Kansas DUI Defense Attorney Wants Drivers to Know that Kansas DUI Penalties May Change Soon

Drivers often believe that once they have their driver’s license, they know everything that they need to know about the rules of the road. While it is true that the basic rules for driving have remained largely unchanged over time, new rules are sometimes added and existing rules are sometimes changed. For example, before people could use cell phones to text, there was no need for laws penalizing texting and driving. After the technology came into widespread use and caused major safety issues, laws were made to penalize people who risked their lives and the lives of others while sending text messages from behind the wheel.

DUI laws have been around for a long time, but they do occasionally change. Some of the changes are subtle, but others are more dramatic. Last month, the Kansas House of Representatives approved legislation that would allow people who have been convicted of a DUI in Kansas a chance to clear that conviction from court records five years after completion of their sentence. If it is signed into law, the legislation will reduce the waiting period for expungement by half for offenders whose DUI cases were handled by municipal courts, and it would shave two years off of the current seven year waiting period for offenders who are convicted by state courts.

Expungements are intended to give people who have been convicted of a DUI a second chance, as far as things like applying for jobs, housing, and other opportunities where a conviction can reduce or eliminate their chances of being selected. It is important that drivers understand that an expungement is not a free ride. The information about your conviction is available to law enforcement even after it is removed from the public record, and offenders who are convicted a second time are not eligible for expungement.

A second piece of legislation, House Bill 2115, has also passed the Kansas House and is on its way to the Senate. If this bill is signed into law, it could increase penalties for drivers who cause bodily harm to others in accidents when they are under the influence of alcohol. The bill proposes to classify driving under the influence which results in the permanent disability of another person as aggravated battery. The bill would also classify DUI with permanent disability resulting as a severity level four felony. First-time offenders with no criminal record who are convicted of level-four felonies can be sentenced to up to forty months in prison. Repeat offenders and offenders with other criminal convictions on their records could face additional time.

If you have been accused of driving under the influence of alcohol, there is a lot at stake. A DUI can not only affect your license and your liberty, it can affect your ability to earn a living, secure housing, and do other things. A Kansas DUI Defense Attorney may be able to help you to reduce or eliminate the negative consequences associated with being charged with a DUI. To learn more about what a Kansas DUI Defense Attorney can do for you, please call our Wichita office today at (316) 264-1548.



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