Wichita First-Offense DUI Attorneys
Providing Skilled Defense for Those Accused of Drunk Driving
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2016, nearly 10,500 people were killed in alcohol-related accidents in the United States. In 2017, there were 1,993 drunk driving-related crashes on Kansas roads. Although that is 1,300 fewer collisions than a decade prior, the state still hotly pursues these matters.
Throughout the year, police departments and the Kansas Highway Patrol set up sobriety checkpoints to identify drivers under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol and prevent impaired driving crashes. At checkpoints, or even while officers are patrolling streets, drivers suspected of being under an intoxicating substance will be subject to field sobriety tests and arrested if evidence shows they are impaired.
Allow our seasoned attorneys at Hulnick, Stang, Gering & Leavitt to provide the legal help you need throughout the process. We have 8 decades of combined experience and have obtained case dismissals and charge reductions for past clients. Our team is ready to work toward a favorable outcome on your behalf.
What Is a DUI First Offense?
In Kansas, it is illegal for a person to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher or with an amount of drugs and/or alcohol in their system that impairs their ability to safely operate a vehicle.
A person driving under the influence of an intoxicating substance might:
- Drive slower than the posted speed limit
- Weave in and out of lanes
- Strike objects or drive up curbs
- Respond slowly to traffic signals
- Ignore traffic laws
If an officer observes such driving behavior, the individual could be arrested on suspicion of operating a vehicle under the influence.
A first-offense DUI occurs when the individual facing charges has no prior convictions for this crime.
Under Kansas law, a DUI conviction includes:
- A guilty plea or verdict, or
- Participation in a diversion program for a violation of this law
The court may consider convictions for related offenses, such as driving a commercial vehicle under the influence or operating a vessel while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
There are nuances of the DUI law concerning what can be considered a prior conviction. Our Wichita attorneys will review your circumstances and any past convictions to help you understand whether or not yours may be a first-time violation.
What Are the Penalties for a DUI First Offense in Kansas?
If you are facing a first-offense driving under the influence (DUI) charge, you could be facing severe conviction penalties. A first-offense DUI charge is a class B, nonperson misdemeanor, and the individual charged could face both administrative and criminal penalties.
Additionally, the information gets placed on your criminal record, which could impact your ability to find employment, especially if the position requires driving. Although you may want to handle your DUI case on your own, doing so could be challenging, as the criminal justice process is complex, and a mistake could have serious consequences.
If a driver failed a chemical test to determine alcohol or drug levels, administrative penalties for a first offense include:
- 30-day driver’s license suspension
- 6-months ignition interlock device installation
If the person refused to take the chemical test, the administrative penalties would increase to:
- 1-year driver’s license suspension
- 2-year ignition interlock device installation
A conviction for a first-offense DUI could carry with it:
- 48 hours to 6 months in jail
- 100 hours of community service
- $750 to $1,000 fine
- Participation in an alcohol and drug evaluation program
How Likely is Jail Time for a First DUI in Kansas?
Although a conviction for a first-time DUI in Kansas can result in being released on probation, a judge may order an offender to serve at least 48 hours (2 days) in jail before being placed on probation. However, the court also has discretion to order 100 hours of community service in lieu of spending time behind bars.
DUI probation typically lasts 1 year and involves certain restrictions, such as obeying the law, avoiding consuming alcohol or drugs, undergo alcohol and drug testing, attend a class or program, and other requirements. Violating a probation condition can be punishable by a jail sentence.
One of the most important things to do is to hire an experienced attorney who understands the laws in your area and can help you navigate the legal system. Our legal team will be able to advise you on all available options and fight for your rights. Additionally, we may be able to negotiate with prosecutors or judges in order to reduce your charges or penalties.
Get Aggressive Defense for Your Case
At Hulnick, Stang, Gering & Leavitt, we are committed to providing focused and results-oriented defense in Wichita. If you are facing a first-offense DUI, reach out to our team as soon as possible. We will conduct a thorough analysis of your circumstances to build a legal strategy and fight charges.