Kansas City Traffic statistics for 2016 reported over 61,800 vehicular accidents, with 2,200 related to alcohol. Of those accidents, 851 led to injuries, and 76 were fatal. In light of such serious statistics, it makes sense that the Kansas police has cracked down on the prevalence of driving while intoxicated. This means checkpoints and police presence are increased, and individuals face DWI charges on a regular basis.
Kansas City DWI charges lead to jail time and fines that can be over $2,000. Charges also cost money in terms of missed work shifts and significant time spent in jail. In order to minimize the impact of DWI charges on a developing career, family quality time, or financial stability, it is important to secure legal counsel at the right time. It is also important to make sure your attorney is well-versed in DWI cases and the procedures related to the case from start to finish. Below are some important factors to remember when considering the procurement of legal counsel in light of recent Kansas City DWI charges.
Find Counsel to Handle the Fight Appropriately
Your legal counsel must understand the ins and outs of a DWI case. This includes the procedures the police use, the way evidence is processed, and any typical weak areas in that processing in the way evidence is handled or stored and in witness verification. An attorney understands the smallest details related to all matters in the DWI case, increasing odds of a lesser sentence or case dismissal for the client in question.
Be Aware of the Importance of Timing
Timing is vital when it comes to hiring an attorney. The time to ask for legal counsel is before the breathalyzer is taken. This requires a clear request, or the officer may ignore it. Meanwhile, the decision to blow a breathalyzer or not involves the balance of multiple factors. A short conversation with legal counsel may ensure the correct decision occurs.
It is also important to remember that once DWI charges are filed, the window to file certain documents and handle the case appropriately is very narrow. Mistakes in filing or missing deadlines during the legal process related to DWI charges can significantly impact the sentencing.
Details Make the Difference; Be Cognizant of All Important Evidence
DWI charges rely heavily on evidence gathered at the time of the arrest. Logically, client memory and details related to that time period are key to refuting evidence or proving improper handling of key case elements. Individuals charged with Kansas City DWI must focus on the smallest details related to the evening in question.
All conversations, evidence gathering and potential witness testimony should be related to your legal counsel at the first opportunity. The longer it takes to discuss details with an attorney, the greater chance of forgetting important information and key elements of the case. This can significantly impede accuracy and success in defense.
If you are facing Kansas City DWI charges, you will need to make all efforts for refining focus and making sure to remember details that are key to the case. This truly makes all the difference when the case goes to court. In order to improve the odds of avoiding significant fines and jail time, the evidence should be managed appropriately.
Penalties Related to DWI Convictions
DWI charges lead to sentencing. A key question for individuals who are charged is: what is the potential sentence if found guilty of the charges? Below are potential sentences based on the conviction frequency for the individual charged.
For a First Conviction:
- Jail sentence ranges from 48 hours to six months, with minimum time served at 48 hours
- Fines range from $750 to $1,000
- Driver’s License suspension from 30 days to one year; followed by required installation of an ignition interlock
- Counseling and treatment may also be required, and an alcohol evaluation will definitely be part of sentencing.
For a Second Conviction:
- Jail sentence ranges from 90 days to one year, with mandatory time served at five days
- Fines range from $1,250 to $2,500
- Driver’s license suspension is one year, followed by mandatory ignition interlock
- An evaluation for alcohol is mandatory, and counseling or therapy may be required as part of the sentence.
For a Third Conviction:
- Jail sentence ranges from 90 days to one year, with minimum time served set at 10 days
- Fines range from $1,750 to $2,500
- Driver’s license suspension is one year, followed by mandatory ignition interlock installation
- Counseling and treatment may be required; a mandatory alcohol evaluation will be part of sentencing.
For a Fourth Conviction:
- Jail sentence ranges from 90 days to one year, with a mandatory time served of 90 days
- Fines range from $1,750 to $2,500
- Driver’s license suspension is one year, followed by mandatory installation of an ignition interlock
- Both an alcohol evaluation and counseling and treatment are required.
It is also important to remember that a first conviction is a misdemeanor, Class B; the second and third convictions are misdemeanors, Class A; while the fourth conviction is a felony. With this in mind, it is vital to have legal counsel who can appropriately handle the case and cut down on the likelihood of conviction.
Legal counsel protects the rights of the one who is facing Kansas City DWI charges and works hard to ensure they get the minimum sentence for the corresponding conviction level. In order to provide appropriate counsel, lawyers evaluate all information provided to them. Clients need to be completely honest with counsel and allow for accurate evaluation of the case and corresponding evidence.
Discuss DWI Charges with Your Kansas City Attorney Today
Clients who face DWI charges often freeze up with stress and uncertainty, and their questions about future proceedings and potential conviction pile up. For these questions and any concerns related to Kansas City DWI, now is the right time to get in touch with Hollingshead & Dudley for a consultation. The meeting focuses on legal issues and the most reasonable path to take moving forward.
Call 816-895-7070 to schedule an initial meeting today!