Prior DUI convictions will have a major impact on your current case. If the state proves the allegations, prior convictions elevate the seriousness of the crime you can be sentenced for. If you’re searching Google for “DUI lawyer near me,” you’re on the right track, since you will want a specialist on your side. You will also want to learn more about how a prior DUI conviction impacts sentencing in Lenexa, KS and Shawnee, KS.
How Prior DUI Convictions Affect Cases in Lenexa, KS and Shawnee, KS
One Prior Conviction
A second DUI charge is a much more serious offense in the state of Kansas, even if the first DUI went through diversion. This second conviction is a Class A Nonperson Misdemeanor. The judge will determine the final sentencing. The classification for a second conviction is a Class A Nonperson Misdemeanor.
This carries a possible jail sentence of somewhere between 90 days and one year. There’s also a fine of between $1,250 and $1,750. Programs like house arrest and work release are possible. Other possibilities include probation, parole, and suspension of sentence, but not until five days of jail time have been served.
Two Prior Convictions With a 10-Year Gap
This classification applies when the third DUI charge happens on a date more than 10 years after release from jail. In this situation, the third DUI charge is still classified as a Class A Nonperson Misdemeanor. You are facing the possibility of 90 days to one year in jail and a fine between $1,750 and $2,500. The possibility of parole is not available until a minimum of 90 days in jail has been served.
It’s important to note the court will be aware of all prior convictions, even when they don’t elevate the classification. This may impact how the prosecutor pursues your case and how the judge approaches sentencing. While the final charge pursued will be a Class A Nonperson Misdemeanor as with one prior conviction, sentencing may be harsher. For example, the jail time may be closer to one year than the possible 90 days for this third conviction.
Two Prior Convictions Within 10 Years
If you have two prior DUI convictions within the previous 10 years, the most recent DUI is classified as a Nonperson Felony. You are still facing the same possible jail sentence of 90 days to one year. The fine is also in the same range of $1,750 to $2,500. However, having a felony on your record is much more serious than having misdemeanors, especially in terms of social consequences.
When you have a felony conviction on your record, it can be harder to find employment. Many jobs won’t hire people with a felony. This can also impact opportunities for renting an apartment and similar situations. Any future charges will also be considered more serious once you have a felony on your criminal record.
Three or More Prior DUI Convictions
Once three DUI convictions are on your criminal record, DUIs are classified as Nonperson Felonies. Defendants still face the possibility of a jail sentence somewhere between 90 days and one year. The fine for a Nonperson Felony is $2,500.
The defendant will need to serve 90 days in jail before the possibility of parole is considered. There is also the possibility for work release or electronic monitoring after 90 days are served. In these situations, once jail time has been served, there is the possibility the court will impose supervision requirements. These requirements may include substance abuse treatment plans or interlock devices in the vehicle.
There is the possibility that an out-of-state DUI may not impact your DUI case in Shawnee, KS or Lenexa, KS. You’ll need to consult with your attorney about your case, as the laws are complicated. The location of the prior DUI and the timeframe will influence the final determination. Another exception is that in Kansas any DUI conviction before July 1, 2001 will not impact your current case.
It’s important to note that these exceptions only mean that your case won’t be elevated. This means you won’t see a sentence elevated from a Class A Misdemeanor to a Class B Misdemeanor or a Felony. These instances of prior DUIs may still be brought to the attention of a judge or prosecutor. This may influence the way they handle your case and the decisions they make.
When Your First DUI Conviction Resulted in a Diversion Program
The first thing to know is that the diversion program is only available for a first DUI. You cannot go through a diversion program on a second DUI charge.
Also, the first DUI charge is still on your criminal record, even though it’s not a conviction. This means that if you are arrested for a second DUI after completing a diversion program, you are still considered a repeat offender. This second DUI charge faces sentencing as a Class A Misdemeanor. This means there is the possibility of 90 days to one year in jail and a fine.
It’s important to note that DUI charges may come with additional consequences. For example, there are social consequences when you apply for a job. Employers may see prior DUI convictions or jail time on your criminal record. There is also the possibility of losing your driving privileges depending on how a court case unfolds.
These convictions may also mean that you pay higher insurance rates in the future. They can also lead to probation requirements.
What To Look for When Searching for a “DUI Lawyer Near Me”
DUI Trial Experience
When you search online specifically for a “DUI lawyer near me”, your results will provide you with a local attorney. Your attorney should have DUI trial experience. The ideal result will be that your lawyer is able to negotiate or have your case dismissed to help you avoid trial. To make that happen, they’ll need to prepare your case as if it is going to trial.
They will need to investigate what happened during your arrest and take a deep look at protocols. They may find that the field sobriety testing protocol wasn’t properly followed or there wasn’t a justifiable reason for the initial stop. These are circumstances an experienced DUI lawyer will investigate, and it may lead to a basis for dismissal.
Proven Track Record
You are allowed to ask a potential attorney about their success rate. Ask them how often they handle cases like yours. Ask them what their success rate is. Their answers will speak to their expertise and confidence, which are two qualities you want in someone defending you.
Someone You Can Communicate With
You want to find a lawyer who is willing to answer your questions. These cases are very complicated and difficult to understand. That’s why you have chosen to hire a lawyer to defend you. You’ll need someone who listens to you and who you trust to speak on your behalf.
Prior DUI convictions have a serious impact on your current case. These are serious charges that you shouldn’t have to face alone. Get an experienced lawyer on your side who will look out for your best interests and build a strong defense. Contact Henderson Legal Defense, LLC for a free consultation.