In modern society, it is becoming increasingly uncommon for lawyers to have multi-discipline practices. Attorneys often choose the areas they want to practice early in their careers and do not add other practice areas. Still, it is possible to find an attorney who practices both family law and criminal defense.
If the attorney you are using for your child custody dispute does not practice criminal defense, you probably want to find a defense attorney following an arrest for driving under the influence. Is it a good idea to keep your family lawyer in the dark about your DUI arrest, though?
Your arrest may affect your child custody case
If you have a conviction for a DUI offense, a judge may decide that giving you sole or joint custody is not in the best interests of your children. According to Illinois law, this is the legal standard all judges must apply when making custody determinations.
You do not want your DUI arrest to surprise your family lawyer during a hearing or settlement conference. Therefore, to be sure your attorney has time to minimize the fallout from your DUI arrest, you must tell your lawyer about it as soon as possible.
Your DUI lawyer should know about your custody case
Just as your family lawyer should know about your DUI arrest, your defense attorney should know about your custody case. Indeed, your attorneys may work together to secure an acceptable outcome for both matters.
Even though a DUI arrest may be embarrassing, you do not want to keep it from your attorney. Ultimately, by giving your attorneys all the facts, you are likely to increase your chances of receiving the custody determination you most want.