Posts Tagged ‘Lawrence KS DUI attorney’

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Kansas DUI Diversion Programs

Saturday, January 11th, 2014

If you have been recently charged with driving under the influence (DUI), you may have heard about Kansas’ DUI diversion programs. You may be wondering if entering into a diversion agreement is the right choice for you in your DUI case. As such, the following are answers to the most frequently asked questions about Kansas DUI diversion programs:

  • What is a DUI diversion program?

A diversion program, is simply an agreement with the prosecutor, where he or she agrees not to prosecute the individual charged with a DUI. In exchange, the individual facing DUI charges must comply with certain conditions.  These conditions often mandate that the individual undergo random drug/alcohol testing, complete an alcohol evaluation program, participate in alcohol counseling and attend regularly scheduled meetings.

  • Who can participate in a DUI diversion program?

To be able to qualify for a DUI diversion program, you must be a first time offender. If you have been previously found or pleaded guilty to an alcohol-related crime you will not be offered to participate in a diversion program. A person will also be excluded from participating in a diversion program if he or she has other pending criminal charges or if the person has recently participated in another diversion program for another crime. However, participation in a DUI diversion program is not an absolute right. Rather, it is offered to an individual at the prosecutor’s sole discretion.

  • What are the pros and cons of DUI diversion program?

The biggest reason for choosing to participate in a DUI diversion program is that upon successfully completing a diversion the prosecutor will dismiss the case against you. As a result, individuals who complete a diversion program will not have to serve any jail time and will not have a DUI listed on their driving record. The drawback of a DUI diversion is that if the individual does not meet all of the requirements, the individual’s participation in the diversion can be revoked and the prosecutor can resume prosecution of the original charges.

  • If I would like to participate in a DUI diversion program do I still need to hire an attorney?

In Kansas, an individual charged with DUI has the right to represent his or her own interests in court. However, it is strongly recommended that any person charged with a DUI be represented by an attorney. In DUI cases so much is at stake, including fines, jail time, and loss of driving privileges that a person charged with a DUI should have the benefit of experienced attorney. An experienced attorney will make sure that your rights are protected and your defenses, if any, are properly presented before the court. Wanting to participate in the DUI diversion program is not a good reason to forgo hiring an attorney. An attorney, after a thorough review of the facts of your case, may determine that a dismissal of the charges or an acquittal is possible. If such outcomes are possible, it would be a mistake for a person to try to enter a DUI diversion program. There is also no guarantee that the prosecutor will offer you the opportunity to participate in a diversion program.

If you have been charged with a DUI, contact the Whitman Law Offices at (785) 843-9460 today to schedule a free confidential consultation. Veteran attorney Charles E. Whitman will take the time to answer your questions and make sure you understand your rights. You can trust attorney Charles E. Whitman and the Whitman Law Offices to thoroughly review the facts of your case and research all possible defenses to the charges. If a diversion agreement is a possibility for you, we will not advise you to consider it, until we have investigated all of your other options.

Don’t Let a Kansas DUI Ruin Your Holidays

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

The holiday season is here, and your schedule is probably already filling up with plans for gatherings with family and friends, community events, and, of course, the ubiquitous office party. At just about every celebration, there will be many delicious seasonal foods to enjoy, along with plenty of festive beverages. Whether you plan to go to just one affair or several different events over the next few weeks, it is important that you plan ahead to make sure that each one of your outings begins and ends on a joyful note.

Kansas law enforcement officers know that this is a popular time of the year for people to eat, drink, and be merry. The December holiday season is prime time for DUI checkpoints, and for increased numbers of officers patrolling heavily traveled areas during the evening hours. Fortunately, there are things that you can do to avoid getting a DUI this holiday season. If you follow these holiday party safety tips you can have your fruitcake, and drink some eggnog, too.

The best way to avoid getting a DUI this holiday season is to avoid driving if you plan on drinking. Talk to other people who will be attending the same festivities that you plan to go to. There may be one or more guests who plan to be designated drivers, and you might be able to ride with one of them. Alternatively, conduct some research ahead of time to determine what public transportation options exist in your area, and plan to use one of them to get to and from the event.

If your party plans include traveling to a location that is a few hours away, you may want to plan in advance to spend the night at a place within walking distance from the event.  Some companies negotiate special room rates for their employees if they book their holiday parties at a hotel’s banquet facilities. Friends and family may also have a spare bed or couch available, so be sure to ask around.

There may still be situations in which you end up driving home from a party late at night. Perhaps you had arranged for a ride home, but it fell through. Maybe you thought that you would only stop in for an hour, but you ended up staying much later. Whatever the situation is, do your best to enjoy yourself responsibly so that your drive home is both safe and legal.

When you drive home, you may feel like you are sober enough to drive, and that may well be the case. It is still important to avoid attracting any attention from law enforcement officers, so that you will arrive at home without any sort of traffic ticket. Obeying the rules of the road is just one way to keep the police at bay. Checking your vehicle over thoroughly on a regular basis is another way to ensure that you are not selected for a late night traffic stop because of something that could easily have been fixed in advance, like a burnt out turn signal lamp, headlight, or license plate light.

If you do get pulled over, try to remain calm and pleasant. Remember that you have rights, and do not be afraid to provide very little information about where you have been and what you have been doing. You are under no obligation to provide information that could incriminate you.  If, despite your best efforts, you do end up being charged

How to Select the Right DUI Defense Attorney in Kansas

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

Finding the right attorney to represent you on your DUI charges can feel like a daunting task. With the steep penalties for a DUI conviction, it is important to find a skilled attorney who can zealously defend you and get your life back on track. When deciding who to trust with this important job, look for attorney who meets the following requirements:

  • Concentrates a portion of practice on DUI: Do not use the attorney who handled your divorce, just because he or she is the only attorney you know. You would not make an appointment with a dermatologist if you were experiencing chest pains. The same advice holds true when you are searching for the right attorney to represent you on a DUI charge. Limit your search of attorneys to those attorneys and/or firms where DUI defense is a major practice area. You want to hire an attorney who regularly handles DUI cases because that attorney will be current on the law and best be able to advise you on your rights.
  • Significant trial experience: Look for an attorney who has significant trial experience. An attorney who is well-versed in the courtroom is advantageous to a client in two ways. First and obviously, if your case goes to trial you want to feel comfortable that your attorney is confident in the courtroom. Second, and equally as important, is that an attorney who can commands the courtroom is often in a better position to settle a case. In law, like in life, an attorney’s reputation in the courtroom precedes him or her.
  • Is upfront about fees: No one plans to get arrested for a DUI. Therefore, it makes sense that most people do not have funds set aside to hire a DUI defense attorney. Find an attorney who is upfront about not only the attorney’s fees, but also possible fines, restitution and other expenses that you can expect to incur. You can also look for a DUI defense attorney who will accept credit card payments for his or her fees.
  • Values you and your case: To find the attorney who is best suited to represent you take the initial consultation with the attorney very seriously. After the completion of the consultation, ask yourself the following questions:
  • Did the attorney take the time to listen to the facts of my case?
  • Did the attorney answer all of my questions?
  • Did the attorney explain my legal options?
  • Did the attorney seem honest and forthright about the strengths and weaknesses of my case?

If you can answer “yes” to these questions, you are well on your way of finding a good DUI defense attorney. Make sure to avoid an attorney who promises you results or guaranties you a specific outcome. Not only is this type of behavior extremely unethical, it is also a complete lie. It is impossible for any attorney to be able to predict what will happen in any particular case, since no two cases are the same.

  • Is someone you trust: In order for an attorney-client relationship to be successful, the client needs to be able to trust the attorney. If you have any doubts about an attorney’s ability to represent you or you feel that you cannot communicate with a certain attorney, do not hire that attorney.

If you have been charged with DUI you need an experienced and knowledgeable DUI defense 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.

Clearing the Record: FAQ about Expunging a DUI in Kansas

Monday, November 18th, 2013

If you have a DUI in your past, there is probably not a day that goes by where you are not in some way reminded of the fact. Whether you are headed out after work for drinks with friends or having dinner with your spouse, you may be extra careful to watch your alcohol intake or arrange for a designated driver to get you home safely. You probably find yourself wishing you could take back your decision to drive the evening you were charged with a DUI. In life there are few opportunities for do-overs. Although there are no do-over per se, in Oklahoma you may be able to have your past DUI forgiven. If you have been arrested and/or convicted of a DUI it may be possibly for you to clear your record. The follows are answers to the most common questions regarding expungement.

  • What is an “expungement” and who can request an expungement from the court?

An “expungement” is the process of removing a criminal case, like a DUI, from a person’s criminal record. The current law in Kansas allows persons who were convicted of a DUI on or after July 1, 2006, to petition the court for an expungement no sooner than 10 years from the date the person completed all requirements or terms related to his or her diversion agreement or sentence. For those individuals who were convicted on or before July 1, 2006, the waiting period is five years.

  • How could I benefit from an expungement?

If you were arrested and charged with a DUI in the past you may feel as if you are being continuously punished for one very bad decision that you made a long time ago. Even though you have learned your lesson not to drink and drive, and paid the penalties deemed appropriate by the court, it may feel like you are suffering from the consequences of the DUI. A DUI on your record can result in a person paying higher auto insurance rates and even having to pay a higher interest rate on an auto loan or mortgage. Further, not only can the public access a person’s criminal record but a potential employer can do so as well. Certain employers are reluctant to hire or have strict policies against hiring a person with a DUI on his or her record. The benefit of having your DUI expunged is that this record is sealed and no longer accessible. Once the expungement is granted, a person can honestly state on a job or credit application that they have never been convicted of a DUI. However, if a person is arrested again on a subsequent DUI the former expunged DUI case can be unsealed and the new case treated as a second offense.

  • Do I need to hire an attorney to petition the court for an expungement?

Although a person is allowed by law to represent his or her own interests before the court on a petition for expungement, it is a wise decision to hire an attorney. People who choose not to hire an attorney for this type of proceeding are often under the misconception that judges automatically grant these petitions. An experienced DUI expungement attorney will make sure that the facts most favorable to your case are presented to the court.

To determine whether you could have your DUI expunged from your record you need to contact a highly skilled DUI defense attorney. With over three decades of experienced, attorney Charles E. Whitman and the team of professionals at the Whitman Law Offices, will review your case to determine whether you are able to clear your DUI from your record. Call us today at (785) 843-9460 or visit us online to schedule your free consultation. At the Whitman Law Offices, we look forward to providing you with top-notch legal services.