A DUI charge can have a huge impact on your life, such as your ability to drive or how well you can find employment. But a DUI doesn’t have to change your life completely. With the best DUI lawyer in Shawnee, KS, you can protect yourself and minimize the negative impact of a DUI case. In the best circumstances, you may even be able to have your case dismissed.
DUI in Shawnee, KS? Protect Yourself With the Best DUI Lawyer in Your Area
When you have been arrested or charged with a DUI, the first thing you should do is find the best DUI lawyer you can in Shawnee, KS. Finding an experienced DUI lawyer can turn your case around and minimize the negative consequences of your life. Specifically, an experienced lawyer will have knowledge about local DUI regulations and how local courts treat DUI cases, both of which are essential components of navigating any charges you may have.
Kansas and DUI Charges
Unlike many states in the country, Kansas has very strict DUI punishments. In addition to increasingly high fines, all offenders have to comply with drug counseling classes, a mandatory interlock on their vehicle, license suspension, car impoundment, and possible imprisonment or community service. If you’re a repeat offender or your case has special circumstances, such as a child under 14 in the car, then the punishment for your DUI charge will become more extreme.
Kansas takes a firm stance on DUI charges for the sake of public safety. Driving while intoxicated or while under the influence is considered criminally reckless since operating a motor vehicle without full awareness can harm yourself, other people, and property. Car accidents associated with intoxication are often more deadly than regular traffic accidents.
Does a DUI Only Mean Alcohol?
When a DUI charge is talked about, most of the time the “intoxication/influence” is referring to driving while legally drunk. Being legally drunk means that your blood alcohol level is over the accepted standard for your local area. However, some DUI charges are not related to alcohol at all.
For many people who are charged with a DUI, illicit drugs may be the reason for the intoxication. In Kansas, illicit drugs also include marijuana since recreational marijuana is not legal in the state. Some prescription medications, such as sleeping aids, may also qualify as driving under the influence.
What Are Some Potential Consequences?
The charges and consequences associated with your DUI will generally be determined by whether or not your arrest is a first-time charge or not. First-time offenders face steep fines and punishments, but repeat offenders typically have to deal with increased charges – sometimes even felony offense charges.
For a first-time DUI offense, your fine will range from $750 to $1,000, along with imprisonment for a maximum of six months, a drug and alcohol education program, car impoundment, and license suspension. Some first-time charges can trade imprisonment for community service hours with the help of the best DUI lawyers.
For a second-time offender, the fine you will owe will range from $1,250 to $1,750. You may face jail time for up to one year, along with the completion of the education program, license suspension for one year, car impoundment for up to one year, and the installation of a mandatory interlock device after your license suspension.
Third and Fourth-Time Offense
By the third or fourth time you are charged with a DUI, you are considered a repeat offender and you will likely face felony charges. The other consequences of this charge will include a fine from $1,750 to $2,500 and the other consequences second-time offenders must complete. The catch with a felony charge is that it will stay on your record, while other DUI charges may not.
If you are arrested and charged with a DUI for the fifth time, then your license will be permanently revoked and you will have to pay a maximum fine of $2,500 along with the completion of a mandatory drug and alcohol education program. The felony charge on your record may make it difficult to secure shelter or employment.
DUI With Aggravated Battery Felony
If you were driving under the influence of alcohol, illicit drugs, or certain prescription medications and someone was seriously injured by your actions, then you will likely be facing a DUI with an aggravated battery felony charge. This is a very serious charge. In addition to other financial consequences, your jail time may range from 31 to 136 months, depending on the circumstances of your case and your previous criminal history.
How Can You Avoid Max Sentence Consequences?
The potential consequences of your charge will be related to the number of offenses you have on your record, but these consequences are just estimates. Extenuating circumstances may determine that your jail time is more or less based on certain factors. The only way to avoid the maximum sentencing for your specific charges is to hire an experienced DUI lawyer, who will be able to advocate for your interest to reduce your charges or even have your charges dismissed.
What Are Common Strategies?
The specific strategy used to minimize your charge will depend on the circumstances of your arrest or DUI charge. There are details about how the DUI charge was conducted that may be relevant to how your charge is treated. For example, if you were charged with a DUI but your blood alcohol level didn’t reach the level that is considered intoxicated, your charge may be dismissed. Some other strategies include:
Incorrect Traffic Stop
Most of the time, DUI charges happen due to a traffic stop by a police officer who identifies something specifically illegal about your driving. Under Kansas state law, the police are not allowed to pull you over unless your driving weaves or sways over road lines, such as the white or yellow lines to divide oncoming traffic. If you were pulled over for “weaving” but you weren’t weaving to that degree, then this is considered unethical stopping.
The police are not allowed to pull drivers over for traffic stops randomly. There must be a legitimate reason to pull over a driver, such as speeding while driving or broken lights on the vehicle. Without a legitimate reason to pull over a driver, any charges against the driver (including a DUI) may have grounds for dismissal.
Faulty Field Sobriety or Breathalyzer Tests
The only way the police can accurately charge you with a DUI is by adhering to a specific process that will judge whether or not you were intoxicated behind the wheel. One part of that process is field sobriety tests that are administered outside of the standard protocol that will interfere with the results of the test, such as using non-standard instructions. Similarly, a faulty breathalyzer test may also be grounds for acquittal in your DUI case.
If you are facing DUI charges, it’s in your best interest to find the best DUI lawyer in Shawnee, KS to help fight for your interests. There may be circumstances about your case that can help minimize or even dismiss some of your charges. Please contact Billam & Henderson in Overland Park, KS to discuss your DUI case today.