WHAT ARE THE TOP MISCONCEPTIONS PEOPLE HAVE ABOUT DUI CHARGES?
The most common misconception would be that a person is going to automatically lose their driver’s license when they get a DUI. That is not true. It is difficult to keep your driver’s license, but it is possible, depending on how your case works out, you may be able to keep your license. Another misconception is that if you refuse a breath test that you are automatically going to lose your driver’s license, but that is not true either. You are still entitled to have an administrative hearing on your license and contest whether your license should be suspended. Other than that, people are generally remorseful and they come in if they were in fact intoxicated while driving.
Other misconceptions would be that people think this is just going to ruin their life and that they are in so much trouble and that they are never going to be able to get past it. A DUI, although it is a serious charge can have some kind of long-lasting consequences, either losing your license or possibly going to jail or having a criminal record. Even though it has some long-lasting consequences, if you get a lawyer and that lawyer practices DUI defense, a lot of those things can be avoided. Even for someone that is guilty, even intoxicated, it does not mean that that person is going to have a criminal record; it does not mean that that person is going to go to jail.
People search online anytime you get a DUI, if you get a conviction for a DUI, and you lose your driver’s license. That is if you get a conviction. If you get a conviction, there is a mandatory jail sentence, you do go to jail. Just because people read those things and they will see that it says the word “Mandatory” that does not mean that is going to happen to a person. Those are people that are convicted of a DUI.
Advice for People Contemplating a Guilty Plea to DUI Charges in Kansas
Most courts are not going to let you do that anyway because in Kansas, it is a mandatory jail able offense. If you plead guilty, you do go to jail. Most courts are not going to let you do that anyway. They are going to either appoint you a lawyer and if you cannot afford one, they are going to make you hire one. But that happens all the time. People come in and say, “Hey, they got me. I was drink. I shouldn’t have done what I was doing. I know I was over the legal limit, I shouldn’t have been driving”. Just because you are charged with the crime, and because you know you did something wrong does not mean that you want to go in and plead guilty.
Sometimes there is a middle ground to be had that you do not suffer the extreme consequences of a guilty plea, whether it is through a diversion or whether your lawyer can look at the evidence and suppress some of the evidence and maybe you can take the case to trial and win or have a motion to dismiss, granted it is based on some suppression of evidence. There is no reason to just go in and plead to a DUI without at least having a lawyer look at it and go in and be your advocate and try to keep some of these negative consequences from happening to you. It is very easy to go in and it is very easy to say, “Hey, I did it and I am going to take the consequences for it”. Until you start taking some of the consequences for it, Kansas has some pretty tough DUI laws.
Whenever you are sitting in jail, you will probably regret just going in and pleading guilty. Whenever your license is suspended for years, you will probably regret just going in and pleading guilty. Just because it helps resolve the situation quickly, does not mean that it helps resolve the situation in the long run.
Is A Driver’s License Immediately Taken On A DUI Arrest? Is A Hardship License Available?
If the person has their driver’s license, the physical copy on them, the police will take it. That does not mean that the person cannot drive; it just means they do not have a physical copy of their driver’s license. The police will then give them a DC27. A DC27 is a notice of suspension of your license and this serves as a temporary license. If you read the print on the DC27, it tells you on the thirtieth day after that notice that was issued to you the DC27, known as the pink paper is given to you, and then your driving privileges are now suspended.
The only way that you can stop that suspension is within fourteen days of receiving it. You have to file an administrative hearing request with the Kansas Department of Revenue. You pay $50 and once you have requested the notice then your license will be suspended after thirty days is no longer valid. It will not be suspended until you have had a hearing and if you win the hearing, then obviously there will not be a suspension; if you lose the hearing, then you get the suspension. So that is pretty much how it works.