What happens when you get a DUI for the first time?

Glass of alcohol on a table next to car keys and handcuffs.

Understanding the Basics of DUI Arrests

Being arrested for a DUI shouldn’t be taken lightly. A DUI is a crime and there are consequences to be paid, regardless of whether it is a first time offense or if you have a history of offense. But the more DUI arrests you have on your record, the more serious the consequences get. And when you find yourself in need of a DUI bail bond, the Owen's Bonding Co. can be there to help when you call at 866-830-2663.

Is DUI a criminal offense?

Yes – in the State of Kansas, a DUI is a criminal offense and can be charged as a felony. Under state law, any driver with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) greater than .08% will be charged with DUI. A first or second DUI is filed as a misdemeanor offense, whereas a third and fourth DUI will be a felony.

Do I need a lawyer for a first DUI?

It isn’t mandatory to have a lawyer. You can handle your arrest for DUI without a lawyer, but most people faced with a first-time DUI don’t have a criminal history. An arrest is unknown territory, and a DUI charge is more complicated and far more serious than a traffic ticket. Both may require a court appearance, but pleading guilty and paying a fine for running a stop sign isn’t as complicated as a DUI. 

With that being stated, when you have been arrested for a DUI, even if it’s a first offense, contacting a lawyer should be your first step. Hiring a criminal defense lawyer with a DUI specialty will be to your benefit. Choose one with experience and a proven success record to help you plan your defense strategy. 

Which is worse: DUI or DWI?

When it comes to comparing charges for DUI vs DWI, there is minimal difference. However, the penalties are the same in the State of Kansas and so are the consequences. The risks you take when drinking and driving aren’t worth the consequences you could face: some are temporary, and some are lifelong.

In Kansas, as we stated earlier, a DUI charge indicates the defendant had a BAC of .08%. For a defendant under the age of 21 years, the BAC is .02%. A DUI charge can also be given for drugs or a combination of alcohol and drugs that has reached the point where a law enforcement agent has determined an individual was unable to safely operate a vehicle. The penalties that a person with a DUI or DWI charge can face in Kansas are as follows: 

  • 1st Offense: 

Jail Time: up to 6 months

Fines: up to $1,000

Suspended License: 30 day minimum 

IID (Ignition Interlock Device): 180 days minimum

  • 2nd Offense:

Jail Time: up to 12 months

Fines: up to $1,750

Suspended License: up to 1 year

IID (Ignition Interlock Device): up to 1 year

  • 3rd Offense:

Jail Time: up to 1 year

Fines: up to $2,500

Suspended License: up to 1 year

IID (Ignition Interlock Device): up to 2 years 

Can I get a job with a DUI?

The aftermath you’ll experience with DUI issues can be destructive in many ways, employment being one of them. Fortunately, in the State of Kansas, the law requires employers to prove how the position a defendant is applying for has relevance to their DUI or DWI conviction if they refuse to hire them. 

Unfortunately, there will be shock waves for the long term from a DUI arrest and conviction that will create the most pain. Just a few of them are: 

  • Driver’s License Revoked – A DUI conviction can result in revocation of your driver’s license – a first time conviction can have up to two years revocation. This can make it difficult to get back and forth to work and with a job that requires driving, it could cost you your job. 
  • Background Checks – As we stated, the State of Kansas has laws that an employer has to prove how a position will be relevant to the criminal background, but it doesn’t stop an employer for conducting a criminal background check. Even if they aren’t able to establish the required relevance, there will always be that watchful eye. 
  • Auto Insurance – A DUI conviction an make it expensive to obtain automobile insurance simply because of the higher rates. A DUI conviction will classify you as “high-risk”, and your rates can increase as much as triple for several years. 
  • Professional Relationships – This may be the worse consequence of all – your personal relationships. Just the DUI arrest alone can cause issues you may not have expected. A DUI conviction can have an adverse effect on your family and friends, your employer, and coworkers. 
Hand holding a gear shift next to a bottle of alcohol.

In Conclusion – Is it possible to get a DUI dismissed?

Possibly, depending on the situation of the arrest and your criminal background. With the help of a criminal lawyer, your chances will be better. An experienced lawyer will look for any error or mistakes on the arresting officer’s part that could get the charges thrown out. If they aren’t able to find any support there, they will seek evidence and proof that the DUI arrest was invalid. The outcome could be anything from dropped charges with no record to reduced charges. If you or a loved one has experienced a DUI arrest, you can call Owen's Bonding Co. at 866-830-2663 to start the process of recovery by getting out of jail.