Criminal Law

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Fletcher, Rohrbaugh & Chahine, LLP
1031 Vermont, Suite E
Lawrence KS 66064
Telephone: (785) 289-8851
Fax: (913) 390-8101

Contact Attorney Hatem Chahine on his cell at
(785) 979-1850

DUI

Kansas DUI Law

The charge of Driving under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs (also know as Driving While Intoxicated or Operating under the Influence) means that you operated or attempted to operate a vehicle when you were incapable of safely doing so. It is a serious offense that can result in jail time, fines, and the loss of driving privileges.

It is important to seek the skills of an experienced DUI lawyer when you are charged with a DUI in Kansas. DUI defense is a complicated area and in order to defend against a DUI you must be prepared to attack the prosecution’s drunk driving evidence. The prosecution will try and prove their case by showing that your blood alcohol level (BAC) was .08 or above or by showing that you performed poorly on field sobriety tests. They will also use other evidence such as poor driving skills, physical appearance, or statements you made to the officer. A seasoned DUI attorney can not only critically examine the results of the breath or blood tests, but he or she can also attack an officer’s field sobriety training techniques, contest the constitutionality of the initial stop, or even test the reliability and credibility of any witnesses.

Overall, a Kansas DUI case is no different that any other criminal charge. The government has the burden of proving the charge against you beyond a reasonable doubt. This is a very high standard and is the most difficult to prove, but with the ever growing intolerance for people who drink and drive, defending a Kansas DUI is still more complicated today than it ever has been.

If you are charged with a first, second, third, or any subsequent DUI, please contact Fletcher, Rohrbaugh & Chahine, LLP immediately for a free consultation.

Your Driver’s License

When you are charged with a DUI, there are two matters that arise: the criminal charges, which can result in jail time, fines, and loss of driving privileges; and the administrative case, which can result in the suspension of your driving privileges. It is important to note the different rules that apply to each.

When you are arrested for DUI in Kansas, the police confiscate your driver's license and give you a pink sheet of paper. The pink sheet is either a DC-27, DC-28 (drivers under 21) or CDL-5 (Commercial Licensees). The pink sheet is your temporary driver's license. You have 10 business days from the date you received the pink sheet from the officer to request an administrative hearing. If you fail to request the hearing within the 10 days, your license will be suspended after 30 days. If you request the administrative hearing in a timely manner, you are permitted to drive until a final decision has been made by an administrative hearing officer. The lawyers at the Law Office of Fletcher, Rohrbaugh & Chahine, LLP can help you through this process. Contact us today.

At an administrative hearing, your lawyer can raise many issues in your defense. For instance, a lawyer can attack whether nor not there were reasonable grounds to stop you in the first place or even if there were reasonable grounds to believe that you were driving or attempting to drive a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Other issues that arise may include: whether you were given the legally required notices, whether the testing equipment and the officer operating the testing equipment were certified and properly administered, whether the information on the paperwork was properly filled out, or whether other due process and constitutional procedures were followed. It is important to understand these issues and even more important to request the hearing in the proper amount of time so your driving privileges are not automatically suspended.

Pursuant to K.S.A. 8-1002, if you refuse or fail to complete a breath test, your license will be suspended for 1 year (plus 1 year interlock restriction) for the first occurrence. Your license will be suspended for 2 years for the second occurrence and 3 years for the third occurrence. A fourth occurrence will result in a 10 year suspension and any subsequent occurrence would result in permanent revocation.

If you failed a test and the test result was .08 or above, but less than .15, your license will be suspended for 30 days and restricted for 330 days for the first occurrence (if you were under 21 on the date of the test your license will be suspended for 1 year). For a second, third or fourth occurrence, your license will be suspended for 1 year followed by a one year interlock restriction.

If you failed your breathalyzer test, with a result of .15 or above, your driver’s license will be suspended for one year and you will have to have an ignition interlock device on your vehicle for at least one year for the first occurrence. On the second, third, or forth occurrence you will receive two years, three years or four years ignition interlock restriction respectively. If it is your fifth or subsequent occurrence your license will be revoked permanently.

Criminal Consequences

A conviction for a first-time DUI in Kansas is a Class B non-person misdemeanor. The potential sentence is anywhere between 48 hours to 6 months in jail. If convicted of DUI for the first time, it is mandatory that you serve at least 48 hours in jail unless the court orders you to complete 100 hours of community service instead. In addition to jail time, the fine is not less than $500 nor more than $1000. Typically, there are additional court costs and fees as well. You will also have to undergo a drug and/or alcohol evaluation and complete any treatment recommended by that program.

A second conviction for DUI in Kansas is a Class A non-person misdemeanor and the potential sentence is anywhere between 90 days to 1 year in jail. For a second conviction, you must serve at least 5 days. However, after spending at least 48 hours in jail the judge can order that the remaining sentence be served under house arrest or through a work release program. You will also have to complete a substance abuse program and your fines will range anywhere from $1000 to $1500. Our lawyers are familiar with house arrest and work release programs, and assuming you are eligible to participate in either program, our lawyers can help you get set up as soon as needed.

A third conviction for DUI in Kansas is a felony. The potential sentence ranges anywhere between 90 days to 1 year in jail. The mandatory sentence in this scenario is 90 days, but after 48 hours, a judge can order that you finish your remaining sentence through a house arrest or work release program. Again, you have to be eligible for these programs and you have to convince a judge that it is in the community's best interest to allow you to participate. The fine for a third conviction is anywhere between $1500 and $2500.

A fourth conviction for DUI in Kansas is also a felony and just like a third conviction, the mandatory sentence is 90 days in jail. Unlike a third conviction, you must serve 72 hours in jail before becoming eligible for a work release program. The fine for a fourth conviction is $2500. The court can also revoke your license plate or registration for up to one year. 

Under statute, you cannot plea to a lesser charge when charged with driving under the influence.

Diversion

If you have never been convicted of any serious crimes or serious traffic offenses (such as driving while suspended, driving without liability insurance, or leaving the scene of an accident) you may be eligible to participate in a DUI diversion program.

A diversion is like a contract between you and the prosecutor. If you can fulfill the terms of the contract, the charges against you will eventually be dismissed. However, you must give up certain rights and meet certain requirements. For instance, when you enter into a diversion, you give up your right to have a trial. Some of your obligations may include payment of fines, payment of restitution (including court costs and diversion costs), maintenance of gainful employment and/or participation in an alcohol abuse program. Again, at the completion of the diversion period, which is usually 1 year, if you have completed all the requirements of the contract, the criminal charge of DUI will be dismissed.

However, there can also be grave repercussions for failing to meet the requirements of your agreement with the prosecution. When you sign a diversion agreement, you agree to a stipulation of the facts upon which the charge is based. If you fail to fulfill the terms of the diversion agreement, the stipulation of facts can be used as an admission of guilt and your case will be placed back on the court docket and you will be tried accordingly. This means that you must admit guilt to the charge of DUI as part of the diversion agreement, and your admission of guilt can be used against you if the diversion agreement is later revoked.

If you apply for and complete diversion, you will likely never be eligible for diversion again. In addition, if you are ever stopped for a subsequent DUI, you will be charged as though you were convicted of the first DUI (i.e. if you get a diversion on the first DUI, then get charged again you will be charged with a second DUI).

For more information about driving under the influence, or to set up a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys, contact us at Fletcher, Rohrbaugh & Chahine, LLP.

Fletcher, Rohrbaugh & Chahine, LLP
1031 Vermont, Suite E
Lawrence KS 66064
Telephone: (785) 289-8851
Fax: (913) 390-8101

At Fletcher, Rohrbaugh & Chahine, LLP, we represent individuals throughout Lawrence, Kansas and the surrounding communities, including Douglas County, Johnson County, Franklin County, Shawnee County and Wyandotte County.