Petty Offenses Are Relevant in Custody Cases
Video Transcribed: So guys, let’s talk about Mickey Mouse offenses and your custody rights in Tulsa. My name is Brian L. Jackson here with Dads.Law, I am a father’s rights attorney in Tulsa. I want to talk to you guys about petty offenses and whether they could or could affect your custody case. And if so, how it might affect your custody case.
Now, when I say petty offenses, what I’m talking about would be things like, well traffic citations, assuming you’re not talking about a DUI or something, you know. Maybe like petty larceny. Probably public urination would fall into this category, although that’s borderline. Public drunk. Those are some examples of some petty offenses. Trespass, wouldn’t be forbidden. I think now simple possession could probably be said to fall into that category.
In other words, we’re talking about offenses that typically constitute, they carry a fine, there might be some jail time, but it’s not common practice to jail people for it. And, you know we’re not talking about stuff. That’s going to put you in prison. In other words, if you do jail time, it’d be a couple of days in the county, more likely you’re going to pay a fine and you might be on probation.
That’s what I mean when I say petty offenses. I mean, they’re still crimes, but we’re not talking about a serious crime. Now, I’m going to start by saying that in theory, any petty offense could be considered relevant to the best interest analysis.
So the best bet, especially if you’re looking at an initial custody determination is not to get a petty offense. Don’t speed. Don’t steal. If you’re going to smoke weed, get the card. You know, things like that. But, if you have been busted, here are some things to keep in mind.
It is relevant. The level of relevancy is going to depend on how close the nexus is to your ability to care for children. That’s really what the court’s going to consider. How does it impact your fitness to care for children?
So, getting popped with drugs, especially hard drugs is going to probably be looked at harder than your speeding ticket. Although if you were speeding with the kids in the car, that’s a different situation. Then the judge will probably consider that more harshly. Seatbelt ticket.
You know, if it’s your seatbelt ticket, prob judge probably won’t care that much. If it’s a seatbelt ticket for one of your children, you’re going to have a problem, potentially. They’re certainly not going to like it.
Although it may result in an order, the kid in a damn seatbelt or a safety seat, because you know, a lot of our judges here in Tulsa will go with the least restrictive means.
So, it may result if the child was unharmed and it was just a ticket, it may result in you just being told, put a seatbelt on him. But, it could result in you being subject to additional restrictions. So that’s a different situation. Stealing, I mentioned shoplifting.
That is something that calls your moral character into question. That’s certainly something that could make you look really bad to a judge if you’re dealing with… Especially with younger children or even with teenagers, because it sets a bad example.
Public drunk is sort of the same thing. Particularly if you have a rash of those, it could suggest that you have a substance abuse problem and that might result in the judge taking certain actions against you. It could very likely result in you being told you cannot imbibe alcohol in the presence of your child.
So, the thing to understand about petty offenses, they are relevant. The level of relevancy really depends on the petty offense in question and whether or not your child was present when it happened. You take your child shoplifting, you’re going to have problems.
I’m just going to tell you right now. Although, you may have worse problems even than just whatever happens in family court. Because, at that point, that’s contributing to the delinquency, which is a more serious crime, but, or it could be potentially depending on if the child was stealing.
At the very least, I think if you’re stealing with your child in your care, that could give rise to some kind of a claim of neglect. So, you got to be careful. And obviously, when I say be careful, I mean, don’t steal for crying out loud. I mean, I want to be clear about that. I’m not endorsing going shoplifting, don’t steal.
But, just be aware that petty offenses do are considered. But, it’s also not necessarily devastating to you either. I mean, any of these crimes I’m talking about at worst are a criminal misdemeanor, I mean, unless you’re talking about stealing, like the $5,000 flat screen, it’s a misdemeanor. Should you be doing it? Hell no. But, is it going to ruin your chances of ever having unsupervised contact with your child? Most likely not. Not unless you just continually engage in the same behavior.
So, the thing to understand with this, they are relevant. The weight they carry depends on the offense. It’s not going to hurt you as bad as if you’ve got felonies, but it is something that could potentially be brought up. And, if you do have a criminal history and you’re in the midst of child custody litigation, you should go to Dads.Law and we’ll help you out. Thanks.