Common Misconceptions about Receiving a DUI Citation
Interviewer: What are the top misconceptions people have about DUI and the process when they come see you?
It Is NOT a Guarantee That You Will Be Eligible for the Diversion Program
Paul: One of the worst misconceptions for people facing a first offense DUI, is that it doesn’t matter if you have a lawyer because you’re going to be offered diversion anyway. If there are any aggravating factors in your case, such as if you have a child in the car with you or if you refuse the breath test, this could either trigger statutory ineligibility for Diversion – or it could cause the prosecutor to deny an application for diversion.
Other aggravating factors – such as personal injury resulting from an accident – will result in statutory ineligibility for diversion. Most importantly, Diversion is not a ‘gift’ or a ‘cakewalk.’ A driver who signs a diversion contract without assistance of counsel may be agreeing to a burdensome 12-month term of diversion in a case that might have been dismissed or they could have won if an experienced DUI defense lawyer had represented them.
It is NOT a Guarantee That Accepting an Offer of the Diversion Program Is Your Best Option
Even though successful completion of a contract of Diversion is not a formal conviction, it will be scored as a prior ‘occurrence’ – and if you are involved in another alcohol related driving incident, that later incident will be scored as a ‘second’ offense.
It pays to be very thorough, even on first offense DUIs before you agree to have that on your record. In my opinion, not thinking you need a lawyer for a first offense DUI and simply agreeing to Diversion is perhaps the worst misconception people have.
Many People Are Unaware of the Viable Defenses That Can be Incorporated into the Defense of Your DUI Case
A lot of people don’t understand how many defenses can be raised in a DUI. They think, “Well, if I blew into the breath test at the station and it’s over a level of .08 I’m done anyway, so why hire a lawyer?” They don’t understand that that officer must have valid Reasonable Suspicion to initiate the traffic stop, and the officer must have valid Probable Cause to arrest you and to request that you submit to the Intoxilyzer Breath Test.
Breath Test Results Can Be Refuted
There are a myriad of technical defenses to the admissibility of the breath test result itself. If the officer failed to follow either the manufacturer’s protocol or the Department of Health protocol in operating the machine, the results may be in admissible. If the officer’s certification to operate the machine or the Department of Health Certification for the specific breath testing device has lapsed, the test result may be inadmissible. The fact that someone submitted to the breath test and it was 0.08 or greater does not mean that their case is not a good case for trial. It may be an excellent case for trial. But the only way to know is to secure the representation of an experienced and aggressive DUI defense lawyer who knows what to look for in these challenging drunk driving cases.
Watch this video to learn how Paul Cramm defends DUI and DWI defense and to see why you need his representation in your Kansas City Drunk Driving case.
I represent clients facing Misdemeanor and Felony DUI charges in the Greater Kansas City Metro Area and the municipalities of Johnson County, Kansas: De Soto, Gardner, Leawood, Lenexa, Merriam, Mission, Olathe, Overland Park, and Shawnee. Call today for an initial consultation: (913) 322-3265.
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