Unfair DUI: How Can I Show I Was Under the Legal Limit?
A DUI citation can result in heavy fines and potentially even the loss of your vehicle. If you depend on your ability to drive to keep your job, a DUI conviction could even cost you your employment. It is no surprise then that we are often asked, “Can a DUI attorney near me in Johnson County, KS get me out of a DUI?”
There are ways to reduce the potential for a conviction in a DUI case. In fact, most DUI charges don’t even go to trial because defendants simply plead guilty with the hope that they will receive a lighter sentence. However, it’s possible to fight your case in court with the help of an experienced DUI attorney. If you believe your DUI charge was unfair because you were not above the legal limit, we can help you defend yourself.
Unfair DUI: How Can I Show I Was Under the Legal Limit?
Understanding Johnson County, KS DUI Laws
Johnson County, KS follows Kansas state law when it comes to DUI charges. Repeat offenders face the stiffest penalties and judges tend to be less favorable to dismissing charges against a repeat offender. However, if it’s your first DUI offense, you face either two days in prison or 100 hours of community service, in addition to mandatory alcohol safety education. Fines range from $500 to $1,000, though court costs and other fees will be added to that number.
As far as your driving privileges are concerned, your vehicle could be impounded for up to a full year. In addition, your license will be revoked for a month. After that month, there is an additional probation period of 11 months. Further driving violations, even minor ones such as speeding, could result in more serious penalties while you’re on probation.
How Can I Fight a DUI in Kansas?
If you’re here after searching “DUI attorney near me,” then you’re motivated to fight your case. So are we. A good defense starts with a great defense lawyer. If you try to represent yourself in court, not only will you rouse the ire of the state’s prosecutors and the judges, but you’ll likely commit errors that will make it harder to dismiss your case. The court system is complex, as is the law. You need an expert to help you.
Your DUI lawyer will fight your case by undermining the officer’s testimony. They can also build up a solid case that shows that you could not have been above the legal limit when you were charged with a DUI. Furthermore, they’ll look for procedural errors that could get your case dismissed. This approach can result in dropped charges or, at the very least, a significant reduction in fines and penalties.
Casting Doubt on the Officer’s Testimony
When a DUI case goes to trial, the judge and jury will hear two sides of the same story. One side is told by the prosecutor and is supported by the testimony from the police officer that gave you a DUI citation. Your side of the story matters too, which is why it’s very important that you honestly explain to your DUI lawyer everything that led to your charges. Even if some details incriminate you, share them with your lawyer.
If the prosecution or the police officer make false statements during the trial, your lawyer will be prepared to counter those arguments. For example, officers frequently claim that they stopped a vehicle because of swerving, which is why they then tested for a DUI. However, if you drive a vehicle with safety features that keep you in your lane, this argument falls apart. The jury could be persuaded that the officer fabricated grounds to stop you.
You are also allowed to bring your own witnesses to your trial to testify on your behalf. This can be especially helpful in DUI cases where you may have had a couple of drinks at a restaurant but weren’t intoxicated enough to have been over the legal limit. Those who were with you before you drove away could testify to what you consumed and speak to your character as well. Juries find these arguments very persuasive.
Likewise, other passengers in your vehicle could testify to how you were driving before you were stopped by the police. Several witnesses could discredit the officer’s version of events. That show of support could help get your case dismissed. Your lawyer will need to speak with anyone you’d like to testify for you before the trial. Tell your DUI attorney who you were with when you explain your case so they can reach out on your behalf.
Evidence to Support Your Claims
Although witnesses can be helpful, hard evidence is even better. Any evidence that you can provide to support your side of the story is going to make it easier for a DUI attorney to argue for your innocence. For example, if you have receipts that show that you barely consumed any alcohol before being stopped, that could tip the scales in your favor. Your phone’s location records could prove that you didn’t stop anywhere else, if you’ve enabled that feature.
If you have a dashcam, provide your DUI attorney with that footage. Dashcam footage will not only reveal exactly what police officers said to you but may even show the court how you responded to field sobriety tests. You can show the jury exactly how you drove before being stopped. It’s very difficult for a police officer to contradict video evidence. However, if you don’t have any footage, there are still other ways to defend yourself.
Was Proper Procedure Followed?
Lawyers can get cases dropped when they spot errors in procedure. Contrary to popular belief, police officers are not legally required to administer a breath-alcohol test to file DUI charges. Officers can file DUI charges if they believe you were intoxicated, despite a lack of hard evidence. However, these claims are much more difficult to support in court. Tell your DUI attorney if you were given a test, and if so, what the result was.
Even if you were given a breath test on the spot, breathalyzers have a margin of error. If your test came up as barely over the limit, it’s possible that the device used was faulty or hadn’t been serviced in a while. Lawyers can request maintenance records from law enforcement to challenge the results of a breathalyzer test. There are even dietary factors that could influence a breath test result. A 0.08% result is not an automatic prison sentence.
How Can a DUI Attorney Near Me Help?
As you can see, there are many ways to fight a DUI charge. However, none of them work without the help of a DUI attorney. If you represent yourself, you lose credibility. When you’re represented by an experienced lawyer, your case gains strength. Give yourself the best odds to fight and win your case: get a lawyer.
At Billam & Henderson, we have extensive experience battling DUI cases in Johnson County. Contact Billam & Henderson to schedule a meeting with an attorney and get the support you need.