Your Top 5 DWI/DUI Defense Lawyer Questions Answered
When it comes to DUI and DWI charges, the unknown can be intimidating, to say the least. If you receive a DUI in Kansas or DWI in Missouri, it’s likely you’ll have questions arise while trying to figure what to do next. And, it’s only necessary to get answers to those questions before taking matters into your own hands. At Kitchin Law Firm, we want to be a resource that serves to equip you as best as possible. Our DUI/DWI defense lawyer can provide you with insights and direction for handling your charges.
You have questions, we have answers.
5 FAQs About DWI’s and DUI’s
As a DUI/DWI defense lawyer, there are few questions we haven’t heard.
Here’s a list of five frequently asked questions to better inform you about DWI’s:
1. What do police officers look for when searching for drunk drivers on the highway?
Most DUI/DWI arrests occur at night and on the weekends. The following is a list of indicators an officer will use to conduct a DUI/DWI investigation. The list is based upon research conducted by the (N.H.T.S.A.):
- Turning with a wide radius
- Straddling center of lane marker
- Traveling 10 mph or less than the posted speed limit
- Following too closely
The N.H.T.S.A. doesn’t identify speeding as an indicator of impairment. However, it is a common prosecutor tactic to use speeding as a “risk taking” behavior suggestive of diminished judgment occasioned by alcohol consumption. Many police officers will admit that it’s not unusual for a sober person to drive 10 mph over the posted speed limit late at night when traffic is light.
2. If a police officers stops me and he asks if I’ve been drinking, what should I say?
You have the right to remain silent, which means you don’t have to answer potentially incriminating questions. A polite, “I would like to speak with an attorney before I answer any questions,” is an acceptable response. Too often, drivers respond by saying, “I had one or two beers.” This kind of response is not sufficient to cause intoxication, and it may explain the alcohol on your breath, but a prosecutor may use it against you as evidence that you were intoxicated.
3. What effect does a DUI/DWI conviction have on my record?
A few of the consequences of DUI/DWI conviction are:
- The punishment for future DUI/DWI convictions will increase.
- The DUI/DWI conviction can have an adverse effect on your employment, especially if driving is a major part of your work duties.
- A DUI/DWI conviction will require you to obtain SR-22 insurance, and should you drop your SR-22 insurance during the required period of coverage your driving privileges will be suspended.
- Scholarships can be lost, potentially damaging a student’s educational future.
4. If I am presumed innocent, then how can a police officer take my license after I am arrested for DUI/DWI?
If you are arrested for DUI/DWI, you have to understand that you have two independent and unrelated proceedings: criminal proceedings on the DUI/DWI charge and an administrative proceedings before the Department of Revenue against your driving privileges.
In Kansas, when arrested for DUI, and issued a form DC-27, the driver must request an administrative hearing. They’ll also have to pay a $50.00 application fee within 14 days after being served the DC-27. If the driver does not request the administrative hearing and pay the $50.00 application fee within 14 days, the driver will forfeit his or her right to an administrative hearing. From there, the automatic suspension will begin.
In Missouri, the type of administrative hearing depends on if the driver submitted or refused to take a breath test, or some other type of chemical test. If a driver submits to the test(s), the driver must request an administrative hearing within 15 days after the driver has received the notice of suspension/revocation. Conversely, if the driver refuses to submit to a breath test or some other type of chemical test, and the arresting officer gives the driver proper notice of license suspension — the driver must file a Petition for Review challenging the refusal. The driver has to file the Petition in the circuit court of the county in which the arrest took place. And, this must be within 30 days of the arrest. If the Petition is not filed within 30 days of the arrest, the right to a hearing is waived. From that point, the license suspension/revocation will begin.
The effect of timely requesting an administrative hearing is to “stay,” or postpone your administrative suspension until the matter can be heard by an Administrative Hearing Officer.
5. Do I need a DWI defense lawyer?
Every person can choose to represent himself or herself in court. But, with DUI/DWI being a serious matter, it’s generally not a wise choice to go to court without an attorney. Your privilege to drive, your freedom, your money and your future employment options may hang in the balance. The choice is yours, but we highly encourage you to consult with an attorney to see whether or not you should hire one for your case.
A DUI Defense Lawyer You Can Count On
If you’ve been charged with DWI and are looking for a qualified DUI defense lawyer — we offer a free consultation to help ensure we’re the right attorney for your case. To schedule your free consultation, contact Kitchin Law Firm today!