Do You Have to Go to Court to Fight a DUI in KS?

Posted: April 1, 2023 at 12:00 am

Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious crime in Kansas, and the penalties can be severe if you don’t fight a DUI charge. If you’ve been charged with a DUI in Overland Park, KS, talk to a DUI attorney right away to find out your rights and options, including more about whether it will be possible to avoid going to court in your specific case.

Do You Have to Go to Court to Fight a DUI in Overland Park, KS?

In some cases, you may be able to avoid going to court to fight a DUI charge. This most often happens when you’re able to resolve the matter through making a plea agreement. A plea agreement typically involves pleading guilty or no contest to a lesser offense, such as reckless driving, in exchange for the dismissal of the DUI charge.

Your attorney can negotiate with the prosecutor to reach a plea agreement that is in your best interest, and you should never accept any plea deal without talking it over in detail with your DUI attorney. Sometimes, a plea deal is just that: a great deal. Other times, it can have life-altering consequences that you don’t really understanding until it’s too late and you’ve already signed on the dotted line. Only your attorney can help you navigate the sometimes muddy waters of hashing out a deal with the prosecution.

Circumstances Where You Must Go to Court

If you choose to contest the DUI charge, or you are unable to reach a plea agreement, you will have to go to court if you want to fight the charge. In court, your attorney can challenge the evidence against you. Your lawyer might challenge the results of a blood alcohol or breathalyzer test, the legality of the traffic stop, or the arresting officer’s observations. Your attorney can also present evidence in your defense and call witnesses to testify on your behalf.

Navigating the Legal Process

Hire an Attorney

An experienced DUI attorney can evaluate the evidence against you, identify any potential defenses, and negotiate on your behalf. There are no guarantees when it comes to a DUI, but your best possible hope comes from having a skilled attorney on your side.


The first court appearance after being charged with a DUI is called the arraignment. During this hearing, the judge will read the charges against you, and you will have the opportunity to enter a plea of guilty, not guilty, or no contest.

Pretrial Motions and Hearings

Before the trial, your attorney may file pretrial motions to challenge the evidence against you or request additional information from the prosecution. The court may also schedule pretrial hearings to address any legal issues or discuss the possibility of a plea agreement. It’s usually during this stage that you’ll decide whether to take a deal or go to court to fight.

Kansas DUI Laws

In Kansas, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher for drivers aged 21 and over, 0.04% for commercial drivers, and 0.02% for drivers under the age of 21. The state also prohibits driving under the influence of drugs or a combination of drugs and alcohol. There are also much stricter penalties if your BAC measures especially high (.15% or higher).

Implied Consent

Kansas has something called an implied consent law, which means that, by choosing to drive in the state, you agree to submit to a chemical test (breath, blood, or urine) if a law enforcement officer has reasonable grounds to believe you are under the influence. Refusing to take the test can thus result in the suspension of your driver’s license for a time.

Possible Penalties

Kansas DUI penalties vary depending on lots of factors, such as the driver’s actual BAC, any prior DUI convictions, whether or not you cooperating in taking the test, and the presence of any aggravating circumstances, like having a child in the car. Penalties may include fines, jail time, license suspension, mandatory completion of alcohol or drug education programs, and the installation of an ignition interlock device.

It’s important to note that a DUI conviction on your record has long-term consequences in addition to all the more obvious, short-term issues like fines or license suspension, and for this reason you might want to do all you can to fight a charge. Talk with your attorney about what’s best for your case, and consider the following possible long-term consequences of conviction, all of which are much more likely without a DUI lawyer on your side:

You’ll Have a Criminal Record 

A DUI conviction will result in a permanent criminal record, which can affect various aspects of your life. This record may be accessible to potential employers, landlords, educational institutions, and anyone else who cares to conduct a background check on you.

You May Have Issues With Employment

A DUI conviction may limit your job opportunities, as some employers may be hesitant to hire someone with a criminal record. Additionally, certain professional licenses and certifications may be denied or revoked due to a DUI conviction, making it difficult to pursue or maintain a career in specific fields, including some of the highest paying fields in recent years, like long-haul truck driving.

Your Auto Insurance Rates Will Skyrocket

After a DUI conviction, your auto insurance premiums may increase significantly, as insurance companies often view drivers with a DUI as high-risk. In some cases, your insurance company may even cancel your policy altogether.

You’ll Struggle Without Your Driver’s License

A DUI conviction often results in the suspension or revocation of your driver’s license, which can have a lasting impact on your mobility and independence. Even after your license is reinstated, you may face restrictions, such as the requirement to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle.

You May Hate the Social Stigma

Having a DUI conviction on your record may lead to social stigma and judgment from friends, family, and acquaintances, which can affect your personal and professional relationships. It’s not even out of the realm of possibility for a criminal record to be dug up by a romantic interest.

You Might Not Be Able to Travel

A DUI conviction may result in travel restrictions, as some countries deny entry to individuals with a criminal record.

You Could Lose Child Custody

If you are involved in a child custody dispute, either now or in the future, a DUI conviction may be considered by the court when determining custody and visitation rights. A history of DUI convictions could negatively impact your chances of obtaining or maintaining custody of your children. You can be sure that a vindictive ex-spouse will use this against you if they can.

You’ll Lose Out on Some Scholarship and Education Opportunities

A DUI conviction may impact your eligibility for certain scholarships or educational programs. Some colleges and universities have strict policies regarding the admission of students with criminal records, limiting your educational opportunities.

Work With a Skilled DUI Attorney

If you’ve been charged with a DUI, don’t try to go it alone, whether in or out of court. Instead, contact Henderson Legal Defense, LLC right away to get help. Call us at 913-586-2943.