Does a Criminal Record in Florida Affect Child Custody?

A criminal record can impact your life in many different ways. From jobs to family, your life can change drastically. But does a criminal record affect child custody? It certainly can. If you have been arrested in Florida, it is important to seek out experienced legal counsel. This will help you to not only get the best possible outcome in your case, but it can also make a big difference when it comes to child custody.

What is the Impact of a Criminal Record on Child Custody?

A family court judge has broad discretion when it comes to making a decision about child custody. The judge will give weight in his or her decision-making process on several factors including:

  • The nature and type of offense
  • How old you were at the time of the conviction
  • The type and length of sentence for the conviction
  • The number of convictions you have on your record
  • The victim of the offense

Here is an important explanation of what these factors mean:

The nature and type of offense are crucial in determining if a criminal record will affect child custody. Types of offenses of particular impact include domestic violence, weapons charges, and assault and battery. These weigh heavier than some other charges and can make a greater impact on what the court will decide when it comes to child custody.

In addition, if there are alcohol or drug convictions, such as a DUI, this can also have a negative impact on your case with a family court judge. The judge also has the authority to give you drug tests during the process of the legal proceedings.

A big thing to keep in mind is your age at the time of the conviction. The longer the amount of time that has elapsed since you obtained a criminal record, the less of a negative impact it will have in relation to child custody. The frequency of offenses, number of offenses, and the type/length of sentence you receive will also be under the judge’s consideration.

Of particular impact would be if one of your children is the victim of an offense in which you were convicted. The court could decide to either limit the time you have with your child (or children) or potentially even terminate your parental rights.

Get Expert Legal Help in Criminal Defense and Child Custody

Does a criminal record affect child custody? Yes.

With all of these factors being considered, this is why it is so important to have the right Criminal Defense Attorney in Florida on your side when you are facing criminal charges. Whether it is a DUI, first offense, probation violation, or other types of charges, it is in your best interests to get an excellent attorney. This will give you the legal representation you need in matters that can change your family situation and your whole life.

Dean G. Tsourakis is an experienced Criminal Defense Attorney that understands the complexity of the judicial system, including Florida’s family courts. He has experience in both Family Law and Criminal Law with over 38 years of experience as a State Prosecutor and Criminal Defense Attorney. He has helped many individuals and families and tried hundreds of cases in the greater Clearwater, Florida area.

Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.