DUI Defense Attorney in Lawrence, Kansas
Drunk driving is a serious matter, even with the rates of alcohol-impaired driving fatalities having fallen 22.7% over the last decade. Those who’ve recently been charged with a DUI in Kansas will need to think clearly about their next steps. Whether this is your first offense or if you’ve been charged before, there’s almost always a way to reduce the potential penalties and get you back to your life. If you’re looking for an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Lawrence, Kansas, I can help you better understand the charges you’re facing and help you come up with a fair and skillful approach that ensures your rights are protected.
DUI/DWI Charges in Kansas
The designations of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) are used interchangeably in Kansas, and are used to charge those caught operating a vehicle with a breath alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. The charges will vary depending on the severity of the situation, whether you’ve had past offenses, and the extent of your criminal record.
It’s worth noting that you don’t actually have to be driving to get a DUI. If an officer finds you in a parked car with enough evidence that you’re “in control of the vehicle,” they can still charge you with a DUI. Factors such as if the car is in gear, the location of the keys, and your physical location in the car can all play a role. In these cases especially, you should retain a lawyer to help you fight the charges.
DUI Tests and Your Rights
Kansas is an implied consent state, meaning when you operate a vehicle you are consenting to take any field sobriety tests if you’re stopped by an officer who has a reasonable suspicion you’re driving while intoxicated. You do have the right to refuse the test, but you’ll face consequences for this. With any refusal, you’ll automatically incur a one year revocation of your license (called a “chemical revocation”), and your refusal can be used against you in court. However, you can appeal this revocation and have your license reinstated if you’re successful.
The penalties for a DUI/DWI conviction get more severe with subsequent offenses or if other people were affected or harmed by your driving. A first offense may only carry a minimum jail sentence of 48 hours, a $1,000 fine, and a suspended license for 30 days. However, a third offense carries with it jail time of 90 days to one year, fines of up to $2,500, and a suspended license for one year. More severe DUI-related offenses such as involuntary manslaughter or drunk driving with a minor under the age of 14 in the car carry much heavier penalties such as enhanced jail time or even felony convictions.
Ignition Interlock Program
Most DUI convictions also carry with them a provision that the driver must install an ignition interlock device (IID) in their car after their initial license suspension is over. This program was started as a deterrent for repeat DUI offenders, and is a handheld device that the driver must blow into to register their BAC before the ignition will engage. Some of these systems are also equipped with cameras and GPS devices to ensure compliance. For some first time offenders, you may be given the option to install an IID in your car in exchange for a reduction in your suspension time.
DUI/DWI Defense Attorney in Lawrence, Kansas
Receiving a DUI or DWI charge doesn’t mean your life is over. But without a qualified criminal defense lawyer, you risk seeing the maximum fines and penalties imposed on you. I can help you fight your charge—and in some cases, seek to have your case thrown out completely. From my office in Lawrence, I serve clients throughout Kansas and Missouri, including Olathe, Overland Park, and Lenexa. Call me today for a consultation.