Criminal charges and convictions can touch virtually every aspect of your life, from your ability to get a job to your housing situation. What many people do not realize is that it can even impact your ability to see your children or have custody of them in any capacity. If you are facing a DCPP investigation after being arrested or are wondering how criminal charges may affect having your children, our Essex County defense attorneys can help. Contact us now at 201-654-3464 for a free consultation with a lawyer who handles both criminal charges and child services investigations in New Jersey.
Can a Criminal Charge Affect Child Custody in Newark, NJ?
Any time a legal issue involves a child, the Court will always try to determine what will be in the “best interests of the child.” When making custody or visitation decisions, deciding what might be best for a child can be very difficult. The Court often looks to specific evidence to determine what type of situation will support and nurture the child so that he or she has the best possible chance to thrive in the future. These things may include the location of the parent to specific resources and education, the relationship between the parent and the child, the financial resources of each parent, and a variety of other factors. Unfortunately, if you have a criminal conviction or pending criminal charge, that is one of many factors that is considered in making a child custody decision.
Charged with a Crime in Bloomfield, Will I Lose my Kids?
The type of criminal charge or conviction in your case will impact the court’s decision about custody. For example, a charge for domestic violence will likely have much more impact than charges for forgery. The type of victim of a particular offense will impact the Court’s decisions as well. For example, if the child was involved in the criminal offense or was the victim of the offense, such as in the case of endangering the welfare of a child, this will have a significant negative impact on your likelihood of maintaining custody. Violent crimes are also more likely to affect child custody decisions, including simple assault, terroristic threats, and aggravated assault offenses.
If you have charges currently pending and are being held in jail, the state will have to take into account the possibility that you may not be able to care for your child while you are incarcerated. Unfortunately, simply being in jail for any period can lead to a change in your child custody situation if you are no longer in a relationship with the child’s other parent. If you were already convicted of a crime some time ago, this can also affect custody decisions. For example, if you have been convicted of a drug crime, you may need to convince the Court that you no longer have a drug problem and that your child will not be adversely affected by an ongoing substance abuse issue. In general, the Court will attempt to decrease the child’s exposure to drugs and alcohol if at all possible.
Get Help with Criminal Charges & Child Custody in Essex County, New Jersey
Even when your case is over, a criminal charge and conviction can still affect your rights to visitation. For example, if you violate any terms of your probation, this can result in additional charges, jail time, and a change in your visitation rights. Depending on the situation, your visitation may be reduced or at least changed from unsupervised to supervised. When you are arrested and have children, there is simply too much at stake in these situations to fight the charges on your own. Let the criminal defense team at our firm help you take every step you can to avoid a conviction and state intervention that could harm your relationship with your child. Contact our local office in Newark at 201-654-3464 to speak with a lawyer free of charge. We serve clients through all of Essex County, including in Bloomfield, Montclair, East Orange, Verona, Nutley, South Orange, and Belleville.