DUI DEFENSE ATTORNEY IN HAYS, KANSAS
HOW IS A DUI DEFINED IN KANSAS?
A first time DUI is considered a Class B misdemeanor. It is punishable by up to six months in jail. A second-time offense, a person may or may not have to serve any jail time. Usually, for the majority of cases in a first time DUI, people can be offered what is called diversions in Kansas. A diversion is a contract between the defendant and the prosecutor to not prosecute the criminal defense of a DUI, but instead, defer the prosecution if they complete the requirements under the diversion. Completing these requirements would allow the defendant to avoid a criminal conviction for a DUI.
Any individual who chooses not to enter into diversion would have a conviction on their record, and it would count against them if they incur other offenses. This can lead to many other consequences, including an impact on their ability to drive and other possible restrictions on their driving privileges.
A second time DUI is a Class A misdemeanor. It is punishable by up to one year in the county jail and up to a $2,500 fine. The court must sentence the person to ninety days in jail, and the judge may put them on a house arrest or work release program after they serve five consecutive days in jail.
A third time DUI or subsequent DUI is called a non-red felony. It is punishable by up to one year in jail, and there is a mandatory jail sentence of ninety days.
In felony DUI cases, the judges tend to sentence the person to some sort of confinement. Depending upon the judge, it could be as low as ninety days house arrest but could be as high as a year in jail. Repeat offenders are seen as no different than a person who shoots a gun into a crowd. It's often just a matter of chance if a person gets behind the wheel with too much alcohol, and they risk the chance of hurting or killing someone.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN HANDLING DUI CASES?
For thirty-one years. I started my career as a prosecutor, and I spent seven years in that role before taking somewhat of a hiatus from the practice of law for three years. Eventually, I came back and started working on criminal defense cases. Now, I do criminal defense cases exclusively, which includes a lot of DUI defense work. My practice now includes driving under the influence of drugs as an area of focus as well.
HAVE YOU SEEN LAWS PERTAINING TO DUIS CHANGE OVER THE YEARS?
It seems in Kansas they want to change the DUI laws every couple of years. Both in the penalty for the DUI, and now what we would call collateral consequences. The effects on driving privileges and the ability to have certain kinds of employment have certainly changed over thirty years for most people.
WHAT IS A PROSECUTOR LOOKING TO PROVE IN A DUI CASE?
As a former prosecutor, I understand the prosecutor’s perspective on things. Or, at least, I have a better idea of how prosecutors see these cases. Certainly, the judge’s attitude towards DUIs has changed dramatically over the last thirty years. Thirty years ago, DUIs were considered a serious traffic offense, but it was still a traffic offense.
Now, the attitudes of the judges are that it is a serious offense. We certainly see those unfortunate circumstances where someone dies as a result of an accident involving alcohol or drugs, and it has impacted how judges try these cases and the seriousness in which they take them.
DO MOST DUI DEFENDANTS HAVE HIGH BAC LEVELS?
The limit in Kansas is .08% blood alcohol content. I’ve worked with clients who have registered a .090% to .12%, or even .13% blood alcohol content. Almost universally, the people who come into my firm with those blood alcohol levels say, “you know, I was perfectly fine to drive.” So a person’s interpretation of their level of intoxication is never a good indication of what their alcohol level really was at the time of their charge.
I have some clients who have very high blood alcohol content. I have worked probably three or four cases where I have people with over .40% BAC’s, which is four times the legal limit. It is very easy to get a DUI because the perception of intoxication is no measure of the actual level of intoxication, particularly at low levels.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Institute developed the standards by which we determine when people are intoxicated to the level that they cannot safely operate a motor vehicle. All of their testing has been standardized at a .10% level because, at one time based upon scientific research, we found that the average person loses the ability to safely operate a motor vehicle at approximately .10% blood alcohol content.
The legislature, for whatever reasons they chose, decided that they were going to put in a margin of error, and they lowered it from .10% down to .08%. To give you an indication of how much .08% is, an adult will usually hit this level after consuming four beers. Four beers, four glasses of wine, or four single shot mixed drinks will get a person over .08%. These days, that standard has proven to be pretty low for a lot of people.
DON’T FACE YOUR CHARGES ALONE
At the end of the day, you can’t risk your future with just any attorney when facing a DUI charge. With over three decades of experience defending clients from a variety of different DUI charges, I can provide you with a strong defense. If you or someone you know has been arrested and charged with a DUI, reach out to my office today for help.
DUI DEFENSE ATTORNEY SERVING HAYS, KANSAS
If you’ve been charged with a DUI offense in Kansas, you could be facing significant penalties. Whether it’s your first, second, or third offense, you could be facing significant fines, license suspension, and even jail time. Don’t face the criminal justice system on your own. Call the Oller Law Firm, LLC today to speak with an experienced DUI defense lawyer. Attorney Paul Oller will fight hard to protect your rights and fight for you in court. Reach out today for help.