If you were convicted or charged with assault you may not be aware of the potential repercussions of a conviction. In fact, the consequences may be far-reaching. On the long list of potential impacts is how your child custody agreement may be affected. Whether it is an existing agreement or is currently in negotiation, it’s important to consult a criminal lawyer for insight and guidance about how best to proceed. Whether you are the primary caregiver or have visitation rights, taking a proactive approach may offer more possibilities for arriving at a positive outcome.
A skilled criminal defense attorney can address your questions and concerns throughout the legal process, and will work toward obtaining a dismissal of your case or a verdict of innocence. A plea deal for a lesser charge is also a possibility. Schedule a consultation with an attorney today if you are dealing with an assault conviction and have child custody arrangements. This is an opportunity to learn what a lawyer can do for you.
How can a criminal defense attorney make a difference in my case?
If you are convicted of the assault charge, the judge may sentence you to jail or prison, or they may approve you for probation. You may have to pay fines, and your criminal record will reflect the conviction. A good criminal defense attorney will make every effort to prevent a conviction in the first place. To that end, any or all of the following may occur:
- Discovery of legal infractions committed by the arresting officer, detectives, prosecutor, jury, or judge. Such mistakes on their part may result in the dismissal or reduction of your charges.
- A negotiation with the prosecutor to result in a plea deal that is a reduction of the charge against you in exchange for pleading guilty. This may make it possible to retain custody of your child, but this must be discussed prior with your criminal defense attorney.
- The development of a legal defense that is optimum for obtaining a positive outcome.
Why might an assault conviction affect my child custody agreement?
Family law judges have the responsibility of considering a child’s best interests in matters brought before the court. If a parent is convicted of assault, it suggests that they are physically aggressive. It is further assumed that their dangerous behavior could extend to how they treat their child, or that they may exhibit such behavior in the presence of their child. Therefore, they may not be safe in the company of that parent and as such, that parent should lose all rights to any kind of custody. In some cases, a judge may approve visits that are overseen with a social worker or another designated third-person present.
The criteria that a family court judge will consider in regard to the parent’s assault conviction are:
- The nature of the assault.
- The severity of the assault.
- Whether drugs or alcohol were involved.
- Previous criminal convictions.
- Extenuating circumstances on a case by case basis.
To discuss your case with our criminal defense attorney, call a lawyer today.