Posts Tagged ‘Kansas DUI attorney’

Kansas DUI Attorney Discusses How You Can Be Arrested for DUI Without Ever Drinking a Drop

Monday, September 1st, 2014

Drinking and driving is a major offense that can cost a driver thousands of dollars, his or her license, and even his or her freedom for a period of time. While drinking and driving is a serious nationwide problem, this does not mean that there are not responsible drivers who follow the laws of the land. However, even motorists who are acutely aware of and take precautions to avoid drinking and driving, may be surprised to learn that a driver can be arrested for DUI without ever consuming a single drop of alcohol. If this is shocking to you, imagine the following scenario:

You are headed out to a local pub on a Thursday night to celebrate a friend’s birthday. On the drive there, you decide to pop a few prescription pills for the splitting headache that has been nagging you all day. You took a hay fever pill about an hour before leaving work, but does not seem to be working. Unbeknownst to you, both pills can cause drowsiness. Once at the pub, you pass on your usual cocktail or beer and opt for a soda since you know you have an early morning the next day. Feeling not quite yourself, you opt to head home a little early. On the way home, you completely miss a stop sign and crash into another vehicle. The officer who arrives at the scene sees your blood shot tired eyes and the bottle of prescription pills in your car. You tell the officer that you took the pills for a headache and that you must have dozed off for a second. The officer arrests you on suspicion of DUI.

This scenario shows just how easy it can be for a person to be arrested for DUI without having a single sip of alcohol. DUI is not a crime limited to alcohol consumption. A person can also be arrested for DUI if he or she is under the influence of any drug, prescription, over-the-counter, or illegal. Drugs, just like alcohol, have the power to impair a driver’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. However, unlike alcohol, there is no safe or legal amount.

In Kansas for example, a person is said to be driving under the influence of alcohol when he or she has a .08% blood alcohol concentration (BAC). However, for drugs there is no such equivalent measure. In essence, this means that a police officer’s decision to arrest a person for DUI based on drug use is based predominantly on the officer’s observations of the motorist and his or her assessment of the scene. In the above scenario, the driver had blood shot eye, taking prescription pills, admitted to possibly dozing off for a second, and had a bottle of prescription pills in the vehicle. In Kansas, this could be enough for an officer to arrest a person for DUI.

It is also important to keep in mind that Kansas law does not distinguish between illegal and legal drug use. In other words, the law does not care if a person was high as a kite on cocaine or if he or she was drowsy due to the side effect of taking a prescribed dose of a doctor recommended medication.

If you were arrested for driving under the influence of drugs, it is vitally important that you seek the assistance of an experienced Kansas DUI Attorney to protect your rights. For more than thirty years Kansas DUI Defense Attorney, Charles E. Whitman has been defending men and women charged with DUI. To schedule a free confidential consultation today contact The Whitman Law Offices at (785) 843-9460. Driving under the influence of drugs is a serious charge that requires the knowledge of a seasoned DUI Defense Attorney. At The Whitman Law Offices, you can trust that you will receive top-notch legal representation.

When it Comes to DUI, Knowing the Law is Not Enough

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

Driving under the influence is a crime that most people never intend to commit. Nonetheless, every year thousands of drivers in Kansas are arrested and charged with DUI. The crazy part about drunken driving is the people who are arrested know that it is illegal to drive while intoxicated. However, despite knowing the law people still continue to choose to drink and drive. So when it comes to avoiding a DUI charge it is not enough to know that operating a vehicle with a .08 blood alcohol concentration (BAC) or more is against the law.

Clearly, knowing the law was not the problem for Missouri attorney, David Murdick. The 36-year old lawyer was sentenced in early March to nine years in prison for the death of Clifton Scott. In September of 2012, Scott, a 15 year veteran of the Missouri Department of Transportation, was at the scene of an accident on Interstate 70. Scott, a motorist assist operator, had just finished off blocking off a portion of the interstate with traffic cones and flares so as to alert other motorists of the accident, when he was struck by Murdick’s car. Murdick also hit Scott’s truck causing it to burst into flames. The 50 year old man and father was killed at the scene. It was later determined that Murdick had a BAC of .184, which is more than twice the legal limit in Missouri. Murdick was charged with one count of involuntary manslaughter, a crime that carries a sentence of 5 to 15 years in prison. In January of this year, Murdick pled guilty to the charges. The husband and father of three children did not offer any excuses about his decision to drink and drive the night he hit Scott. The family of Clifton Scott urged all motorists not to drink and drive.

Obviously, David Murdick knew that is was against the law to drink and drive. Murdick admitted his responsibility for Mr. Scott’s death at his sentencing. However, all too often motorists choose to drink and drive, potentially putting their own lives and the lives of others in danger. If you are considering drinking, stop and consider the alternatives:

  • Take public transportation: Depending on where you live, there are different forms of public transportation available. Before heading out for the night, take a copy of the bus schedule with you.
  • Call for a ride: If you are not able to legally operate a motor vehicle, call someone for a ride. Maybe a friend or family member can pick you up. If no friends or family are available, you can always call a cab. In some cases a $20 to $60 cab ride can be the difference between leading a normal life and spending 5 to 15 years or more in prison.
  • Walk: If you cannot find a ride, maybe you can simply walk home.
  • Hotel or stay with a friend: If you cannot walk to your house, you can always walk to hotel or crash at a friend’s house for evening.

If you are an attorney or other professional who has been charged with driving while under the influence you need an experienced and skilled DUI attorney. For more than three decades, Kansas DUI Attorney Charles E. Whitman has defended individuals whose licenses and careers depend on a clean criminal record. As a seasoned litigator and skilled DUI defense attorney, Charles E. Whitman will fight to protect your rights and your reputation. Contact the Whitman Law Offices today at (785) 843-9460 to schedule your free and confidential consultation. At the Whitman Law Offices, we pride ourselves on providing clients with superior legal services.

A Kansas DUI Can Happen to Anyone

Saturday, March 1st, 2014

At some point in life, even if only for a few moments, everyone has wondered what it would like to be famous. Maybe you imagined yourself as a beautiful actress or hunky actor, or maybe a musician or even a politician. Sometimes we think that one of the perks of being “rich and famous” is that you do not have to follow the same rules as those who are not rich and/or famous. Although stars may catch a few breaks, when it comes to DUI, even celebrities pay the price. Here are recent celebrities that made headlines when they were arrested for DUI:

  • Sarah Bruce: Sarah Bruce, the wife of Kansas Senator Terry Bruce was arrested in December of 2013 for suspicion of DUI with a breath alcohol concentration (BAC) of .159, well above the .08 Kansas limit. According to the arrest report, Mrs. Bruce failed to submit to a full DUI test. In accordance with a law enacted in 2012, which Senator Bruce voted in favor, that increased the penalties for a BAC over .15, Mrs. Bruce may have her driver’s license suspended for one year. The case is still pending.
  • Justin Bieber: In January, the then 19-year old pop star was arrested in Miami for DUI after failing a field sobriety test. Police also noted that Bieber had blood shot eyes and the odor of alcohol on his breath. According to police, Bieber also admitted to having consumed some amount of alcohol, smoked marijuana and had taken some prescription drugs. Bieber was initially pulled over after an officer noticed his yellow Lamborghini drag racing a red Ferrari in a residential neighborhood. Bieber has pleaded not guilty to the DUI charges and his case is set for trial in May.
  • Amanda Bynes: The twenty eight year old actress was arrested in 2012, after hitting a police car in West Hollywood, and charged with DUI. In February of this year Ms. Bynes pleaded “no contest” in a Los Angeles courtroom. The former Nickelodeon star was sentenced to three years probation and must attend a three month long alcohol education course.
  • Chris Pine: Chris Pine is an actor most well-known for his role in the Star Trek movies as Captain Kirk. The actor was arrested in New Zealand on suspicion of DUI after attending a party celebrating the end of filming of his new movie. In the early morning hours, Pine was stopped while going through a sobriety check point. When asked by police if he had been drinking that evening, Mr. Pine admitted to police that he had four cocktails. Police determined that Mr. Pine had a .11 blood alcohol content (BAC) which is above the legal limit in New Zealand of .08, which is the same limit as in the United States. Through his attorney, Pine admitted to the New Zealand court that he made a mistake choosing to drive the night he was arrested. Mr. Pine pled guilty to DUI charges and was fined $79 and had his New Zealand driver’s license suspended for 6 months.

The moral of these stories is that DUI can happen to you whether you are male or female, young or old, rich or poor, famous or virtually unknown. With this in mind, if you have been charged with DUI you need an experienced and knowledgeable Kansas DUI Attorney. To schedule your free and confidential consultation, call us today at (785) 843-9460 or visit us online. We can also make arrangements to visit you in jail. With over 35 years of experience, attorney Charles E. Whitman of the Whitman Law Offices, will thoroughly review your case with you to make sure that you understand of all of your legal options.

Kansas DUI Attorney Explains How You Can Enjoy a Safe St. Patrick’s Day

Monday, February 10th, 2014

There is nothing worse after partying all night than awaking to a hangover, right? Wrong! Much worse than any hangover is ending what would have been an otherwise fun evening with a DUI or worse, seriously injuring or killing yourself or another person as a result of driving drunk. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that more than 30 percent of the fatal motor vehicle crashes on St. Patrick’s Day are due to drunk driving. So, if you plan to get your green on this St. Patrick’s Day you need to do more to ensure the safety of yourself and others than carry around a four leaf clover. The following are a few tips you should follow to help ensure that you have a safe St. Patrick’s Day:

  • Have a designated driver: If you are planning on going out for St. Patrick’s Day, make sure that as part of your party planning that you also plan a way to make it home safely. A designated driver is always a great option.
  • Slow down: One way to make sure that you are able to get yourself home safely is to avoid becoming intoxicated in the first place. This does not necessarily mean that you cannot enjoy a beer or two. It just means that you need to pace yourself. Have no more than one drink per hour and sneak in some non-alcoholic beverage in alcoholic ones. A drink is considered to be a 1.5 ounce-shot of 80 proof liquor, a 5-ounce glass of wine, or a 12-ounce beer. Think of your Irish holiday as a marathon and not a sprint if you want to be sober at the end.
  • Eat: St. Patrick’s Day is not just about the beer it is also about the food! Have a plate of corned beef and cabbage with a side of rye bread. Not only is it tradition—it is also a way to help your body process the alcohol more quickly.
  • Call a cab: Before you head out for the day’s festivities, write down the telephone numbers of a few cab companies on a card and place it in your wallet or purse. This way you can easily call for a ride in the event you are not able to drive home. You can also do the same with a bus or trolley schedule, depending upon where you live.
  • Leave your keys at home: An easy way to avoid a DUI charge is to not drive in the first place. Take a cab, public transportation or even walk home. By leaving your keys at home, you will not have to worry about being tempted to drive home.
  • Be the host: If you are hosting a St. Patrick’s Day party then clearly you do not have to worry about drinking and driving. But if you do opt to be the host, be a good host. Offer your guests plenty of food and both non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages. Ask guests to hand over their keys at the beginning of the party and do not give a person back his or her key if he or she is unable to drive home. Instead have guests who are not able to drive spend the night.

For Additional Information, Call the Whitman Law Offices Now!

If you have been charged with driving under the influence you need an experienced DUI defense attorney. To schedule a free and confidential consultation, contact the Whitman Law Offices today toll free at (877) 933-4354 or locally at (785) 843-9460. Our attorneys can also make arrangements to visit you in jail if necessary. Kansas DUI Defense Attorney Charles E. Whitman of the Whitman Law Offices has more than three decades of experience representing persons charged with DUI and other alcohol related offenses. At the Whitman Law Offices we will take the time to thoroughly review your case and evaluate all of your legal options.

Kansas DUI Attorneys Ask The Public to Resolve Not to Drink & Drive in 2014

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

No start to a New Year is complete without the time honored tradition of making a list of New Year’s resolutions. Even if you chose not to make a list this year, one thing every motorist should resolve to do in 2014, is to not drink and drive. Much like deciding to quit smoking, the benefits of not drinking and driving are clear. However, if you are in need of a reminder of why driving while under the influence of alcohol is a bad idea, the following list should prove as a helpful reminder:

  • DUI: Any time a motorist chooses to drink and drive, he or she runs the risk of being pulled over on the suspicion of drunk driving and charged with a DUI. Although many motorists understand that a DUI is not something they want—many are unaware of the extent to which a DUI can change their lives. First, a DUI charge will result in the loss of a person’s driver’s license for at least a short period of time, but most often the driver’s license will be restricted or result in the loss of driving privileges for at least one year. A DUI conviction will also mean that that person now has a criminal record. This can lead to problems when the person applies for a job, college or even financial aid. Not only may a person with a DUI conviction have to disclose the conviction to certain people upon request, the information will also become public record. This means if you were convicted of a DUI your insurance company will learn of your misfortune and most likely raise your rates. Lastly, a person convicted of a DUI may also have to serve time in jail.
  • Loss of time and money: Even if your attorney is able to have the DUI charges against you dropped or is able to win your case at trial, you will most likely spend a large amount of time and money in order for him or her to achieve such results. Unless you have a lot of time and money burning a hole in your pocket, it is best to avoid a DUI.
  • Seriously injure or kill yourself and/or other people: Drivers who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs have slower reactions times than drivers who are sober. A slow reaction time while driving, especially in an emergency type situation can prove dangerous, even life threatening. Driving requires a motorist to make split-second decisions. An impaired driver may not be able to swerve in time to avoid a collision or react appropriately to a braking vehicle. A motorist that has been drinking also experiences impaired judgment. Drinking can make a motorist feel like driving at a high rate of speed during poor weather conditions is a great idea. Which can lead the driver to wrap his or her car around a telephone pole or veer into oncoming traffic. Such actions not only put the driver’s life at risk, but also his or her passengers, and other motorists, their passengers, and pedestrians.

If you have been charged with a DUI do not make another mistake by hiring just any attorney. Only an experienced DUI defense attorney can properly advise you of your legal rights and best advise you as to your options under the law. For over 35 years, the Whitman Law Offices have been advising DUI clients on their rights. To schedule your free and confidential consultation, call the Whitman Law Offices today at (785) 843-9460 or visit us online. We can also make arrangements to visit you in jail. Trust the seasoned professionals at the Whitman Law Offices to provide you with exceptional legal services.

Drinking and Flying: How a DUI Could Jeopardize Your Pilot’s License

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

Every day, we entrust pilots to get us from one city to another efficiently and, without incident. We place our complete faith and trust in a pilot’s skills and training to safely navigate the skies. For this reason, pilots who drink and “fly” are subject to not one, but two sets of rules. First, pilots like any other person, are subject to the state laws in which they are driving. In Kansas, this means that a person is no longer considered able to operate a motor vehicle if he or she has a blood alcohol content limit at or above .08%. In addition to following local state laws, a pilot must also adhere to the Federal Aviation Regulations (FARS) promulgated by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration).

If a pilot is involved in a motor vehicle incident involving alcohol, certain procedures must be followed. Failure to timely comply with these procedures can cause the FAA to revoke or suspend a pilot’s license. Although the easiest way to avoid problems with the FAA is to not drink and drive, sometimes lapses in judgment do occur. If you are a pilot and find yourself in the unfortunate situation of being charged with an alcohol related driving offense, there are a few things you need to know.

First, is that you are required under FARS to send a notification letter. This letter must be sent within 60 days of the effective date of each and every alcohol related conviction or administrative action involving a motor vehicle. A copy of this form letter can be found on the FAA’s website. The notification letter must be sent to the FAA’s Security and Investigation Division in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. An alcohol related motor vehicle action that would necessitate sending notification letter can include:

  • Revocation, suspension or cancellation of the pilot’s driver’s license as the result of either the pilot failing to pass an alcohol test or by having a blood alcohol content above .08.
  • Conviction for driving under the influence (DUI), operating while under the influence (OWUI), or driving while intoxicated (DWI).
  • Suspension of a license due to the pilot’s unreasonable refusal to submit to alcohol testing.

As a pilot, you also want to be aware that you may need to send more than one notification letter to the FAA for the incident. For example, if a license is suspended at the time of an arrest for example, for blowing a .95, the pilot would need to send a notification letter within 60 days of this event. If the pilot is later convicted of a DUI by the court, then he or she would need to send another notification letter to the FAA for this event, regardless of the facts that the events both stemmed from the same alcohol related motor vehicle action.

Do not think you can avoid having the FAA discover your alcohol related motor vehicle action by failing to send a notification letter. The FAA will find out about the action and your failure to comply with the regulation can result in a suspension or revocation of your pilot’s license. You will also have to report the action on your medical application.

If you are a pilot who has been charged with an alcohol related motor vehicle offense, you need an experienced Kansas DUI attorney. For more than three decades attorney Charles E. Whitman has defended individuals whose licenses and careers depend on a clean driving record. Protect your license and hire a skilled and seasoned litigator. Contact the Whitman Law Offices today at (785) 843-9460 to schedule your free confidential consultation. At the Whitman Law Offices, we will take the necessary steps to make sure that your rights are protected.

Field Sobriety Tests: To Walk or Not Walk the Line

Friday, November 1st, 2013

Even if you have never been pulled over by a police officer and asked to partake in a field sobriety test, most Americans are familiar with this roadside assessment. Movies and television shows often depict scenes where an officer has a suspected drunk driver walk a straight line in a heel to toe fashion. Johnny Cash may have walked the line, but if you are pulled over on a Kansas roadway, it may be a good idea for you not to do the same. Before you agree to submit to a field sobriety test, here are a list of things you should know and consider before making the decision to walk the line:

  • Tests are voluntary: Yes, you heard that correctly. Most people submit to a field sobriety test because they believe that they are required by law to do so. The majority of people who are pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence do not realize that they have the option to politely decline participating in the test.
  • If you fail the test, you will likely be arrested: One of the main reasons to consider not submitting to a field sobriety test is that you have nothing to gain by taking the test. If you take the test and fail you will likely be arrested. If prior to taking the test you admitted to the officer that you had been drinking, you may also be arrested, regardless of whether you took and passed the test.
  • Only three tests are approved by the NHTSA: Although many different tests are depicted in popular media, there are only three tests that have been studied and approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”). The three approved tests are the “walk and turn”, the “one-leg stand” and the “horizontal gaze nystagmus.”
  • Tests are more difficult than they appear: Watching a person on a television drama perform a sobriety test can make these tests look out to be fairly simple and straight-forward. People are surprised to learn that these tests can have false positive results between 20 and 30 percent, depending on the test. Not to mention, completion of these test on the side of road, most often at night in the dark, can make these tests even more challenging.
  • Tests are admissible evidence in court: If a person submits to a field sobriety test, this evidence can and most likely will be used against the person in court. This includes not only the test result but also video of the test while the test was conducted by the officer.

The good news is that an experienced DUI defense attorney can help. A seasoned DUI defense attorney will thoroughly review your case, including any documents or video related to field sobriety tests. The attorney will then scrutinize these tests to determine if tests were carried out in a flawed manner or if other explanations exist for your inability to complete the test. Any errors can be used to call into question the validity of the test results and possibly result in the test being inadmissible in court.

Regardless of whether you submitted to a sobriety test, if you were arrested and charged with a DUI you need a zealous advocate to protect your rights. For more than three decades attorney Charles E. Whitman has been defending men and women charged with DUI. Contact the Whitman Law Offices today at (785) 843-9460 to schedule your free confidential consultation. At the Whitman Law Offices, we will take the time to educate you on the law and review with you, your rights and defenses. Trust the Whitman Law Offices to provide you with superior legal services.

Top 5 Myths Associated with Facing DUI Charges in Kansas

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

Undoubtedly, facing DUI charges in Kansas is certainly no laughing matter, and, without effective representation, can result in serious and sometimes irreversible legal consequences.  While it is certainly true that a DUI is something that should never be ignored, there are myths associated with these types of cases that can influence those accused to think that they are both defenseless and without hope.  Moreover, when people choose to believe these myths, it may also lead them to make legal mistakes in their case that can cost them a significant amount of money and also, their freedom.  Whether you were charged with a DUI for the first time or are deemed a repeat-offender, a highly seasoned Kansas criminal defense attorney can help mitigate, if not completely prevent, many of the severe repercussions associated with Kanas DUI charges.  Moreover, they can also dispel the many harmful myths associated with DUI cases, which include the following:

  • I can only be charged with a DUI due to impairment from illegal drugs and/or alcohol.

Pursuant to Kansas law, a person can be charged and ultimately convicted of driving to the point of impairment while taking prescription medication as well as over the counter remedies, including Nyquil.

  • If I am facing drunk-driving charges in Kansas, I will probably be found guilty

This could not be farthest from the truth.  In Kansas, the State must prove that the accused is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.  Despite how the television often portrays prosecutors as flawless on television, they can and sometimes do make mistakes.  Meaning, the State’s case may be replete with weaknesses, or, the police may have taken measures that actually violated your constitutional rights during your arrest – both of which help strengthen your defense case.

  • If I am convicted of a DUI for the first time, I will likely receive just a slap on the wrist.

Due to evolving public policy in favor of tougher DUI laws, longer as easy as it was in the past to reduce a DUI charge in Kansas to reckless driving.  As such, a person charged for the first time with a DUI could face up to six months in jail and be forced to deal with other serious consequences, as provided under Kansas’ DUI laws.

  • Now that I am facing DUI charges, I am completely defenseless.

As an experienced DUI attorney, I have prevailed in a number of cases due to evidence suppression issues, improper police procedure, and other factors.  While prosecutors do whatever it takes to launch a strong case against you, it takes a seasoned DUI attorney to know how to poke holes in their case and help you fight for your rights.

  • I should hire the first attorney I meet since time is of the essence.

Absolutely not. It is crucial that you work with an attorney who has the experience necessary to effectively represent you and your legal interests.  Despite their claims to the contrary, not every attorney knows the ins and outs of the criminal justice system to make a difference in your case and, to mount a strong defense on your behalf.  With this in mind, make sure to interview a number of attorneys before making your final decision.

If you are facing DUI-related charges in Kanas, it is important to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent you.   For more than 35 years, the attorneys at the Whitman Law Offices have successfully defended thousands of people throughout Lawrence and northeast Kansas facing all type of DUI charges.  As an experienced Kansas DUI attorney, I will take the time necessary to review your case, advise you of the scope of your legal options, and even visit you in jail in the event that you have been arrested.  I invite you to call us at (785) 843-9460 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation.