Archive for January, 2015

Kansas DUI Defense Attorney Reveals the One Thing You Must Never do After an Automobile Accident

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

Repeat after me – there is never a situation where it is acceptable for a driver to leave the scene of a crash. Not even if you think that someone else will stop to help. Not even if you think that the people in the other vehicle are okay. Not even if you have been drinking and you are concerned that you will be charged with driving under the influence.

Kansas law clearly states that drivers must stop after being involved in an accident. Sections 8-1602 and 8-1603 of the Kansas Statutes Annotated require drivers to stop if they are involved in any accident involving death, personal injury, or damage to a vehicle or other property and remain at the scene of the accident until they have provided identifying information to the driver of the other vehicle (if they are in a condition to receive such information) and/or the police officer who is investigating the accident. Penalties for failing to stop include, depending upon the extent of the injuries or damage caused by the accident, misdemeanor or felony charges and revocation of driving privileges. Simply stated, if you drive while you are intoxicated and you fail to stop after being involved in an accident, DUI charges could be the least of your worries.

A recent case in Sedgwick County illustrates what can happen when a driver fails to remain at the scene of an accident. A man driving a commercial vehicle struck and killed a bicyclist. He left the scene of the accident, parked the commercial vehicle at his workplace, and took his own vehicle home. The man was convicted of second-degree reckless murder in addition to a misdemeanor DUI charge, and he has been sentenced to eleven years in prison. He had also been charged with failing to stop at the scene of a fatal accident, but those charges were dropped in exchange for his no-contest pleas to the reckless murder and DUI charges.

Aside from the legal reasons for not leaving the scene after you get into an accident, there are also safety concerns. Whether you feel like you were injured in the accident or not, you may have sustained injuries that you cannot yet feel. Some of these injuries could be very serious, like head trauma. If you know that you are hurt, go to the hospital where you can get treated right away. If you do not think that you are hurt, it is still a good idea to go to the hospital or your doctor’s office as soon as possible to get checked for injuries that you might not be able to feel.

If you are charged with a DUI as the result of an accident, having a Kansas DUI Defense Attorney on your side can help you to focus on recovering from any injuries that you might have sustained. Your attorney will help you navigate every stage of your Kansas DUI case, and will help you to pursue the best possible result. To learn more about how we can help you, call (316) 264-1548.


Kansas Criminal Defense Attorney Explores the Topic of Veterinary Forensics

Saturday, January 17th, 2015

In any criminal matter, both the defendant and the state have the opportunity to present evidence in support of their positions. There are many types of evidence, from eyewitness testimony to fingerprints, tire tracks, and DNA. Many of us are familiar with the role of human DNA in criminal cases, but did you know that animal DNA can also be used evidence in criminal cases?

Once you start to think about it, it makes sense. Animals are present in many of the same places that humans are, from our homes to our yards, our cars, and other places that we go. Wherever humans or animals go, there is a chance that a bit of their DNA will be left behind. In the case of humans, it is often left in the form of hairs that we shed or little bits of skin that slough off. Animals shed hairs too, and they also leave their DNA in various places when they urinate and defecate. Injured animals or people may leave blood at the crime scene, which may also provide a source of DNA.

A man who was responsible for a triple homicide in Indiana was convicted based, in part, upon animal DNA evidence. While he was at the crime scene, the defendant had stepped in dog droppings. When traces of the dog droppings were later discovered on the defendant’s shoes, the matching DNA provided a link between the defendant and the crime scene.

The Indiana triple homicide is not the only case in which animal DNA has been used to connect a defendant to a crime scene or to a victim. From a case in which the victim’s dog urinated on a defendant’s tire to a case in which cat hairs from the defendant’s cat were found in a bag of the victim’s bloody clothing, DNA from animals that belong to both victims and defendants have been used in criminal cases. Although animal DNA evidence is not in widespread use, it is potentially useful in many criminal cases. Although much of the information which has been published about animal DNA and its use as a forensic tool is geared towards its usefulness in convicting suspects of crimes, it is possible that persons who have been accused of crimes that they did not commit could be exculpated if animal DNA (taken in conjunction with all of the other evidence in the case) links someone else to the victim or the crime scene instead of themselves.

No two criminal matters are alike. A seasoned Kansas Criminal Defense Attorney can look at the unique facts of your case and present the most convincing arguments possible on your behalf throughout the course of your criminal matter. Your attorney can also help you to understand and evaluate any alternative courses of action which may be made available to you throughout your criminal case. To speak with a Kansas Criminal Defense Attorney today, please call (316) 264-1548.



Kansas Personal Injury Attorney Shares Tips for Safe Winter Driving

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

Last month, a tragic accident on icy roads claimed the life of a young man and injured two other people. The accident happened at night, when the driver of a car lost control on a patch of ice and slid across a highway, where the car was struck by a tractor trailer that was traveling in the opposite direction.

Winter weather is always a challenge for drivers, especially at night when visibility is already reduced and temperatures are even lower than they are during the day. It can be very difficult for drivers to discern what the road surface is like, because there are so many possibilities. Road conditions can range from a little snow to a lot of snow, a layer of snow on top of ice, slush, black ice, or just about any combination of cold, wet substances that you can think of. To make matters worse, road conditions are not likely to be uniform, so a driver may begin his or her trip in light snow, only to experience slushy roads or ice without any snow on top just a few miles down the road. While some drives can be rescheduled due to slippery roads, people still need to drive to work, or for other essential purposes.

Fortunately, there are a few things that drivers can do to keep themselves and others around them, safe this winter. For example, snow tires are a great way to ensure that your car performs its best when the weather is at its worst. All-season tires can be helpful too, particularly on vehicles with all-wheel drive. Whatever type of tires you have, it is absolutely essential that you check the treads regularly, because bald or balding tires offer little traction on roads that are even just a little bit wet, let alone snowy or icy.

Unfortunately, even the best set of snow tires won’t prevent all winter weather-related accidents. Drivers must remember that in the winter, they may need to allow themselves extra time to get to wherever they are going. If for some reason you forget to leave yourself enough time for your drive, remember that arriving at your destination safely is more important than getting there right on time, and drive slowly if you need to in order to stay safe. As you drive, be sure to monitor the road conditions carefully and make adjustments to your driving habits as needed. Change your speed gradually, as sudden increases or decreases can cause you to lose traction. Avoid using cruise control because it prevents you from maintaining a constant “feel” for the road surface.

If an accident on icy roads has left you with injuries or has claimed the life of someone you love, you may be entitled to compensation for your loss or damages. A Kansas Personal Injury Attorney can help you to pursue the financial recovery that you need as you work on healing from your accident. To learn more about what a Kansas Personal Injury Attorney can do for you, please call our Wichita office today at (316) 264-1548.