Archive for September, 2014

Kansas DUI Defense Attorney Discusses DUI Checkpoints

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

Drivers throughout Kansas may have noticed that there have been more DUI checkpoints set up along the roads than there ever were before. This past Labor Day weekend, the Lawrence Police Department set up a DUI check lane from eleven in the evening on Friday until three in the morning on Saturday. Nearly four hundred vehicles passed through the checkpoint. Of those vehicles, twenty drivers participated in field sobriety tests. Ten of those drivers were arrested for DUI. In addition to the DUI arrests, officers issued two citations for drug offenses and six citations for traffic violations.

The Labor Day weekend DUI check in Lawrence was just one of the many recent DUI checkpoints which were set up throughout the state. One late-night checkpoint in Sedgwick County resulted in two DUI arrests and one drug-related arrest. There were two DUI checkpoints in Kansas City on September 12th and 13th. At those checkpoints, Missouri police made a total of twenty two DUI arrests, four arrests for driving with a suspended or revoked license, three arrests for driving without a valid license, nine traffic violations, and six drug-related arrests. As you can see, DUI checkpoints are an easy way for law enforcement officials to look for multiple types of motor vehicle violations at once, including driving under the influence of alcohol, seatbelt use, drug use, and possession of weapons.

Since law enforcement officials have stepped up their use of DUI checkpoints, it is essential that drivers understand how checkpoints work, and how they can do their best to pass through them without incident. When checkpoints are to be set up, their locations are publicized in advance, often on the internet and in newspapers. Drivers can learn about the locations and dates of checkpoints ahead of time, and plan accordingly. Also, signs are posted near the checkpoint area to inform drivers that there is a checkpoint ahead. Some drivers interpret these signs as a cue to take an alternate route in order to avoid the checkpoint; however, this is not always a good idea. There are often officers stationed outside of the checkpoint area, near streets that lead away from the checkpoint, and they are looking for drivers who appear to be attempting to avoid the checkpoint. The end result is that drivers who make a last-minute decision to avoid the checkpoint are likely to be stopped.

Since attempting to avoid a checkpoint is likely to focus unwanted law enforcement attention on your vehicle, going through the checkpoint is probably your best bet. Officers at checkpoints may only examine each vehicle for a short amount of time, unless they develop a reasonable suspicion of illegal activity. The best thing that you can do is to exercise your right to remain silent, and give as little information as you can. For example, you are not required to provide an answer to the question of whether you have had anything to drink, how much you have had to drink, where you are coming from, or where you are going. It is entirely possible to remain calm and be polite while doing so, and your attitude does play a role in how smoothly your checkpoint experience will go.

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.

Kansas Criminal Defense Attorney Talks About How an Upcoming Kansas Supreme Court Case Could Affect the State’s Offender Registry

Saturday, September 20th, 2014

There is a case which is being heard by the Kansas Supreme Court which could have an impact on the lives of all of the people who are currently required to participate in the state’s offender registry. In 2011, the state Legislature amended the offender registry law. When the law was amended, the listing requirements for many of the offenders who were on the registry at that time were retroactively lengthened.

For one man, who was originally required to register as a sex offender for ten years beginning on the date of his conviction in 2003, the amendment to the listing rules required him to register for another fifteen years, for a total of twenty five years. The man sued the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, and argued that his name should be removed from the offender registry because he has already completed the ten years of registration that he was required to complete under the terms of his conviction. The man’s argument in support of his request to remove his name from the registry is that the retroactive extension of his registration requirement following the amendment of the state registry law is unconstitutional, because it is an “ex-post-facto” law, a law which results in punishment after-the-fact. The judge agreed with this argument, and issued a ruling which ordered that the man’s name be removed from the registry. The state has appealed the case to the Kansas Supreme Court.

Having to register as a sex offender, drug offender, or violent criminal can have far-reaching consequences for those who are required to register. Consequences of registration can include being prohibited from certain types of employment, having difficulty obtaining housing, and even being a target for ridicule and violence. However, the public does have an interest in knowing when offenders are present in their communities. Offender registries are an attempt to balance public access to information regarding offenders with the offenders’ interests in having their names remain on the registry for as little time as possible due to the detrimental impact that it has on many areas of their lives.

Individuals whose registration requirements were retroactively lengthened when the Legislature amended the registration law in 2011 will want to watch for the Kansas Supreme Court’s decision on this issue, as it could possibly decrease the length of time that they are required to register. If you have been charged with a crime for which you are likely to have to register if you are convicted, 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.

Kansas Personal Injury Attorney Discusses Bicycle Accidents

Friday, September 5th, 2014

This year has not been a good one for cyclists in Kansas. At least seven people have been killed so far in 2014 while riding their bicycles on Kansas roads. The causes of the fatal accidents have been varied – one cyclist was hit by a train, another died from a medical condition, and five were struck by vehicles. Of the cyclists who were hit by vehicles in accidents where details have been made available regarding crash details, one was hit by a drunk driver, one was involved in a head-on collision with a motorist who was passing illegally, and two were hit by vehicles that were approaching them from behind.

Accidents involving cyclists often involve serious injuries or death. While bicycle helmets do prevent injuries that a cyclist would sustain during a fall, they are often not enough to prevent injury or death in a collision involving a motor vehicle. Since cyclists and motorists share the roads, it is important that they take precautions to do so safely.

The most important thing that drivers can do to avoid collisions with cyclists is to be aware of their surroundings. Driving within the speed limit enables drivers to have time to see what is around them, and to avoid collisions. Avoiding cell phone use and other distractions shifts a driver’s focus from what is going on inside their vehicle to what is happening around it. If you come upon a cyclist who is riding on your side of the road and you wish to pass them, be sure to pass slowly and give them at least three feet of space as you go by.

When cyclists take steps to make themselves visible, they increase the likelihood that motorists will see them. Cyclists can increase their visibility by wearing brightly colored clothing during both daytime and evening hours. If you ride after dark, mount lights on the front and rear of your bike so that motorists can more easily see you. There are also rear view mirrors, which can be mounted on your handlebars or on your glasses. Using these mirrors can help you to see vehicles that are approaching you from behind. If you are riding with a group, it is important to ride single file, for your safety. Always wear a bicycle helmet, in order to reduce the risk of injury from a fall, and to increase your chance of survival in a collision.

If you were injured or someone that you live was killed as the result of an accident involving a motor vehicle and a bicycle, it is essential that you speak with an attorney right away so that your rights can be protected. A Kansas Personal Injury Attorney can help you with every step of the recovery process, so that you can focus on healing. Your attorney will deal with communicating with the insurance company, and they will help you to analyze any settlement offers that are proposed. To learn more about how a Kansas Personal Injury Attorney can help you to obtain the settlement that you deserve, please call our Wichita office today at (316) 264-1548.

Healing From Automobile Accident Injuries is a Process

Monday, September 1st, 2014

Automobile accident victims know all too well that recovering from an injury, even one which was not classified as severe or life-threatening, is a process and not an event. If you have multiple injuries, your healing process may be even more lengthy and complicated. Whatever your situation, it is likely that the doctors who evaluated and treated your injuries immediately after your accident gave you some sort of idea about what you could expect to happen with your injuries as time went on.

Many times, accident victims are expected to make a full recovery from all of their injuries. Depending upon what injuries a victim has, the time frame within which they are expected to fully recover can vary greatly. Some accident victims are injured in ways which decrease the likelihood of a full recovery. Their doctors are likely to have discussed how much of a recovery they are likely to make, and how long it is likely to take them to reach that degree of recovery. For these accident victims, understanding the concept of maximum medical improvement (MMI) is an important part of obtaining recovery which is adequate to compensate them for the full extent of their injuries.

As an accident victim who is not expected to make a full recovery from his or her injuries progresses through treatment and healing, their doctors will continually evaluate their progress. Once the injured person arrives at a point where their doctors feel as though they will not make additional progress, they may be declared by their doctor to have attained maximum medical improvement, or “MMI”. While achieving MMI may take a considerable amount of time, it is important that you work towards that goal so that you can attain the best state of health that you possibly can. MMI is also an important milestone in your automobile accident injury lawsuit, because once you have achieved MMI, your attorney is able to calculate the full extent of your past damages as well as your expected future damages.

When you achieve MMI, your injuries may not heal any more than they already have, but you may have to continue with treatments like medication, stretching, or physical therapy in order to maintain the level of healing that you have been able to achieve thus far. You worked hard to get yourself to the point of maximum medical improvement, so it makes sense to continue with your doctors’ instructions for maintaining your health.

It can be hard to wait until you have achieved MMI before you settle your Kansas Automobile Accident Case. After all, the insurance company has been calling you with settlement offers and your bills are piling up. As difficult as it might be to wait it out, it could be even more difficult to discover later on that your automobile accident injury case was worth much more than you settled it for. Fortunately, a Kansas Automobile Accident Attorney can be your ally as you play the waiting game. Your attorney will deal with communicating with the insurance company, and they will help you to analyze any settlement offers that are proposed. Once you have achieved maximum medical improvement, your attorney can calculate your damages and pursue compensation which will adequately compensate you for your damages. To learn more about how a Kansas Personal Injury Attorney can help you to obtain the settlement that you deserve, please call our Wichita office today at (316) 264-1548.