Archive for August, 2014

What Could a Kansas DUI Conviction Cost You?

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

If you have been accused of driving under the influence of alcohol, you are probably very concerned about the effects that a possible conviction could have on your life. Even if you are not convicted, being accused of driving under the influence of alcohol can affect your life for quite some time, as you work to get the charges dropped or reduced. In addition to consequences which affect your freedom and your options, you are likely to experience a variety of economic consequences as the result of being charged with a DUI, and even more if you are convicted.

Unfortunately, these costs begin to add up as soon as you are arrested. Your car may be towed from the scene of the traffic stop, and you are likely to have to pay fees for towing and storage in order to have it returned to you. After your arrest, there is the possibility that you will be required to post bond before you can be released. The exact amount of your bond may vary, but it could be more than you have available to you and you could incur the additional expense of paying a bail bondsman to post your bond for you.

Some DUI defendants believe that they can save money by representing themselves in their DUI cases. This is a risky proposition, as money spent on a DUI defense attorney is an investment which increases your chances of obtaining the best possible outcome in your DUI case under the circumstances. The fees for attorneys do vary, but be sure to select an attorney who is both skilled and experienced in the field of DUI defense instead of simply choosing the attorney who promises to charge you the lease amount of money. Ask your attorney what their fee includes, so that you can understand what you will be getting for the money that you are spending. Do not be afraid to spend a bit more on someone who specializes in DUI cases, and who spends plenty of time on each case reviewing evidence and exploring the feasibility of various defense strategies.

Regardless of the options that are presented to you for the possible resolution of your DUI case, it is likely that you will have to pay fees associated with the option that you choose. Diversion programs cost money, as do classes, counseling, and other items which may be required as conditions of resolving the case in a particular manner. There are also costs associated with the suspension and eventual reinstatement of your driver’s license, including reinstatement fees, higher insurance costs, and the cost of a vehicle interlock device if you are required to get one.

Other costs associated with being accused of a DUI or convicted of a DUI include court costs, and the cost of taking time off of work to go to court or because you do not have a vehicle to drive. If you have been accused of driving under the influence of alcohol, it is important that you contact a Kansas DUI defense attorney immediately. Retaining a knowledgeable Kansas DUI Defense Attorney will give you the best chance at obtaining the best possible result in your Kansas DUI case. To learn more about how a Kansas DUI defense attorney can help you with your DUI case, please call our Wichita office today at (316) 264-1548

Penalties for White Collar Crimes May be Changing

Friday, August 1st, 2014

Prisons all over America are overcrowded, and the United States Justice Department has been reviewing sentencing guidelines in an effort to cut costs and lower prison populations. It has been over a decade since penalties for economic, or “white collar” crimes like embezzlement and insider trading were increased, and many judges feel that the current penalty scheme does not make sense. Some feel so strongly about it that they have even deviated from the sentencing suggestions that are set forth in the guidelines, which are advisory, not mandatory.

Under the current sentencing guidelines, sentences for economic crimes are based in large part upon the amount of money that was taken as a result of the the crime, much like drug crime penalties are based upon the amount of controlled substances involved. Incidentally, the sentencing guidelines for drug crimes were updated recently, and the new drug crime penalty guidelines place much less weight on the amount of drugs involved in a crime by putting more focus on the other aspects of the crime. Many lawyers and judges feel that it is time to adjust the penalties for economic crimes in a similar manner, by placing less emphasis on the dollar amount involved and greater emphasis on the defendant’s role in the crime.

Although the sentencing guidelines are advisory and not mandatory, judges do like to rely on them for the sake of consistency. Judges who have departed from the existing guidelines in cases where the suggested punishment seemed entirely too harsh for the situation at hand support a reassessment of the penalty scheme so that more sensible penalties would be the rule, rather than the exception. For example, defendants who play very minor roles in fraudulent schemes are eligible for lengthy sentences under the current penalty guidelines. In cases involving defendants who contributed very little to the economic crimes in which they were implicated, some judges have given much shorter sentences than those that are suggested by the guidelines. Those who would like to see the sentencing guidelines changed argue that things like the sophistication of the crime, the defendant’s motive, and the outcome (whether the defendant received an actual financial benefit) should matter more than how much money was taken.

Defendants who have been charged with economic crimes should know that the sentencing guidelines have not been changed yet. The current penalties for economic crimes are harsh, and could have far-reaching impacts on all areas of your life. If you have been charged with an economic crime, it is essential that you contact a Kansas Criminal Defense Attorney right away, so that your rights can be protected. A Kansas Criminal Defense Attorney will help you to pursue the best possible outcome in your case, whatever that may be. Your Kansas Criminal Defense Attorney will also give your case the personal attention that you deserve. To learn more about how a Kansas Criminal Defense attorney can help you with your Kansas criminal matter, please call our Wichita office today at (316) 264-1548.