Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a serious offense across the United States. However, the possible penalties for this kind of offense can vary widely. In Wichita, Kansas, the type of penalty you will face if you are charged with a DUI depend on your individual circumstances.
The Legal Limit
Before discussing possible DUI penalties, let’s define what a DUI actually means in Kansas. According to state law, you can be charged with a DUI if you are caught operating or attempting to operate a vehicle when you are too impaired by drugs and/or alcohol to do so safely. For alcohol, the legal limit for the amount of alcohol in your blood is 0.08 percent in Kansas if you are over 21, but just 0.02 percent if you are under 21. If you have a commercial drivers license and are driving a commercial vehicle, the legal limit is different again, 0.04 percent in this case. There are no official limits for illegal drugs, but a police officer can issue a DUI if he or she thinks you are too impaired to drive safely. Remember that you can be charged for attempting to operate a vehicle, even if you haven’t yet managed to start the vehicle at the time the police officer intercepts you.
If the DUI charge is a first offense, you could face 48 hours in jail, as well as having your license suspended for a minimum of 30 days. In addition, you could be given a $1,000 in fines. These penalties might sound harsh, but they’re actually relatively mild compared to possible DUI penalties for further offenses.
Being caught driving under the influence for a second time could send you to jail for 90 days, as well as carrying larger fines and the threat of having your license suspended for a full year. A good defense attorney may be able to reduce your jail term to only two days, with the rest of the sentence spent on house arrest.
If you continue to drink and drive, the possible penalties become more severe. Third and subsequent DUI offenses are considered felonies rather than misdemeanors. That means the fines, jail time and license suspension periods can be much higher than those handed down for first or second offenses.
How a Lawyer Can Help
Whether it’s your first, second or third offense, there are many factors that affect the severity of a DUI penalty. One factor is the Wichita DUI attorney who you select to represent you when you face your charges. For example, a good defense attorney may be able to convince a judge to let you serve your sentence under house arrest instead of going to jail. If there are ambiguities in your case, or you feel that the police officer who pulled you over made a mistake, a good DUI defense attorney can look through the details of your case and construct a defense that will help you achieve the best possible outcome, given the situation.
How to Get Help With a DUI
If you are facing DUI charges, experienced Wichita DUI attorney Jonathan W. McConnell may be able to help. With many years of experience of dealing with driving-related cases, Jonathan W. McConnell can construct a defense case that minimizes the chance of you going to jail and may even reduce the size of the fines you face. Get in touch today to learn more about the consequences of a DUI and what you can do about it.