DUI in Kansas

A. Misdemeanor DUI in Kansas - K.S.A 8-1567

A first or second offense DUI arrest is charged as a "B" or "A" misdemeanor. Those cases carry a possibility of up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine and/or a 1-year jail sentence and a $2,500 fine respectively. For first offenses, there are special plea agreements that can be worked out to avoid receiving a conviction or serving a minimum jail sentence. Kansas carries a minimum jail sentence of 48 hours on a first offense and five days in jail on a second offense. In special circumstances, those jail sentences can be avoided by serving a Weekend Intervention Program and House Arrest. Because these cases can be a prior conviction that can later have you charged as a felony, it is very important that these charges are fully investigated and taken to trial if you have a defense. Due to the fact that these cases can be lifetime convictions, it is ever more important that these matters be fully investigated and taken to trial if at all possible.

Frequently, cases can be resolved in city courts when an individual is charged with a first or second misdemeanor without the harsh consequences that you see at the state level. Because of the future ramifications and the possibility of you being charged with a felony, you must take these cases seriously.

In-Car DVD Video: Most police contact is documented by in-car DVD videos. It is important to review those videos and compare them to the police reports to make sure the officer is giving an accurate representation of a suspected drunk driver's coordination, balance and behavior. Frequently, the observations police officers report do not appear on the DVD video.

Counties/Cities of practice in Kansas include (but are not limited to): Johnson County, Douglas County, Wyandotte County, Franklin County, Miami County, Bonner Springs, DeSoto, Edgerton, Edwardsville, Fairway, Gardner, Kansas City, Lake Quivira, Leawood, Lenexa, Mission, Mission Hills, Mission Woods, Olathe, Overland Park, Prairie Village, Roeland Park, Shawnee, Spring Hill and Westwood.

B. Felony Driving Under the Influence/DUI - KSA 8-1567

In Kansas, a 3r d lifetime DUI becomes a felony. You are facing a very real risk of serving 90 days in jail. Obviously, the stigma and legal ramifications of receiving a felony conviction is serious. Many individuals convicted of a felony DUI lose employment due to incarceration or the suspension of their driver's license. Due to the serious nature of a felony DUI conviction, it is critical to hire any attorney who is experienced in handling these types of cases as a specialty.

I have handled these cases in Kansas as a prosecutor and defense attorney. Every DUI is investigated thoroughly to make decisions of whether to take the case to trial or jury trial. That means that a thorough review of the police reports, accompanying paperwork and in-car police DVD must be reviewed. If the case involves a breath test or blood test, all the supporting documents to show that the proper procedures were used must be scrutinized.

Felony Kansas DUI I. Proving prior DUI convictions
2. Sentencing Options

  • House Arrest
  • Presentence Investigation Report
  • LSIR Inventory
  • Alcohol evaluation

C. Driver's License Suspensions for DUI - K.S.A. 8-1001 and 8-1002)

Because of the importance of maintaining your driving privilege, it is critical to hire an attorney that specializes in DUI representation. The State of Kansas has recently increased the potential driver's license suspension for being arrested on a DUI charge. Depending on whether you take a breath test, you are looking at a significant driver's license suspension. In addition, if you have prior DUI arrests, those convictions or driver's license suspensions can increase your current length of suspension.

  • If you test below .15%, you are facing a 30-day suspension and 330-day restriction.
  • If you test over .15%,you are facing a 1-year suspension followed by a 1-year ignition interlock requirement.

Those are all situations if you have no prior DUI suspensions. If you have priors, you are obviously facing a much more lengthy suspension.

Request for Kansas Driver's License Hearing

If you arrested for a DUI, you only have 14 days to request a driver's license hearing before the Department of Revenue. That hearing request has to be done in the correct form and in the correct manner, or a hearing will not be granted and the police officer may not be required to appear at the hearing.

  • Your driver's license will remain valid until you have a hearing regarding your alleged failure of a breath test.

Those hearings are taking four to five months to get scheduled. In addition, due to the State of Kansas budget problems, many areas in the State of Kansas are currently not scheduling driver's license hearings.

Commercial Driver's License

  • If you are arrested for a DUI while operating a commercial vehicle and you have a
    commercial driver's license, your license will be immediately suspended.
  • You will be given Notice of that suspension and the opportunity to appeal that suspension. However, your license will remain suspended until you have the opportunity to have a hearing.
  • Drivers with commercial driver's licenses are not eligible for Diversion even when not operating a commercial vehicle and they receive a DUI.

D. Diversion

If you have no prior DUI arrest convictions, you may be eligible for Diversion. Diversion is a program where you can avoid receiving a conviction if you complete the diversionary program. However, that diversion will remain on your driving record and can be used to increase any future DUI arrests to a second-time DUI or a felony_ For that reason, Diversion should not be taken lightly. In addition, you will have several terms and conditions of Diversion:

  • Alcohol Evaluation. Choosing your Alcohol Evaluator is very important to how your case is monitored while on Diversion. The Law Office of John Harvell is associated with many alcohol evaluators within the Kansas City metropolitan area and will assist in having you referred to the best evaluator for your particular case. Random Urinalysis - Drug Testing and Alcohol Testing
  • Monthly meetings with a diversion monitor
  • Completion or recommended alcohol classes
  • No consumption of alcohol for the period of diversion
  • No violations of law

Diversion Revocation: If you fail to complete any term or condition of Diversion, you will be facing a diversion revocation. That means if you consume alcohol, not complete any required alcohol classes or the Victim Impact Panel, you will be facing a diversion revocation, a conviction on the charge and serving the minimum jail sentence.

Treatment: Your alcohol evaluation is going to recommend a minimum 8-hour ADSAP class. If you have a second offense or a high breath test, you are also likely to be required to complete outpatient treatment.

  • Outpatient treatment can be a minimum of 12-15 one-hour sessions. Intermediate outpatient treatment - 25 one-hour sessions Advanced outpatient treatment - 50 one-hour sessions, 5 a week within 10 weeks

Contact our team to learn more about your legal options.