How Long Will It Take To Resolve a DUI?

Posted: January 15, 2024 at 12:00 am

Facing a DUI charge in Kansas is a stressful experience, so you may find yourself searching DUI lawyers near me looking for an answer to perhaps the most stressful aspect of the whole thing: not knowing how long it will take to get back to normal life. Unfortunately, for those charged with a DUI in Olathe, KS and Overland Park, KS, there’s no simple answer. The timeline for a DUI case can vary depending on several factors that will be specific to your case. Understanding these factors, though, can help you to manage expectations and know a bit about what to expect.

Steps in the Criminal Process

The Arrest

Everything starts with the arrest. Upon suspicion of driving under the influence, law enforcement will perform field sobriety tests and possibly a breathalyzer test. If arrested, you may spend the night in jail and then have to deal with the practical aftermath, like recovering your vehicle from impound, which can take a few days.

Legal Representation and Plea Entry

Getting qualified legal representation is a crucial next step. In your hunt for DUI lawyers near me, prioritize those with proven experience and who know the Olathe, KS and Overland Park, KS courts. Once an attorney is involved, you will face arraignment, where you must enter a plea. This decision significantly impacts your case trajectory, with guilty or no contest pleas potentially hastening the process and not-guilty pleas leading to further legal proceedings.

Pre-Trial Activities

The pre-trial phase in Kansas can extend over several months. During this time, your lawyer will work with you to develop defense strategies, which may include filing motions to suppress evidence or dismiss charges. During this time, there might also be plea negotiations, and these could resolve the case without a trial. However, it’s never wise to accept any plea deal without first talking it through with your lawyer.

Trial and Sentencing

If the case goes to trial, it can last from a day to several weeks, depending on its complexity. The trial phase is where evidence is presented and contested. Following a guilty verdict, sentencing occurs, which could involve fines, jail time, and license suspension, among other penalties.

Appeals and Post-Conviction

Post-conviction, you may have the option to appeal, which can further prolong the case resolution. Appeals can take a substantial amount of time, especially if the case is particularly complex and thus requires an extensive review by higher courts.

Steps in the Administrative Process

Your administrative hearing is separate from any criminal proceedings and has to do with your driver’s license. The administrative process for a DUI case in Kansas starts immediately after an arrest. If you fail or refuse a breath test, an officer will issue you a DC-27 form.

Requesting an Administrative Hearing

Upon receiving the DC-27 form, you have 14 days to request a hearing regarding the suspension of your driver’s license. The Kansas Department of Revenue then sends you three critical letters:

Acknowledgment

The first letter you receive is an acknowledgment of your request for an administrative hearing.

Document Requirements

The second letter lists the documents you must produce before the hearing.

Hearing Details

The third letter provides the date, time, and location of your administrative hearing.

By keeping these letters, along with your DC-27 form, with you, you can legally drive beyond the 30 days mentioned in the DC-27 if it takes longer than this for your scheduled hearing to take place.

Outcome of the Administrative Hearing

At the hearing, your lawyer will argue your case, and the judge’s decision can either result in the suspension of your license or not. If the judge rules against you, the suspension starts 30 days after the hearing.

You have the right to appeal the judge’s decision within 14 days of the hearing, and the duration of the suspension will depend on factors like how many previous DUI offenses you might have, your compliance with breath testing, and the BAC levels you had at the time of your arrest. There are some procedures that can allow you to regain driving privileges, fully or in a limited capacity, more quickly than the full suspension term, but these require specific actions and you’ll want the help of a good lawyer.

Minimizing Delays and Resolving Your Case Quickly

While it’s not possible to predict an exact timeline for a DUI case, certain proactive strategies can help you minimize delays and streamline the process. Here are some key steps you can take:

Look for DUI Lawyers Near Me in Overland Park, KS and Olathe, KS

Consulting with an experienced DUI lawyer early on will make everything go more smoothly. Your lawyer can keep up with all the legalize as well as keep things moving, negotiate effectively with the prosecution, and develop a strategic approach to your defense that will expedite the case’s progress while giving you the best shot at a good outcome.

Cooperate with the Legal Process

Actively participate in the process by promptly responding to all requests for information, attending court hearings, and keeping to deadlines set by your lawyer or the court. Failure to cooperate can lead to unnecessary delays and even contempt of court charges; conversely, showing a willingness to cooperate, especially if this is your first charge, can show the court you’re a responsible person and incline them to be more lenient.

Be Open to Communication

Maintain clear and consistent communication with your lawyer. Inform them of any developments or concerns you may have throughout the case, and be honest from the start. Open communication allows your lawyer to adapt their strategy and address any potential roadblocks promptly.

Explore Alternative Resolutions

Depending on the specifics of your case, your lawyer may recommend pursuing alternative resolutions like plea bargains or diversion programs. These options can significantly reduce the overall timeline to resolution compared to going to trial.

Be Patient

While taking these proactive measures can certainly help to expedite the process, remember that resolving a DUI case just takes time. Commit to patience and understanding, and remember that rushing the process could actually jeopardize your best interests.

The Ripple Effects of a DUI Charge

The timeline for resolving a DUI case speaks only to the legal proceedings. The wider ramifications of a DUI charge can extend far beyond the courtroom, impacting your personal and professional life in various ways and for much longer than the actual trial. These potential consequences can include:

Driver’s License Suspension

A DUI conviction often results in a suspended or revoked driver’s license, causing disruptions to your daily routine and potentially affecting your employment.

Financial Repercussions

Fines, court costs, and the potential for increased insurance premiums can significantly impact your finances; and if you aren’t able to get to work easily because of a suspended license, the situation can get worse.

Employment Challenges

Depending on your profession, a DUI conviction may raise concerns for employers, potentially leading to job loss or difficulty finding new employment.

Because the long-term effects are so serious, it’s always best to move purposefully towards a resolution and do everything you can to better your chances of a good outcome. This starts with your lawyer, who will work towards a swifter resolution while minimizing the broader impacts on your life. If you’re facing a DUI charge, contact Billam & Henderson, LLC right away to get experienced help.