Kansas DUI Defense Attorney Answers Frequently Asked Questions About the Administrative Side of a DUI

July 31st, 2014

When a person is arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) two separate and distinct cases against that person begin. The first is a criminal case, where if the person is found guilty he or she could face punishment, including but not limited to fines and time in jail. The other case is an administrative or “civil” case. While much attention is focused on the criminal case due to the severe penalties, it is important for a person charged with DUI to understand both cases. The following are some of the most frequently asked questions people have about the administrative side of a DUI:

When arrested for DUI the police officer took my driver’s license. Can I still (legally) drive?

When a person is arrested for DUI the police officer will typically take the person’s driver’s license and in exchange give them a pink sheet of paper, which is called a DC-27 form. This form will serve as the person’s temporary driver’s license. If the person does not request an administrative hearing to challenge the suspension per the instructions printed on the form, the person’s license will be automatically suspended after 30 days. Typically the person only has a two week period of time to request a hearing otherwise, he or she is forever barred from the challenging the suspension.

When arrested for DUI I did not submit to a breath/blood test. But now I learned that my driver’s license will be suspended for a year. Why is that?

In Kansas, when a person chooses to have a driver’s license he or she agrees to follow certain rules. One of these rules is known as “implied consent”. What this law means is that the person agrees to submit to a chemical test to determine his or her blood alcohol content (BAC) in the event he or she is pulled over by the police on suspicion of DUI. If a person breaks this rule by not submitting to the test, he or she will have his or her license automatically suspended for a period of 1 year followed by 1 year of restricted driving, requiring  the use of an ignition interlock device.

Should I request an administrative hearing if I blew over a .08?

Whether a person should request a hearing is a decision that should be made after he or she consults with an experienced DUI defense attorney. The good news is that even if a person does not “win” the administrative hearing, he or she will be permitted to drive until after the administrative decision is rendered and for a period of time thereafter.

If I “win” at the administrative hearing, does that mean I will be found “not guilty” of DUI at the criminal proceeding?

The simple answer to this questions is “no”. The result of the administrative hearing will have no bearing on the criminal proceeding. It is possible that a person has a valid defense that he or she can present at the administrative hearing that is not applicable at the criminal proceeding.

Keep in mind that as soon as you are arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) the clock starts ticking. This is why it is so important to consult with an experienced Kansas DUI Defense Attorney as soon as possible. Only a skilled Kansas DUI Defense attorney can properly advise you if it is in your best interest to request an administrative hearing to challenge the suspension of your driver’s license. If you have been arrested and charged with a DUI call the Whitman Law Offices today at (785) 843-9460 to schedule your free and confidential consultation. With more than 35 years of experience handling DUI matters, Attorney Charles E. Whitman, is the only attorney you can trust to make sure your rights are protected.

Understanding the Differences between a Felony and Misdemeanor DUI in Kansas

July 25th, 2014

Before a motorist steps behind the wheel of his or her vehicle, he or she needs to make a decision as to whether he or she is physically able to operate that vehicle. If a motorist is under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, he or she is not only putting him or herself in danger, he or she also runs the risk of being pulled over on suspicion of DUI. In Kansas, the offense of driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a serious crime. Lawmakers are under serious pressure to crackdown on drinking and driving, and the laws reflect this pressure. If you think that you can drive under the influence once and walk away with just a slap on the wrist, you need to stop and think again.

A first time DUI is considered a Class B misdemeanor. The penalties for this offense include 48 hours to 6 months in jail or 100 hours of community service, in addition to fines of up to a $1,000 and court costs. A second DUI is also misdemeanor, but it is considered a Class A offense. As such the penalties increase with fines up to $1,750 and up to one year in jail. Both first and second DUI offenses will also result in the loss of driving privileges for up to a one-year followed by a period after of restricted driving.

In contrast, any DUI following a second DUI is considered a felony charge. A person convicted of his or her third DUI can expect to receive fines of up to $2,500, jail time of one year, a license suspension of one year, and the restriction of driving with an ignition interlock device for a two-year period following the suspension. A third or subsequent DUI is also much serious of a charge in that if the person is found guilty of the charges, he or she will have a felony conviction on his or her criminal record.

Unlike a misdemeanor conviction, a felony conviction means the loss of several civil rights. Convicted felons are prohibited from owning a firearm. While this may not mean too much to some people, for others it will mean not being able to hunt, visit a shooting range, or own a gun for protection. A person with a felony conviction is also banned from voting in public elections and running for a public office.

While there are differences in the penalties between a misdemeanor and felony DUI, it is important to keep in mind that there is no difference between the two when it comes to the criminal proceeding itself. For both misdemeanor and felony DUI offenses, the government or State of Kansas (often just referred to as the “State”) bears the burden of proving that the person charged with DUI is guilty of all charges, beyond any and all reasonable doubt. If the government does not meet its burden, then the jury (or in some instances the judge) must find the person not guilty. Therefore, it is critical to hire a seasoned DUI defense attorney who will thoroughly review the facts and law related to your case, so to uncover any and all defenses you may have to the charges.

 Whether you are charged with misdemeanor or felony DUI, one thing remains the same, you need to contact an experienced Kansas DUI Defense Lawyer to protect your rights as soon as possible. To schedule a free and completely confidential consultation with one of our skilled Kansas DUI Defense Attorneys, call the Whitman Law Offices today at (785) 843-9460. Veteran DUI Defense Attorney Charles E. Whitman will take the time to answer your questions and make sure you understand your rights. You can trust the Whitman Law Offices to provide you with aggressive representation, no matter if you are charged with a misdemeanor or felony DUI.

Do Not Let a DUI Ruin Your Summer Vacation

July 21st, 2014

You do not have to do much but step outside to know that summer is in full swing. The laughter of children on summer break can be heard in every neighborhood and the skyrocketing temperatures make winter feel like a distant memory. One can even tell it is summer just by looking at the roadways which are made much busier with summer travelers. No matter if your summer vacation plans lead you to a lake cottage on the other side of the state, or to a friend’s barbecue in a neighboring town, it is important to travel smart. It is okay to relax and even let your hair down on vacation, as long as your idea of fun does not include driving while intoxicated. Nothing can put the brakes on vacation like being arrested for DUI. The following are just a few ways a DUI can ruin more than just your summer vacation:

  • A weekend behind bars: While your vacation plans might include a trip to a ‘watering hole’ or bar, most people do not want to spend a night behind bars. However, if you are arrested for DUI on Friday evening or at any time on the weekend, the reality is that depending on what county you are arrested in, you could spend the remaining portion of the weekend in jail. At the very least, you may have to stay in jail until a friend or family member can bail you out.
  • No wheels for a while: If you receive a DUI while on vacation, consider that this trip may be your last time driving for a little while. In Kansas, if a driver fails a breath test with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) between .08% and .15% he or she will receive a mandatory 30-day driver’s license suspension. If the driver has a BAC at or above .15 % he or she can expect to have his or her license suspended for one year. In each case the suspension will be followed by a period of restricted driving.
  • Budget busting fines: A first time DUI can include a fine of up to $1,000 plus court costs. This is in addition to attorney’s fees, the cost of having an Ignition Interlock Device installed in your car, and paying for an alcohol and drug treatment program. In addition to any sentence ordered by the court, it is also likely that your car insurance rates will increase significantly, which could end up costing you hundreds if not thousands of dollars over the course of a few years.
  • Consequences that will last longer than any hangover: If you think a hangover can put a damper on your day—the consequences of a DUI can wreak havoc on your life for months and even years to come. The sentence for a first-time DUI can include up to 6 months in jail or 100 hours of community service. Not to mention, that if the DUI is your first encounter with the criminal justice system, you now will also have a criminal record.

If you were charged with a DUI while on vacation this summer, the first thing you need to do is to make an appointment to speak with an experienced Kansas DUI Defense Attorney. Only a qualified Kansas DUI Defense Attorney can provide you with the aggressive representation you need to protect your rights. For almost four decades, Attorney Charles Whitman has provided clients with top-notch DUI representation. Do not trust your case to just any attorney. Contact the Whitman Law Offices today at (785) 843-9460 to schedule your free and completely confidential consultation.

There are Two Sides of Every Kansas DUI

July 2nd, 2014

Most often, when a person is arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or DUI, he or she is first and foremost concerned about the criminal penalties associated with a DUI. Since the criminal penalties for a first-time DUI can be severe, it makes complete sense that most people are preoccupied with this part of a DUI. A first time DUI charge can result in fines of up to a $1,000 and between 48 hours and 6 months spent in jail. However, sometimes a person who is arrested for DUI is so stressed out about what will happen in the criminal proceeding that they fail to notice that there are two sides to every DUI charge.

Although the criminal proceeding is the most important part of a DUI it is important to understand that it is not the only part of a DUI. A DUI charge has two parts, a criminal side and a civil side. The criminal portion of a DUI is very similar to any other criminal case. The government, sometimes referred to as the State of Kansas or just the “State”, needs to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the person charged with the crime of DUI is indeed guilty of the charges. It is the government or State’s burden to prove these charges. If the government cannot meets its burden, then the person charged with DUI must be found not guilty. If a person is found guilty of DUI, then it is up for the court to determine what punishment the person should receive.

The other part of a DUI charge is the civil side, or more commonly referred to as the “administrative” side of a DUI. Whereas the criminal side of a DUI is concerned about findings of guilt and doling out punishment, the administrative side is only concerned about whether a person’s driver privileges should be suspended. Per Kansas law, a person may have his or her driver’s license suspended as related to a DUI for one of two reasons. First, the person was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher. The other reason, is if a person who is pulled over by police on suspicion of DUI refuses to submit to a chemical test to determine his or her BAC. The penalty for a person who refuses a chemical test is a mandatory 1 year suspension.

It is important to understand that there are two sides to a DUI because a person only has a very limited amount of time to request a hearing to fight the administrative suspension. If a person’s does not request an administrative hearing within this very limited amount of time, then he or she is completely prohibited from challenging the administrative decision to have his or her license suspended. Therefore, it is important to seek out the legal advice of an experienced Kansas DUI defense attorney as soon as possible after your arrest so he or she can handle both sides of your DUI case.

The crime of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is an offense that Kansas takes very seriously. If you have been arrested and charged with a DUI only an experienced Kansas DUI Defense Attorney can make sure that your rights were not violated and properly present any defenses you may have to the court. For close to four decades, attorney Charles E. Whitman has diligently defended persons charged with DUI. You can trust the Whitman Law Offices to provide you with quality representation for the both the criminal and administrative portions of your DUI. However, it is imperative that you act quickly to protect your rights. Call The Whitman Law Offices today at (785) 843-9460 to schedule your free and confidential consultation.

Tips for Having a Safe and DUI-Free 4th of July Holiday

June 25th, 2014

Fourth of July is arguably one of the best holidays of the year. What can be more exciting than a summer day spent with family and friends, enjoying a barbecue and relaxing by a pool or lake in the sunshine? Of course, no Independence Day celebration would be complete without an evening watching a fireworks display. This year, July 4th will be even more festive than usual, as the holiday falls on a Friday creating a three day weekend for many people. If you are in the process of planning your 4th of July holiday weekend, make sure your plans include arrangements to get home safely in the event you plan to drink. No one wants a DUI to be a part of his or her Independence Day festivities. To ensure that you enjoy a safe and DUI-free holiday try to follow these tips:

  • Stay hydrated. If your idea of a holiday celebration includes baking and boozing in the sunshine or opting for a liquid lunch, you may want to reconsider your plans. Alcohol and heat do not mix. Not only are you more likely to become intoxicated more quickly in the hot summer sun, you are also more susceptible to heat stroke and other heat related illnesses. This is in part because alcohol is a diuretic. If choose to drink alcohol, alternate your alcoholic beverages with plenty of water or sports drinks and make sure you have a full stomach. It is also a good idea to take frequent breaks in shade to escape the sun’s rays.
  • Be wise about sobriety checkpoints. You can pretty much count on the fact that Kansas police will set up various sobriety checkpoints around the area, to catch those folks who have chosen to drink and drive. Regardless of whether you are stone cold sober or had a couple of drinks, sobriety checkpoints tend to cause many drivers anxiety. Remember, it is not illegal to have a drink and drive. So the best way to approach a checkpoint is with a calmly and without an attitude. Be prepared to hand the officer your registration and driver’s license. However, you can politely decline to answer questions such as, where you were that evening or if you have been drinking. You are also well within your right to choose not to participate in any field sobriety tests.
  • Remember the same rules apply on both land and at sea. If your 4th of July plans include hopping on a boat—keep in mind that the laws regarding operating a boat are the same as the laws regarding operating a motor vehicle. It is illegal to operate both a car and a boat while intoxicated. If you plan to go out on a boat, make sure the driver of the boat is committed to remaining sober.
  • Do not drive while under the influence: The best advice to avoid a possible DUI is to not drink and drive. If you plan to drink over the 4th of July weekend, then plan to take a cab or arrange for alternate transportation home. The few dollars you would spend on a cab ride is far less than the thousands of dollars a DUI could cost you.

If you were charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or DUI over the holiday weekend, you need to speak with an experienced Kansas DUI Defense Attorney as soon as possible. Only a skilled Kansas DUI Defense Attorney can inform you of your rights and determine what legal defenses you may have. Attorney Charles Whitman has provided clients with aggressive DUI representation for more than 35 years. To schedule your free and completely confidential consultation, contact the veteran team of Kansas DUI Defense Attorneys at the Whitman Law Offices by calling (785) 843-9460.

Can Your Smart Phone Help Save You from a DUI?

June 17th, 2014

Whether you are 14 or 41, chances are that you own a smart phone. Smart phones can do some amazing things—much more than store and call phone numbers. Today, people rely on smart phone apps to help them lose weight, serve as vehicles for social networking and for turn-by-turn navigation. Each and every day it seems that a new app is developed, designed to make our lives easier. But could an app help you avoid a charge for driving under the influence or DUI?

Imagine this scenario. You are walking to your car after an evening out with friends. As you make your way to the spot where you parked your car, you start recalling the events of the night, including how many drinks you consumed.  You silently wonder if you are “okay” to drive. Do you hop in the car and hope that you are under the legal limit of .08 or do you call a friend to pick you up? Would it not be nice to be able to reach in your pocket and ask your smart phone if you are okay to drive? Well, it is possible. Several companies have developed smart phone apps that claim to be able to help you determine your blood alcohol content or BAC so that you decide whether you are ok to drive home. While some apps are touted to be better than others, none of them guarantee that you are truly “okay” to drive. Before you consider downloading one of these apps, carefully consider the following:

  • You do not need an app if you are a responsible consumer of alcohol and/or choose not to drink and drive.
  • Be suspicious of any app that claims to help you in the event you are pulled over by a police officer for suspicion of DUI. A cell phone is not going to be of much help in that scenario. You do not want to be fumbling with a phone while an officer is talking to you.
  • Although driving while intoxicated is against the law in all 50 states, certain apps are designed based on one state’s particular laws. So for example, an app based on Iowa law is not going to be of much assistance in Kansas. Keep in mind that even if the app is geared to your state’s laws, the app may not be up-to-date.

Remember, that a DUI is a serious offense. Rather than rely on an app that may or may not work—stick with a tried and true method. One “old-fashioned” way people go about avoiding a DUI is by selecting a person at the beginning of the evening who will not drink to serve as a designated driver for everyone who is drinking. Another great idea is to plan to hail a cab or catch the bus. While these two methods may not be as trendy as a smart phone app, they are much more reliable! Do not let any app replace your own common sense!

If you have been arrested and charged with a DUI do not consult a cell phone app! Only a real and experienced Kansas DUI Defense Attorney can advise you of your rights and provide you with aggressive representation. For more than 35 years, residents of Lawrence and Northeast Kansas who have been charged with DUI have trusted the Whitman Law Offices to provide them with superior legal services. Call the Whitman Law Offices today at (785) 843-9460 to schedule your free and confidential consultation. If necessary, arrangements can be made to have one of our attorneys visit you at home or in jail.

A Failed BAC Test Does Not Always Equal a DUI in Kansas

June 15th, 2014

All too often, drivers who have recently been arrested for a DUI think that they do not have a case because they did not pass the Breathalyzer test, or in other words, blew more than the .08 legal limit. Thinking they have “no case” these drivers then make the huge mistakes of choosing not to hire an attorney and to take the first deal offered to them by the prosecutor.  The mind set of these drivers is that they will be found guilty of DUI anyway, so it best to avoid the cost of an attorney and to get the matter over as quickly as possible. The truth of the matter, however, is that although a police officer has probable cause to arrest a driver if he or she has a blood alcohol content or “BAC” of .08 or higher, it does not necessarily mean that that driver will be found guilty of DUI.

How is this possible? Well, first remember that the State has the burden in any criminal case to prove the defendant guilty of the charge “beyond a reasonable doubt.” If the State is unable to meet its burden, then the defendant is found to be “not guilty” of the charge. Beyond a reasonable doubt is the highest level of burden of proof that a prosecutor must meet. If a judge or jury feels that there is real doubt as to whether the defendant committed the crime, then the State has not met its burden and must find the defendant ‘not guilty’.

The job of any qualified DUI defense attorney is try to discover any facts that would give a Judge or a jury reasonable doubt as to whether the defendant committed a crime. One area where a skilled DUI defense attorney can cause reasonable doubt on the State’s case is by examining the details of the DUI arrest. By looking at the circumstances surrounding the arrest, a knowledgeable DUI defense attorney will be able to determine whether the police handled the arrest properly or if mistakes were made. First, the attorney will take a close look to determine if the police had the proper basis to pull the defendant over in the first place. In Kansas, a police officer must have a reasonable and articulable basis for a traffic stop. For example, if a driver is speeding the officer is justified in pulling over the car because the driver was breaking a traffic law. However, if the officer only had a “weird feeling” about the driver, then the stop would not be legal as the officer did not have proper cause to stop the driver. If the stop is not legal, then anything that follows thereafter, is not admissible in court. Next, the attorney will see if the officer administered the Breathalyzer test properly. If the test was not administered properly, then the test results can be excluded from evidence. This means that the judge or jury will not learn the results of the Breathalyzer test and without any other evidence to show that the defendant had a BAC at or above .08 it will be nearly impossible for the State to win the case.

If you have been arrested for DUI, the most important thing to remember is that even though your urine, blood or breath test came back above the legal limit, you still may have defenses which can allow you beat the charges against you. Before you consider pleading guilty to a DUI charge you owe it to yourself to consult with an accomplished Kansas DUI Defense Lawyer. Only an experienced Kansas DUI Defense attorney can determine whether the police made a mistake and uncover any other defenses. If you have been charged with DUI call the Whitman Law Offices today at (785) 843-9460 to schedule your free and confidential consultation.

What You Need to Know About a 2nd Kansas DUI Charge

June 5th, 2014

Whether your first conviction for driving under the influence was two years ago or ten years ago, one thing remains the same—you have a DUI on your criminal record. If you are fortunate, your first DUI conviction will also be your last DUI conviction. But if you have found yourself in the not so fortunate situation where you have been arrested and charged with a second DUI, you need to be smart and act quickly.

The punishment for a second DUI conviction is even more severe than for a first DUI conviction. While a first conviction is considered a Class B misdemeanor, a second conviction is a Class A misdemeanor. When you are facing a second DUI conviction, it is critical that you find a qualified DUI defense attorney that has a deep understanding of Kansas DUI laws who can help you beat the charges, otherwise you could be facing the following penalties:

  • Fines: A second conviction comes with fines of not less than $1,250 but not more than $1,750. The fine is in addition to any court costs. In some instances fines can be “paid” with community service at a rate of $5 per hour, which would result in a total of 250 to 350 hours of service.
  • Driver’s license suspension: A person’s driving privileges will be suspended for a period of one year. After the one year suspension the person will need to have an Ignition Interlock Device installed on his or her vehicle, at his or her own expense, for at least one additional year following the suspension.
  • Term of imprisonment: The minimum sentence for a second conviction is not less than 90 days but can be as long as one year. A person must serve 5 consecutive days of his or her sentence before the person can be granted probation, or receive a suspension or reduction of a sentence. Under certain circumstances a person may be able to serve his or sentence under a work release program or under house arrest using an electronic monitoring device.
  • Treatment program: A person must participate in an alcohol and drug evaluation program at his or her own expense.

The important thing to remember whether you are facing your first, second or even fourth DUI charge is that the same rules apply. The State still needs to be able to prove ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ that you are guilty of each and every element of the offense of driving under the influence. The fact that you have a DUI conviction on your criminal record has no importance on whether you will be found guilty or not guilty of a subsequent DUI charge. The only thing that changes with each ensuing DUI conviction is the penalties upon conviction. Therefore, you need an experienced DUI defense attorney who can determine what defenses you may have to the charges. Do not make the mistake of taking the ‘deal’ offered by the prosecutor without first talking to a knowledgeable and reputable DUI defense attorney about your legal rights.

A repeat charge for driving under the influence of alcohol is a serious offense and with it comes harsh penalties. Therefore, it is best to trust only a skilled Kansas DUI Defense Attorney to handle your case. Only an experienced Kansas DUI Defense attorney can properly advise you of your legal rights and uncover all possible defenses you may have. If you have been charged with your second DUI, call the Whitman Law Offices today at (785) 843-9460 to schedule your free and confidential consultation. Attorney Charles E. Whitman has more than 35 years of experience representing persons charged with DUI. You can trust the Whitman Law Offices to provide you with aggressive representation.

Appellate Court Rules No 6th Amendment Right for DUI Diversion Proceeding

May 28th, 2014

The Constitution of the United States is the cornerstone document of not only our legal system, but also of our government. The Constitution, which went into effect back in 1789, not only outlines the three basic branches of our federal government, it also protects what most Americans know as each citizen’s “fundamental rights”. These rights are embodied in the first ten amendments to the Constitution and are collectively known as the Bill of Rights.

Most Americans know that the 6th Amendment of the Constitution protects the rights of criminal defendants and includes the right to be represented by an attorney. However, many Americans are not aware that the right ‘to an attorney in a legal proceeding’ under the 6th Amendment does not apply to all types of criminal cases. Recently, the Kansas Appellate Court addressed the issue in the case of State of Kansas vs. Tims of whether a criminal defendant has the right to counsel under the 6th amendment in a DUI diversion proceeding. The relevant facts of the case are as follows:

Daniel Tims was arrested and charged with DUI in 2012. However, this was not Tims’ first DUI. Tims had been previously found guilty of DUI in 2004 and entered into a diversion agreement on another DUI in 2002. The State charged Tims 2012 DUI as a felony since under Kansas State law a third DUI conviction is considered a felony if the person had a prior DUI conviction in the proceeding 10 years. Tims’ attorney filed a motion with the court to exclude Tims’ 2002 DUI diversion from his criminal history arguing it was invalid as Tims’ was without counsel. The district court agreed with Tims’ position and granted his motion. Although Tims was found guilty on the 2012 DUI charge, he was sentenced to a 2nd conviction misdemeanor as opposed to a 3rd conviction felony, since his uncounseled DUI was not considered as a conviction. The State appealed on the basis that the sentence was illegal.

The appellate court concluded that a criminal defendant does not have the right to appointed counsel under the 6th amendment. The Appellate court did determine that a defendant does however, have the right to retain private counsel if he or she so desires. The court found that during the diversion conference, Tims knowingly and voluntarily waived his right to counsel. The court found that Tims’ waiver of his right to counsel was valid and remanded the case for resentencing as a 3rd conviction felony DUI.

The most important lesson to learn from this court decision is that it is always a good idea to consult with an experienced Kansas DUI Defense Attorney as soon as possible after your arrest. Only a seasoned DUI defense attorney will be able to educate you on the law and help you understand and evaluate your legal options. Another thing to remember is that if you accept and complete a DUI diversion it can and most likely will be used against you in the event you are charged with another DUI in the future. This means that you must take each and every DUI seriously.  Do not be fooled into thinking that a first DUI does not really matter.

If you have been arrested for driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, it is imperative that you speak with an experienced Kansas DUI Defense Attorney as soon as possible. For more than thirty five years, attorney Charles E. Whitman has provided aggressive representation for individuals throughout Lawrence and Northeast Kansas who were arrested for DUI. To schedule your free and confidential consultation, contact the Whitman Law Offices today at (785) 843-9460. At the Whitman Law Offices, we will work hard to make sure that your rights are protected. Do not trust your case to just any attorney. Call our seasoned DUI defense attorneys today!

Arrested for DUI? Avoid these Five Common Mistakes

May 17th, 2014

Being arrested for driving under the influence or “DUI” is not exactly a thing any person wants to have happen in their lifetime. That being said, a DUI is not a death sentence and your life is not over. However, once you have been arrested for DUI, it is time to start thinking about how to avoid making  further mistakes. Your first mistake was obviously the decision to drink and drive. But if you are smart, you can avoid making these other common blunders that plague drivers who are arrested for DUI:

1.      “Roll over and play dead:” So you blew a .10 and were arrested for DUI. This does not mean that you should roll over and play dead i.e., plead guilty and hope for the best. Just because you blew over the .08 blood alcohol concentration limit—does not mean that you should just lie down and accept whatever fate the judge hands to you. A seasoned Kansas DUI Defense Attorney will thoroughly review your case to determine whether you have any defenses. It is also possible that the arresting officer made an error. Do not be fooled into thinking the Judge will have sympathy for you just because you chose to plead guilty.

2.      Delay hiring a Kansas DUI Defense Attorney: If being arrested for DUI was your first encounter with the criminal justice system it can be quite a shock. You may be wondering how this arrest will impact your life or how you will get to work or the kids to school now that your license has been revoked. You may be fooled into thinking you have time to look for an attorney later—since the trial could be weeks or even months away. Right? Wrong! You want to have an attorney working on your case as soon as possible. The period of time between your arrest and your first court appearance can be a very critical period of time in your case. Make hiring an attorney your first priority.

3.      Not hiring an experienced DUI defense attorney: Maybe you know just how important it is to have an attorney represent you. However, your search for an attorney consisted of talking to a friend (or family member or neighbor) whose cousin is an attorney so you just went ahead and decided to hire them. Big mistake! You do not even know if this attorney concentrates a significant area of his or her practice on DUI defense. This is your life and your future. Do not risk hiring just any attorney—find a knowledgeable Kansas DUI Defense Attorney.

4.      Failing to appear in court: Do not make the mistake of not showing up for your first required court appearance or even being late. The judge can issue a bench warrant for your arrest and revoke your bond. Not being able to drive is no excuse for not appearing in court.

5.      Driving with a revoked license: Another bone head mistake which happens more often than most people would think, is when a driver arrested for DUI drives after his or her license has been revoked. Some people have even made the mistake of driving to their court appearances! Do not make this mistake!!

If you have been arrested and charged with a DUI, the first thing you need to do is consult with an experienced Kansas DUI Defense Attorney. Only a seasoned DUI defense attorney will be able to advise you of your rights and provide you with aggressive representation. For more than 35 years, the Whitman Law Offices has been the trusted law firm for residents of Lawrence and Northeast Kansas who have been charged with DUI. To schedule your free and confidential consultation, call the Whitman Law Offices today at (785) 843-9460. Arrangements can also be made to have one of our attorneys visit you in jail. Remember, DUI cases require immediate action.