If you were arrested and charged with DUI, you might be panicking. You are probably wondering how you will get to work or school, how you will afford the costs, and whether you can avoid jail time.
A DUI is a serious charge with severe consequences, but working with an experienced criminal defense attorney could lead to a better outcome. Contact a Lawrence DUI lawyer for advice as soon as possible after an arrest for impaired driving.
Parallel Proceedings After a DUI Arrest
A DUI arrest triggers criminal prosecution and an administrative process affecting the accused driver’s license. They are separate proceedings, and the outcome of one does not impact the result of the other. A capable Lawrence DUI attorney could represent an accused individual in both proceedings.
When the police make a DUI arrest, they hold the accused driver’s license and issue the driver a pink form. The form explains the driver must make a written request to the Department of Revenue for a hearing within 14 days, or their license will be suspended.
If the driver or their attorney requests a hearing, the driver retains their driving privileges until the hearing, which could be several months after the Department receives the request. The hearing request could demand the arresting officer also appear at the hearing, giving the driver’s attorney a chance to challenge the reason for the traffic stop and the procedures the officer used to determine the driver was intoxicated.
The driver has the burden of proving their license should not be suspended. If they cannot do so, the penalties depend on the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and whether they have prior convictions. The driver’s license could be suspended for as long as one year, plus several years of driving with an ignition interlock device.
Kansas Statutes Annotated § 8-1567 makes it illegal to operate a motor vehicle when a driver’s BAC is .08 or above or if they are impaired by drugs, alcohol, or a combination that renders them unable to operate a vehicle safely. The crime is a Class B, non-person misdemeanor for a first offense. The second and subsequent offenses are Class A, non-person misdemeanors.
Convictions for DUI carry mandatory jail sentences. A first offender must serve at least 48 consecutive hours in jail unless they complete 100 hours of community service and pay a fine between $750 and $1,000. The jail sentence could be as long as six months, and the judge may not suspend or reduce it unless the offender has served 48 houHars or completed their community service.
A person convicted of DUI for the second time faces harsher penalties. The jail sentence could extend from 90 days to one year, and an offender must serve at least five days of the sentence. Fines for second offenses range from $1,250-$1,750.
Defenses to DUI Charges
Sometimes people believe that if they fail a chemical test, they have no defense to DUI charges. A skilled DUI lawyer in Lawrence could mount a vigorous defense even when the accused’s BAC indicated they were legally impaired.
Improper Traffic Stop
An officer must have a reasonable suspicion to stop a vehicle. The officer’s dashcam footage and other video could show that there was no reason to suspect the driver was violating the law. In that case, the stop was illegal, and any evidence the officer obtained during the stop is inadmissible.
Questionable Test Results
A seasoned legal professional could also question the procedures the officer used to administer a chemical test, challenge the accuracy of the equipment used, and dispute whether the officer had the requisite training to administer the test properly. In addition, a determined attorney could bring up any health issues the accused suffers from that might have impacted the sobriety tests.
The arresting officers must obtain consent for a search and inform a suspect of their rights before arresting them. If an accused’s rights were violated, a knowledgeable defense attorney could ask a judge to exclude the evidence the officers obtained illegally.
Rely on a Lawrence DUI Attorney for Your Defense
When you are arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you face serious consequences—including jail time, substantial fines, and driver’s license suspension. In addition, your insurance rates are likely to increase significantly.
A Lawrence DUI lawyer could help you avoid a conviction. If the prosecution has a solid case, they could negotiate the least burdensome outcome possible under the circumstances. Speak with a local defense attorney immediately after you are arrested. Call today.