When a person faces an arrest and prosecution for allegedly driving under the influence (DUI), it is understandable for them to be scared and confused. For many people, this is their first experience with the police in a negative light and their first entry into the criminal court system. From being arrested, to having their license confiscated, to having to appear in court, the experience can be daunting.
If you find yourself in this situation, a Pottawatomie County DUI lawyer could be a valuable ally. A skilled criminal defense attorney could work with you to explain the laws that control your case, evaluate the evidence that led to an arrest, contest the state’s accusations, and protect your rights and freedoms in court.
What Does it Mean to Commit a DUI in Pottawatomie County?
Kansas Statute § 8-1567 defines both DUI and the penalties for all DUI offenses. The statute explicitly outlaws the operation of a vehicle while affected by either drugs or alcohol. This means that police officers can make a traffic stop and arrest a driver based upon a reasonable suspicion of drinking or drug usage.
Additionally, state law prohibits even attempting to operate a vehicle while under the influence. This can lead to seemingly unfair arrests after police observe a person either sleeping in the front seat of a car or sitting in the back with their keys in hand.
What a Prosecutor Must Prove to Obtain a DUI Conviction
Kansas’ DUI statute contains five separate examples of how a person may violate the law. These include:
- Having a blood/alcohol level of .08 percent or more as the result of a blood or breath test
- Having a blood/alcohol level of .08 percent or more within three hours of driving a vehicle
- Being under the influence of alcohol or drugs to the extent that it leaves a person unable to safely drive
- Being under the influence of a drug to the extent that it leaves a person unable to safely drive
- Bring under the influence of a combination of drugs and alcohol that leaves a person unable to safely drive
To obtain this evidence, a police officer may demand that a driver submit to a blood or breath test. They could also ask a driver to participate in a field sobriety test. No matter the exact methods that law enforcement used to obtain evidence against a driver, a Pottawatomie County DUI attorney is prepared to fight back against these tactics in court.
The Possible Consequences of DUI Convictions
The State takes the prospect of DUI extremely seriously, and the punishments for a conviction are accordingly harsh. A conviction for even a first-time DUI under the statute carries multiple penalties, including:
- A fine of no less than $750 but no more than $1,000
- Either imprisonment for no less than 48 hours or 100 hours of community service
- 90-day loss of license
- Potential completion of an alcohol education program
- Possible loss of vehicle for up to one year
- Possible installation of an ignition interlocking device
These are only the minimum penalties that may apply after a first conviction and with no aggravating factors. If a driver is involved in a DUI that results in bodily harm to another person or has prior convictions on their record, DUI can quickly become a life-altering felony accusation. A seasoned lawyer is ready to present a strong defense against any example of a DUI charge in Pottawatomie County.
Reach Out to a Pottawatomie County DUI Attorney Now
If police have charged you with a DUI in Pottawatomie County, a diligent legal professional at our firm may be able to help. They will stand by your side every step of the way from arraignment and bail hearings, through pre-trial motions, to a potential trial.
Whether your goal is to seek a fair and equitable plea deal or to fight the charges in a full trial, our dedicated attorneys will protect your interests with vigor and diligence. With possible consequences ranging from a lengthy jail sentence and hefty fines to license suspension and required education programs, the stakes are high. Do not take any unnecessary chances. Contact a Pottawatomie County DUI lawyer today.