Kansas DUI Law
In the state of Kansas, driving under the influence is a criminal offense. This criminal offense will result in criminal charges being brought against you and administrative penalties that will revoke or restrict your driving privileges. Having a DUI offense against you can tarnish your reputation and make it difficult for you to get to work and meet other life obligations. Because a DUI conviction has the power to change your life, hiring a Kansas DUI attorney can help you to defend yourself as successfully as possible in the Kansas court system. A qualified Kansas DUI lawyer can help you to win your case because they have better access to expert witnesses and more knowledge of and experience with the complex driving under the influence laws in Kansas. If you want the best chance of winning your case, hiring a Kansas DUI attorney is the best way to go.
Kansas DUI Cases
In Kansas, a DUI offense must be prosecuted like any other crime. The prosecutor must show, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant was guilty of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. There are two sets of information that a prosecutor can rely upon while prosecuting a DUI criminal case. One set of information has the purpose of showing that a defendant was under the influence. Information such as the appearance of the defendant, how the defendant was driving, and the smell of alcohol being on the defendant can be taken into consideration. The second set of information is actual one single piece of evidence. If a driver submitted to a chemical test and exhibited a blood alcohol level of 0.08% or greater, that evidence can be used to show that the defendant is guilty of driving under the influence.
Defending yourself against a DUI case in Kansas will require that you have a qualified Kansas DUI attorney by your side. Having someone experienced in handling DUI cases can introduce independent witnesses who can testify that you were not intoxicated, examine expert witnesses who can speak to the unreliability of chemical test results, and help plant the seeds of doubt for when it is time to make a decision about your future. These abilities make having a Kansas DUI lawyer represent you well worth the money you spend on legal fees to keep your driving privileges and keep yourself out of jail.
Administrative Driving Penalties
The license suspension period for driving under the influence in Kansas is 30 days to one year. When you are arrested, you should be given a pink form called the DC-27. This form tells you how to request a hearing on your suspension. If you do not take advantage of this hearing opportunity, your license will be suspended and you will be left without recourse. Having a Kansas DUI lawyer represent you at your hearing is extremely important. You may be able to keep your driving privileges intact if your attorney can show that the officer did not have grounds for pulling you over or that the testing procedures used were not acceptable or reliable. Because saving your license is usually a DUI offender’s first priority, having a qualified Kansas DUI attorney represent you at your hearing can make the difference between successfully defending yourself against the suspension and losing your license for up to one year.
Kansas Criminal DUI Penalties
The penalties for driving under the influence in Kansas have increased as people have become more intolerant of DUI offenses. The penalties increase with each offense and with special circumstances involved in individual DUI cases. A first conviction for driving under the influence is categorized as a class B misdemeanor. The penalties can include jail time, alcohol evaluation, license suspension, and fines. The offender must complete 48 hours of jail time, or, the court may sentence the offender to 100 hours of community service instead. The fines for a first offense are between $500 and $1,000 and the license suspension period is 30 days with 330 days of restrictions. Drug and alcohol evaluation is also required and you will be required to comply with any recommendations made by the evaluator. A second DUI conviction is classified as a class A misdemeanor and the penalties are more severe than for a first offense. 90 days to one year in jail is the possible jail term, but the defendant must only serve five days minimum. The rest of the time can be served in a work release program or similar programs. The fine for a second offense is $1,000 to $1,500 and drug and alcohol treatment is mandatory. The convicted offender’s license will be suspended and one year of ignition interlock usage is required after the offender’s license is reinstated. A third DUI conviction is classified as a felony and the penalties are more severe. 90 days in jail is mandatory for this level of offense, but a judge can choose to allow the offender to serve all but 48 hours of this jail time in a work release program or on house arrest. Potential fines range from $1,500 to $2,500 and the offender’s license will be suspended for one year followed by another year of required ignition interlock device usage. Fourth DUI offenses are also classified as felonies in Kansas. The fine for this offense level is $2,500. The offender must serve 72 hours of jail time with the rest of the jail term served on house arrest or in a work release program. The license suspension period is one year followed by another year of ignition interlock usage. A fifth offense results in permanent loss of driving privileges.
Juvenile DUI and Under 21 DUI in Kansas
Specific rules exist regarding driving under the influence for juveniles and persons under the age of 21. Juveniles are defined as adolescents between the ages of 14 and 18 but have not turned 18 yet. The sentence for a juvenile DUI charge is 10 days, but this sentence is served in a juvenile detention center instead of an adult prison. The offender’s license may be suspended for one year. For 18-21 year olds, driving under the influence is also against the law. For a BAC of .02-.079, driving privileges may be suspended for 30 days for a first offense and one year for second and subsequent offenses. A blood alcohol of 0.08 or greater results in a one year suspension. The offender has ten days to request a hearing into the validity of the administrative suspension.
Kansas is one of the few states that allow an offender to participate in a DUI conversion program if they meet the requirements. If an offender has never been convicted of a DUI offense, has never contracted to participate in a diversion program, and the offense did not result in an accident causing injury or death, he or she may be eligible for a conversion program. This is a contract between the offender and the county where the offender gives up his or her right to a fair and speedy trial in exchange for not receiving a conviction on their record. The offender must pay a fine, stop using any alcohol or drugs, participate in alcohol and drug education or treatment, and fulfill any other required elements. If you carry out all of the requirements, your conviction will be dismissed after one year. If you do not carry out these requirements, your case will be reopened and come up for trial in the criminal court system. Hiring a Kansas DUI lawyer can help you to understand these terms and preserve your good reputation and ability to provide for your family.
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