Can an Arrest Impact Your Custody or Time-Sharing Plan?

Can an Arrest Impact Your Custody or Time-Sharing Plan?

Getting arrested can be stressful for anyone, though you may have additional concerns if you share custody of your children. It is common to wonder whether your arrest will affect your time-sharing rights, and the answer will depend on the specifics of your situation. You should not wait to discuss an arrest with a criminal defense lawyer in Tampa who also handles complex family law cases.

Effects of the Initial Arrest

An arrest will not always change your time-sharing agreement right away. First, if you are arrested on suspicion of a relatively minor offense and released with a summons, you should still be able to abide by your time-sharing schedule with little interruption. An arrest does not mean that you are guilty of the offense since you will need to be convicted in criminal court first. In many cases, time-sharing schedules will continue as usual while a case is pending.

If you were arrested on suspicion of domestic abuse, violating a protective order, or another type of violent crime, the other parent may petition the court to try to obtain temporary sole time-sharing rights by claiming you may be a threat to the child’s safety. The court will review the situation and make a determination. In addition, if you cannot make bail or you are being held without bail, you will not be able to share time while you are in jail and changes will need to be made to the arrangement, at least temporarily.

Criminal Convictions and Sentencing

If you are convicted of a crime and sentenced to prison time, the other parent can request changes in the time-sharing order based on your absence. However, if you receive a sentence of probation, a criminal conviction should not automatically result in the loss of custody privileges. Instead, the law requires a court to examine whether changing the time-sharing agreement is in the best interests of the child. Some factors the court will examine include:

  • The type of offense in question
  • Whether the offense indicates you may be a threat to the child
  • Whether the offense indicates you may have substance abuse or anger management problems

If you are convicted of a sex crime with a minor victim, chances are the court can find that unsupervised visits are not in the best interests of the child. On the other hand, if you are convicted of shoplifting, that type of conduct will likely not affect your ability to properly care for your child.

Consult with a Tampa Criminal Defense and Family Law Attorney as Soon as Possible

After an arrest, you should immediately contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Tampa to prevent unnecessary convictions and consequences, such as the loss of child time-sharing rights. Attorney Mark G. Rodriguez can help with both your criminal case and to protect your parental rights, so please call 813-227-9642 or contact us online for more information today.