Written by attorney Brandan Joseph Davies Esq.

Kansas DUI 101... What you need to know.

What to expect when you've been given a DUI in Kansas. There are two separate actions a driver charged with a DUI is a party to. Both actions affect your privilege to drive and a defendant will benefit from the advice of council during both processes.

The Administrative Action

The Administrative action involves the suspension of your driving privilege (Suspending your Drivers license) and is conducted by the Kansas Department of Revenue. It is important to remember that this action is not a criminal action. There will be no judge or prosecutor. This is an administrative procedure to determine if your license should be suspended based on the charge of driving under the influence. This process is crutial to a person accused of DUI, and you may waive your right to have this hearing if you don't request the hearing in a timely manner. Once you've been given an administrative hearing there are several factors that the Kansas Department of Revenue will evaluate when determining how long your license will be suspended including but not exclusively: 1. If you failed the chemical test 2. If you refused the chemical test 3. If it is the first time you have failed a Chemical test 4. If you are under 21 years of age Driver's license suspensions often range from 30 days to 365 days. You need an experienced attorney to advocate for you in the administrative proceeding to minimize any suspension you might receive.

The Criminal Action

The criminal action is your day in court. It ultimately determines if your case is dismissed or you go to jail and pay a fine. An experienced and talented attorney can effect the outcome in your favor and minimize any restrictions placed upon you. Many DUI cases can be beat if an attorney has the proper notice and time to collect evidence and prepare an adequate defense. If you are convicted there are a wide range of punishments and an attorney can be your advocate to help diminish the effects of a DUI on your life. Punishment ranges for DUI convictions follow:

1st DUI Conviction A first conviction for DUI is a Class B misdemeanor. The potential jail sentences range from 2 days to 180 days in jail. The convicted person has a Mandatory Jail Sentence of at least 48 hours, unless the court orders that the person complete 100 hours of community service instead of the term of imprisonment. The fine for a first conviction ranges between $500 and $1,000. Upon a first conviction, driving privileges are often suspended for 30 days, followed by 330 days of restrictions. The convicted person will also be required to undergo a drug and/or alcohol evaluation and will have to complete whatever treatment is recommended by the evaluator. 2nd DUI Conviction A second conviction for DUI is a Class A misdemeanor. The potential jail sentence is 90 days to 365 days in jail. The person must serve at least five days, but typically after forty eight (48) hours your attorney can request that the judge order that the remainder of the sentence be served in a work release program or on house arrest. It will also be required that you complete a substance abuse treatment program. The fine amount for a second conviction ranges from $1,000 to $1,500. Further, upon a second conviction, driving privileges are suspended for one year followed by one year of ignition interlock restrictions. 3rd DUI Conviction A third conviction for DUI is a felony. The sentence includes 90 days to 365 days in jail. You must spend 90 days jail. However, after 48 hours in jail, the judge can order that the remainder of the sentence by served in work release or on house arrest. The fine amount ranges from $1,500 to $2,500. Upon a third conviction, driving privileges are suspended for one year followed by one year of ignition interlock restrictions 4th DUI Conviction A fourth conviction for DUI is also a felony. Like a third conviction, there is a minimum sentence of imprisonment for ninety 90 days. A person convicted of a fourth or subsequent DUI, however, must serve 72 hours in jail and then may be placed on house arrest or in a work release program. The fine for a fourth conviction is at least $2,500. Driving privileges are suspended for one year followed by one year of interlock restrictions. If there is a subsequent fifth conviction, driving privileges are revoked permanently. Kansas DUI Diversion: You may be eligible for a DUI diversion. The decision to allow a defendant to partake in a city or county's diversion program is solely up the the prosecutor in that jurisdiction. An attorney working for you may be able to effect that decision in your favor, based on evidence in the case or advocating on your behalf. The typical Diversion program is a contract between the city or county and you. In exchange for giving up your rights to challenge the charges you are given the opportunity to enter into the contract with the city or county whereby they agree not to prosecute you on the drunk driving charge if you agree to pay all fines and costs, attend the treatment program recommended by your evaluator, and agree to follow all local, state or federal laws, and abstain from drug and alcohol use. Why do you need an Attorney? A DUI is a very serious charge. It is not the type of thing that you can leave alone and hope for the best. It is not the type of issue you want to put off. A charge of DUI does not automatically equate to a conviction, an experienced attorney can effect the outcome to benefit you. A DUI conviction can mean a lost job, a lost license, a seriously altered lifestyle, and an embarassing public record. Get an attorney on your case as soon as possible to preserve your rights and minimize the negative consequences.

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