NEWARK, JERSEY CITY, and ELIZABETH, New Jersey. If you are a parent, drug convictions can come with serious collateral consequences. One of these is that child protective services can take your children away from you if they determine that your behavior may have posed a danger or risk to your children. According to the New York Times, for parents who have had their children taken into child protective services, they often face a strict timeline to get sober. Even those parents who do get sober, face immense hurdles to getting their children back. In more and more cases, child protective services have been putting children up for adoption when their parents fail to get sober or fail to prove sufficiently to the court that they won’t pose a danger to their children.
According to Live Strong, parents with certain felony convictions could face termination of parental rights, or could face having serious restrictions placed on their parental rights. The courts tend to distinguish between convictions that could potentially endanger the child and convictions which would not pose a danger to the child. Drug convictions and DUI convictions (in which the child was in the car), could give the court reason to place a child in foster care, curtail a parent’s right to see the child, or result in loss of custody. However, not all drug convictions, in and of themselves, should necessarily result in termination of parental rights. Minor drug possession charges and DUIs in which there was no child present in the vehicle generally shouldn’t be used as grounds to terminate a parent’s rights or limit custody or visitation. However, sometimes parents may need to fight for their parental rights in court.
Fighting to get custody back can be a challenge for parents who have served their time. The Times reports that sometimes parents don’t have a choice about where their children can reside while they get clean. While the state will sometimes place the children with family, in some cases, the state places the children in foster care.
In order to get their children back, parents may need to prove to the court that they are clean and sober. They may also have to prove that it is in the best interests of the child for the child to reside with them, especially if the child has been in foster care for some time. The Times reports that many parents face challenges when their children have been in foster care for months because the court will generally favor continuity of a stable situation (namely foster care) rather than changing the child’s circumstances, even if that means that the child will get the chance to reside with the parent.
If you have been arrested for drug charges, much might be at stake. Your very custody of your children could be on the line. Because of these potentially serious consequences, it is important to protect your rights. The Law Office of Eric M. Mark are drug possession lawyers in Elizabeth, New Jersey who may be able to help you. Our firm can review the circumstances of your arrest, review evidence gathered against you, and fight to help you get the best possible outcome. Navigating the legal system can be challenging, and the prospect of losing your custody can be devastating. Don’t try to navigate the system alone. Visit our firm at the Law Office of Eric M. Mark today to learn more and to protect your rights.
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