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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 117447
Experience:  Experienced attorney: Family law, Estate Law, SS Law etc.
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In June, my husband was charged with two felony counts of risk

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In June, my husband was charged with two felony counts of risk of injury to a minor in the state of CT. He has substance abuse issues with alcohol and marijuana (these are the substances that I know of) and his rock bottom moment was leaving our twin 3 year old children at home unattended. I came home to find them unattended and called the police. He was arrested and charged with two felony counts of risk of injury (I believe it is class C felony?). The police asked me to give a written statement. As a matter of procedure, the police called DCF who did their own investigation and determined they would uphold what was in the police report. They determined that my husband was guilty of physical neglect and closed their case. However, the court case for the felonies is ongoing.

My husband retained an attorney who advised him to enroll in a 1-day parenting class and to get into an outpatient rehab program. For the first time in his life, he did these things but only to look good for the judge. His attorney also told him to ask me for a letter stating he's learned his lesson and will never do anything like this again, etc. I declined to write it. Reason being: it would not be true and it undermines my ability to protect my children in seeking full custody.

Since his arrest, my husband actually went missing for 24 hours. The only time he sees the kids is in the mornings to take them to pre-school. I assess him to make sure he is sober before I will let him take them anywhere. (He tends to use substances in the afternoons or evenings.) He didn't show up one morning and I had to rearrange my work day to drop them off (I also pick them up). I called hospitals, police depts, and contacted his family to try to find him. I was inches away from reporting him missing to the police when he texted me to say he was OK and that he was out drinking all night. He has also gotten drunk and high on other occasions and one time that I know of, he drank so much he stayed at a hotel on a work night. He has been to court twice since the arrest. The first was to plead "not guilty" and the second was this month for Pre-trial where he applied for Accelerated Rehabilitation. His next court date is later this month. I called the court before pre-trial to try to speak with the prosecutor but they told me none had been selected yet and referred me back to the detective. The detective suggested I fax him a written statement saying what I want to see happen.

Basically, I don't want to see him go to jail or lose his job. But, I DO want him to have a permanent record of what he did. He's had DUI's in his past and they're spaced just far enough apart that he isn't being held truly accountable for them. He simply hires an attorney who gets the charges dropped down or dismissed. What should I tell the detective so that these felony charges are not dropped? I want him to have a record because I think he needs to finally face the consequences of his actions. If he doesn't, he will go on abusing substances until he either kills himself, the kids, or some innocent person. I also intend to seek full custody with him having supervised visitation. Neither one of us has filed for divorce yet. What are my chances at getting full custody? I've heard it's tough to get but I have to imagine that with his "rap sheet" his lifestyle, I should have a strong case. What are my odds?
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

If any parent has a conviction or sustained finding by CPS of neglect or abuse of any kind against their own children, the courts rarely if ever will grant them more than supervised visitation for a long time. Because substance abuse is an issue here, the courts will also insist on substance testing randomly and also regularly, meaning he could lose his supervised visitation for testing positive. Based on what you are saying, if it is true your odds are pretty much all in your favor you would get sole custody and he would get at the most supervised visitation.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you very much, Paul. This is more confirmation of what I had been hearing from other sources. Does that mean the courts will base custody more heavily on CPS findings than on whether he is convicted on his two felony charges for risk of injury to a minor? He applied for accelerated rehabilitation (A/R). I interpret A/R as a fancy way of saying "first time offender gets off on the charges." What are the odds he will get off on the two felonies? Does A/R mean he could get off with no record? Or do they typically drop it down to a misdemeanor? I'm not sure how one applies for A/R and claims they are "not guilty."

Thank you for your response.

The courts will absolutely base custody on the fact he was found substantiated for abuse/neglect by CPS, they rarely if ever will grant custody or even unsupervised visitation if CPS found neglect or abuse of their own children, even if the criminal charges are dismissed or he gets a plea deal through the A/R program, which is available to first offenders.

While on A/R he will be considered guilty until he completes the terms of his sentence and then he would not have a conviction, but that does not change the CPS findings and the court would consider those most heavily because there was a finding of abuse regardless of the plea deal he received as a first offender.
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