How Can You Get Your License Back After a DUI?
Being charged for driving under the influence of alcohol can have profound consequences on your life, regardless of whether or not you are guilty. One of the most critical issues at stake is your ability to drive. Our DUI attorneys in Johnson County, KS are here to answer all of your questions about getting your license back, fighting the charges, and avoiding conviction.
What Happens to Your Driving Privileges When You Are Arrested for Driving While Intoxicated?
Kansas has some of the strictest DUI laws in the country. When you are arrested for a DUI, the burden is on you to demonstrate that you deserve to retain your driving privileges. Upon arrest, your license will be taken by the officers, and you will receive a document permitting you to continue driving for 14 days.
How Can You Get Your License Back?
To get your license back, you will need to request an administrative license hearing. The state of Kansas uses two different legal processes to determine whether or not you are guilty of driving while intoxicated and if you should retain your driving privileges. The outcome of the administrative license hearing has no impact on the outcome of the criminal trial, and vice versa.
The purpose of separating the criminal trial and the administrative hearing is to make it easier for the state to take away your ability to drive. If you do not request the hearing within 14 days, your license will be automatically suspended. Given the hard approach Kansas takes against driving while intoxicated, working with a lawyer specializing in DUI cases gives you the best chance of getting your license back.
Can You Still Drive While You Wait for the Administrative License Hearing?
Yes. Once you request the hearing, your license will be extended until the given date. Generally, you can expect to receive a date that is between three and six weeks after the day you request the hearing.
How to Strategize for the Administrative License Hearing
Not being able to drive can be incredibly disruptive, causing you to have to change how you get to work, how you fulfill your family obligations, and the way you structure your life. Our DUI attorneys are committed to optimizing your defense, giving you the best chance of retaining your driving privileges and avoiding conviction. While the administrative license hearing and the criminal trial are separate, you have the right to use the same lawyer for both.
Understand How the Hearing Works
The administrative hearing proceeds a little differently from the criminal trial. Most importantly, you are presumed guilty until you can prove your innocence. Unlike in the criminal trial, you do not have the option to negotiate for a lighter sentence if your license is suspended. However, you can appeal the decision. Our lawyers will work with you to ensure you understand all of the deadlines and protocols that will impact the outcome of the administrative hearing.
Know the Rules Governing License Suspension and Reinstatement
If your license is suspended following the administrative hearing, the length of the suspension will be determined by the result of your breathalyzer test and the number of previous DUIs against you. The suspension will be shorter if you are a first-time offender and longer if you refused a breathalyzer test. Your penalty will increase by one month for every passenger under the age of 14 who was in your vehicle when you were pulled over.
Typical suspension times range from 90 days to one year. Once you are eligible to have your license reinstated, you will need to pay a fee of up to $1,000. You may also be required to drive with an ignition interlock device for a period of time following reinstatement. As of January 8, 2020, all new interlock devices must be equipped with a camera.
Choose a Reputable Law Firm
Losing your ability to drive can have costly consequences, and you should not risk your driving privileges by deciding to represent yourself or hiring an underqualified attorney. Numerous studies have shown that courts are biased against defendants who come in without an attorney. Before you choose a lawyer to represent you, look into his or her individual track record of success.
Texas law protects the client-attorney relationship by making it illegal to require an attorney to testify against his or her client. Additionally, all information exchanged between the attorney and his or her client is strictly confidential. Texas bar association standards bind your lawyer to act in your interests exclusively, so you can be confident that he or she will be fully on your side.
Prepare for the Hearing According to Local Laws
While state statutes play a large role in determining the outcome of a DUI case, your lawyer needs to be aware of the local county laws that may be relevant, as well. Therefore, you should choose a lawyer who has argued previous cases in the county where your arrest occurred.
Show That Your Arrest Violated Police Protocols
Your lawyer will help you understand whether or not the police had valid grounds to pull you over. For example, officers are only allowed to stop a driver for swerving if the car crosses a white or yellow line. A failure to give the driver all the notices required by law upon arrest can be disclosed when you are allowed to tell your side of the story.
Demonstrate That Your Breathalyzer Test Was Faulty or Incorrectly Given
Even if you failed a breathalyzer test, you may be able to overcome the charges by showing that the results were invalidated by an error in the testing procedure or a problem with the way the test kit was manufactured. Was the test faulty? Did the officers administer it according to the correct protocols? Was the person who gave you the test certified to do so?
Our lawyers will conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the failed breathalyzer test. While the state might build its case against you around a BAC reading of 0.8% or higher, you may have grounds to argue that the results were inaccurate.
Prepare for the Criminal Trial
Your lawyer will provide comprehensive legal support that includes preparation for both the administrative license hearing and the criminal trial. When considering the potential outcomes of both of these legal processes together, the consequences of conviction could be severe. In addition to license suspension, penalties for a DUI include:
- Jail time
- Heavy fines
- Enrollment in a traffic safety education course
- Mandatory participation in an alcohol counseling program
We provide free consultations, during which we will give you information on how to best approach your case. When strategizing for the criminal trial, it is essential to uncover all evidence in your favor, shed light on any technical issues with the state’s case against you, and make an informed assessment of the potential outcomes.
Our DUI Attorneys in Johnson County, KS Will Fight for You
Our attorneys in Johnson County, KS are here to help you avoid losing your driving privileges and sustaining the other consequences of a DUI. To get in touch with us, contact Billam & Henderson, LLC.