A DUI arrest can be overwhelming, and especially if you’re not familiar with your rights under Kansas law. One of the most important rights you have is to search for a “DUI lawyer near me” right away, and working with a legal professional is always the safest way to get a positive outcome for DUI charges in Olathe, Overland Park, Shawnee, and Lenexa.
4 Legal Rights You Have During a DUI Arrest
1. Right to Remain Silent
Upon being approached or questioned by law enforcement officers, you have the constitutional right to remain silent. This right stands even if you are arrested or in custody. You are under no obligation to answer questions, and you cannot face punitive consequences for choosing to exercise this right.
In Kansas, you have to clearly assert this right. Remember: if you carry on a continued conversation or a diversion into another topic, this could undermine your initial choice to stay silent. Before answering any questions, it is always wise to consult with an attorney.
While you don’t have to answer most questions, Kansas law does have some exceptions. If an officer stops you and requests your identification, you might be required to provide it. If asked for such details, always confirm if you’re legally bound to share that information.
Potential Consequences of Speaking
Keep in mind that anything said to law enforcement can be used against you later. Remember, too, that while remaining silent and consulting a lawyer before speaking is your right, lying to an officer is always a criminal offense. It’s better to say nothing than to lie.
Finally, remember that, even if you’ve initiated conversation or answered some questions, you can always halt further communication at any time and express your desire for legal counsel.
2. Right to Ask to Go
When law enforcement stops you, especially if suspicion of DUI is involved, stay composed. Do not flee or argue with the officer. For your safety, it’s crucial to keep your hands visible. Once you’re approached and find out what the officer wants, always ask if you’re free to go. If permitted, walk away calmly. If you’re detained, insist on knowing the reason why.
3. Right to Reject Certain Searches
If you’re pulled over while driving, there are some things you must do. Stop in a secure location, turn off the engine, switch on the cabin light, slightly roll down the window, and place your hands on the steering wheel. Always show your driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance when asked. Remember, however, that you can refuse an officer’s request to search your vehicle.
Under certain conditions in Kansas, if an officer believes your car holds evidence of a crime, they might proceed with a search without your agreement. Always refuse permission for the search verbally, however, as your lawyer may be able later to exclude any evidence discovered in a search if it can be proved the officer didn’t really have a valid reason to conduct it.
You are not obligated to consent to a search of yourself or belongings. In Kansas, officers must inform you of your right to decline a search. If they suspect you pose a threat, however, they may perform a brief “pat down” of your clothing.
4. Right to Get An Attorney
In the unfortunate event that you are arrested, never resist, regardless of your personal beliefs about the arrest’s validity. Immediately express your wish to remain silent, however, and your desire to have an attorney. Then say nothing else until you find a good DUI lawyer.
What Follows a DUI Stop
A typical DUI stop can unfold in various ways. Officers will assess specific indicators to determine potential intoxication, from how you handle the vehicle to your responses during their interactions. They may then conduct Divided Attention Tests, which evaluate your ability to focus on multiple tasks. These are not accurate indicators of intoxication but can give the officers reason to look at you more closely.
If the officer still suspects a DUI after these evaluations, they may propose field sobriety tests. If you decline these, or if you fail them, they’ll likely use other methods to establish probable cause of a DUI, such as the Preliminary Breath Test. This test can’t be used at a trial as evidence in Kansas, but failing it can lead to your arrest if the results are unfavorable. You can refuse this test, however, but this will result in a fine, and the refusal to take the test will normally lead to the officer arresting you on probable cause.
Once you’ve been arrested, you’ll be taken back to the station, where a DC70 will be read to you. This is an advisory reminding you that, when the state of Kansas issues a driver’s license to a person, that person gives their implied consent to take a breathalyzer test. Most departments use the Intoxilyzer 8000 or 9000 at that point, and, depending on the results of the test, they may suspend your driver’s license. This will usually happen if your results are over 0.08%.
When you are charged with a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) or similar offenses in many jurisdictions, there are often two primary proceedings you must be concerned about: the administrative hearing and the criminal court proceedings. The administrative hearing typically deals with the immediate potential suspension or revocation of your driver’s license, while the criminal court proceedings deal with the criminal charges themselves.
Possible Next Steps
1. Administrative Hearing
The administrative hearing is a civil process, separate from any criminal proceedings. The primary concern of the administrative hearing is whether the driver’s license should be suspended or revoked due to the alleged DUI. If you don’t request a hearing at all, your license will be automatically suspended.
If you win the administrative hearing, you often get to keep your driving privileges or have them restored. If you lose, your license can be suspended for a predetermined period. While you can request and attend this hearing on your own, you’ll always get the best outcome by having an attorney represent you.
2. DUI Trial
Your attorney will thoroughly review all the evidence collected against you. This includes breathalyzer results, blood tests, field sobriety tests, and the arresting officer’s report. By doing this, they can identify inconsistencies or errors that can be used in your defense.
Your lawyer will also interview and cross-examine any witnesses. This often includes the police officer who made the arrest. The objective is to challenge the officer’s observations and conclusions. If there’s any inappropriate evidence, or if procedures were not correctly followed during your arrest, your lawyer might file motions to have certain evidence excluded.
Diversion is an alternative to traditional criminal prosecution. It allows first-time or low-risk offenders to avoid a criminal conviction and its associated penalties. Diversion programs aren’t available to everyone, though. Usually you will only be eligible if you have never had a DUI before and you didn’t cause an accident that resulted in injury or death.
Participants in these programs usually have to fulfill certain conditions, which may include attending alcohol education classes, undergoing counseling or treatment, performing community service, and paying fines or restitution.
Find a “DUI Lawyer Near Me” in Lenexa, KS and Shawnee, KS
A DUI is a serious charge, but you still have rights. Schedule a free consultation with the skilled DUI defense lawyers at Henderson Legal Defense, LLC right away to get experienced representation and a team of legal professionals who will fight for your rights every step of the way.