Can you lose custody of kids if you get a felony dwi

Asked over 1 year ago - Elmira, NY

My brother has custody of his two kids. He was arrested for DWI this past weekend and given a blood test two hours after arrest, no breathalyser given. Can he lose custody? He is considering installing one of those breathalyser mechanisms in his car before the court date to show the judge he's taking it seriously. Will this help him? He lives in New York State. Thanks for any advice!

Additional information

This is a felony DWI, since he had another DWI years ago before his kids were born.

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Howard A. Schwartz

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . One would hope that one Dwi arrest would not change custody status. If the is an action the court will look at multiple factors before determining what is in the best interest of the children. He might want to consider enrolling in a substance abuse program. Good luck.

    I have been a criminal attorney in New York for almost 25 years. website: Brooklynlaw.net Phone #: 718-208-6094... more
  2. Jack Richard Lebowitz

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

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    Answered . It is possible, depending on whether the mother contests custody and many other factors that are considered by Family Court as what physical and legal arrangements "are in the best interests of a child". Losing custody is not automatic on a felony conviction and even incarceration, but can certainly be taken into account in a felony situation.

    My advice is to first focus on the criminal law aspects of the DWI charges and get a good criminal lawyer who's versed in DWI offenses. I'd also seek out treatment options, perhaps participate in 12 step programs like AA, and perhaps look into an interlock device, but it's more probable that depending on the disposition of the criminal law matter, your brother will lose his driver's license automatically.

    In other words, priortize: first defense of the DWI charges, second, professional treatment for alcohol abuse and third, looking into what the "fallout" of the first steps are on a child custody petition, if any. It may have a lot to do with the fitness and wishes of the non-custodial parent and whether the brother can be a good father without subjecting the kids to danger by needing to drive them around.

    This answer is provided under the Avvo.com “Terms and Conditions of Use” (“ToU”), particularly ¶9 which states... more
  3. Deborah G. Fiss

    Contributor Level 14

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    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Depends on many factors especially, what's up with Mom. definitely poor judgment on Dad's part....

  4. Edwin Drantivy

    Contributor Level 18

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . No one factor is determinative, the totality of the circumstances and an examination into past history will dictate whether this will be viewed as an isolated occurrence that will be learned from or an act not in the best interests of the children.

Related Topics

DUI

The definition, charges, and penalties for driving under the influence (DUI) vary by state and depend on a number of factors.

Child Custody

Child custody involves decisions about who will be responsible for a child, including parental rights, for both married and unmarried parents, and adoptions.

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