fines associated with the one spouse’s Driving Under the Influence arrest and charges.
Getting a DUI during a Child Custody Case
One parent receiving a DUI during a child custody battle is often has a very big impact on the case. Courts will often consider the moral fitness of the parents to have custody and care for children. Any type of arrest on a parent’s record, especially a Driving Under the Influence charge during the case, can leave a judge feeling as though that parent should not have custody. If the DUI arrest happened recently before the custody case began, or worse, during the custody case, the non-DUI parent may seek sole custody of the children, which would be difficult to overcome.
It is also important to keep in mind the jail time that the parent receiving the DUI may face. For example, Texas law dictates that second time Driving Under the Influence offenders face between one month and one year in jail, with the jail sentences only going up with reoccurring offenses. Courts will take into consideration the amount of time the parent be in jail and will be away from the children. This will play a large factor in their decision of who should get custody of the children.
Getting a DUI While on Probation
It is important to keep in mind that being released from jail on probation is not a “get out of jail free card.” Probation is an agreement between the convicted person and the court system that the jail sentence be lessened and they get out of jail in exchange for them following a certain set of rules. These rules usually entail:
- Checking in with a Probation Officer on a Regular Basis
- Paying Restitution
- Random Drug Testing
- Maintaining a Clean Record
Should the individual who is on probation violate any of these conditions, they have broken their end of the deal and the original jail sentence will be reinstated, meaning they will go back to prison. Additionally, they will also have to face the consequences brought on by their probation violation, and in the case of a DUI, have to serve those consequences, including additional jail time.
It is important to keep in mind that, in some states, you do not have to be convicted of Driving Under the Influence or Driving While Intoxicated to be found in violation of probation standards. Often, one of the conditions of probation is to be on “good behavior,” meaning no negative contact with police officers in any capacity. Often, an individual’s probation officer can move to violate their probation simply because they were arrested by law enforcement, even if they have not been charged with the DUI.
When arrested for or charged with a DUI while on probation, it is always in the individual’s best interest to work with the lawyer they worked with previously for the case for which they are on probation. This attorney should also be well versed in the Driving Under the Influence laws for the state in which the arrest took place. It is also in the individual’s best interest to try to fight the probation violation as well as the new DUI charge in an effort to not be sent back to jail to finish their sentence and new charges.
Often in these types of cases, a plea bargain can be reached between the individual and the court system that does not trigger a probation violation. Although this is true in most cases, an individual should always consult with their attorney since probation violations are often dealt with on a case by case basis – the specifics of the individuals probation and the violation there of may not constitute them being able to avoid a probation violation when they have been arrested for DUI or DWI.
Overall, being arrested for Driving Under the Influence or Driving While Intoxicated during a current court case or probation can make the original case much more complicated. A DUI arrest and charge can make completing a divorce or gaining child custody very difficult, stressful, and emotional. In the case of a child custody battle, being arrested for a DUI during the case can often mean losing the chance to have custody of children and being arrested for DUI during probation can lead to returning to jail. Should this happen to you, it is always important to retain the help of a knowledgeable DUI attorney for your state.
Taryn J. White is a legal research specialist and DUI law news reporter. Her current accomplishments include helping those facing any driving under the influence arrest charges, get free online assistance in learning how to fight a DUI case for the best possible outcome.