Individuals facing their first, or even second or third, charge of driving while intoxicated should rightfully be concerned. Unfortunately, a DUI has many consequences both legally as well as in everyday life. These individuals should carefully select a DUI lawyer in Kansas City who is not only knowledgeable in the area of DUI practice, but also is attentive and responsive to the needs of the client.
Before contacting a DUI lawyer in Kansas City, the individual should consider the consequences of a guilty plea. While there are many benefits to a guilty plea, there are also factors which must be considered. Often times, an individual who is facing a first time DUI offense (a class B misdemeanor) is offered SIS (suspended imposition of sentence) for two years. What this means is that the guilty plea will not result in points on the individual’s driving record and the record of the guilty plea will be closed to the public after the successful completion of the probation period.
However, this does not mean the DUI is truly “off the record”. There are three different records to be considered: the public criminal record, the non-public criminal record and the driving record. Furthermore, a prosecutor will be able to obtain a record that reflects all offenses. This means that when obtaining an attorney, an individual should be certain to disclose all prior criminal infractions, even if they were settled by a guilty plea/SIS. A DUI lawyer in Kansas City must know all information so that he/she may engage in the best possible actions for his/her client.
Also, an individual MAY be able to obtain an expungement on a first-time DUI offense, however, this is not available for ten years and the individual must not be convicted of any subsequent alcohol-related driving offenses.
As you can see, there are many serious questions to be considered when facing an alcohol-related driving offense, and individuals should take care to have all of their questions answered before choosing to plead guilty. There are many possibilities to take a DUI to trial, and these should be considered in light of the potential consequences of a guilty plea.