Below are frequently asked questions by individuals involved with a DUI case. Click on the links below to view our answers and/or recommendations.
First, if you have submitted to a breath test or blood test, at the completion of testing you have the right to contact your attorney. Exercise that right.
Second, you need to get out of jail which will mean posting bond. Bond may only require your signature “O.R. Bond”, or require that you pay cash or hire a bondsman.
Next, in order to ensure your rights are protected, you should call a DUI lawyer. There are legal steps that must be taken immediately to protect both your right to operate a motor vehicle and your rights concerning the criminal charge of DUI or Refusal. Remember, you only have 14 days to request an administrative hearing. A lawyer can provide guidance to set priorities and help you to make informed decisions.
If you are stopped by Law Enforcement, and believe that you will be investigated for DUI, your goal is to provide the government with as little evidence as possible.
Unless you can truthfully say you have not been drinking, your best response would be to decline to answer the question. You have the right to remain silent, exercise it.
No, you should politely decline. Despite what Law Enforcement may tell you, you are not required to take these tests. If you do take these tests, your performance will more than likely be used against you in court. These tests are subjectively and arbitrarily scored by the officer, and most people will fail these tests even when completely sober. Submitting to these tests will more than likely only help the prosecutor to build a stronger DUI or Refusal case against you.
For more information on the Field Sobriety tests please see our DUI Info Center
If you believe that you may be anywhere near the legal limit, you should politely decline, as an officer may rely on the result in whole or in part to arrest you. Even if you blow under the legal limit, experience says that you will still probably be arrested and requested to submit to an evidential test of blood breath or urine. Refusing a preliminary breath test is a traffic infraction, the penalty for which is a fine. Refusing a preliminary breath test does not result in any suspension or restriction of your driving privileges and is NOT the same as Criminal Refusal.
On July 1, 2012 the Kansas Legislature enacted K.S.A. 8-1025 (Criminal Refusal) making it illegal to refuse to submit to a chemical test. Failure to submit to the requested chemical test will result in you being charged with the crime of Refusal depending on your circumstances.
As Attorney’s we cannot advise you to violate the law.
While, depending on the circumstances, refusing a chemical test may make it less likely that you will be convicted of DUI, that refusal may be used as conscious evidence of guilt against you at your DUI trial. Often times a prosecutor will go forward without a chemical test and rely on other evidence such as poor driving, field sobriety test performance and other observations that the officer will claim to have made.
If you refuse, and ultimately the Criminal Refusal law is found to be constitutional, you will have provided the prosecutor with the sole piece of evidence needed to convict you of a crime which carries the same penalties as a DUI.
Additionally, if you refuse, it may result in a longer period of suspension or restriction of your driving privileges.
Police officers are trained in DUI detection and to observe certain driving characteristics in order to make a legal stop of a driver suspected of driving under the influence. The officer’s training is often based on standards set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Driving clues that may be typical of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs include: weaving in a lane, abrupt unwarranted swerving, erratic braking, rapid acceleration or deceleration, crossing the center line, driving without headlights, illegal or sudden turning, tailgating, unreasonable stopping, slow reaction to traffic lights, near collision, and bodily or physical mannerisms that indicate intoxication. It is also, not uncommon for officer’s to sit off bars, waiting for the patrons to leave at closing.
A police officer may pull over a driver for any observed mechanical or moving violation such as not wearing a seat belt, exceeding the speed limit, improper turn, equipment violations such as no tag light, broken tail lamp, texting, etc. An officer may also stop a driver when the officer has grounds to believe the driver may be committing any crime, including DUI.
If the stop involves a DUI investigation, Kansas law does not require that you be allowed access to an attorney until you have completed the breath/blood/urine tests requested by the officer. In the event you refuse these tests, the officer need not make an attorney available unless the officer starts to question you after being placed in custody. After a chemical test has been administered by the officer, the officer is required to allow you to call your attorney who may advise you of your right to take an independent alcohol content test depending on the circumstances of your alleged DUI.
Prior to requesting you to submit to a blood breath or urine test to determine your alcohol level, the officer must advise you of the Kansas “Implied Consent Advisories” which explain your rights concerning these tests, including that a refusal to take the chemical test may result in you being charged with the crime of Refusal, and which length of driver’s license suspension will be imposed depending on your circumstances.
Failure to properly provide the “Implied Consent Advisories” may be a legal point your lawyer can use in defending your case.
While a police officer should inform you of your Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination (Miranda Warning), this is not required, and many officers do not read you your rights. This can affect your case to the degree that any questions asked of you after being placed in custody may not be used by the prosecution. However, failure to give you Miranda warnings will not prevent the prosecutor from using your voluntary statements made after being placed in custody.
Exercise your right to remain silent!
What kind of body language or physical appearance does an officer look for to detect if someone has been drinking?
There are a number of things that police officers are trained to look for, including but not limited to: slurred speech; alcohol on the breath; bloodshot, watery, or glazed eyes; fumbling when retrieving license; swaying when standing; leaning on a car or other object; disorientation, combative, euphorically happy, or inappropriate behavior; inability to follow instructions and a red or flushed complexion.
While you can always represent yourself, because the penalties for a DUI or Refusal conviction are quite severe there is a lot that an experienced DUI attorney can provide that you may not know how to do if representing yourself. Suppressing evidence, compelling discovery, obtaining a dismissal of the DUI charge, negotiating a reduced sentence, analyzing chemical tests for accuracy and procuring expert witnesses to testify on your behalf are just some of the professional tasks a lawyer can perform that you probably cannot. An attorney is also skilled in contesting issues during the administrative hearing for license suspension.
Both DUI and Refusal are criminal cases which involve complying with complex procedural rules, presentation of evidence, and protecting constitutional rights. You must also be well versed in following and applying administrative and sentencing guidelines. It is always a wise decision to put your case in the hands of an experienced DUI lawyer.
We have over 80 years combined experience, call us to set up a free consultation. (316) 263-7596
If you have been arrested for DUI in Kansas, call us today at 316-263-7596 for a Free Case Evaluation. Let us use our years of experience and top legal strategies to help you.