Thursday, October 13, 2011

What will happen if I don't pay a speeding ticket in Kansas?

If you were given a Speeding ticket in Kansas or a Traffic ticket in Kansas you need to do something with it.  That something should not be neglect it...throw it away...of expect it to go away.  It’s really simple what will happen to you if you don't take care of it and you really have a couple of options each with different consequences.

Pay the fine on the speeding ticket :  If you pay the fine on the speeding ticket before the date on the ticket you are pleaing guilty to the charge.  It’s the exact same as going to the court and telling the judge that you are guilty of the charge listed on the ticket.  This is something that you can do.  If you choose to do this then the city or county where you received the speeding ticket will take the money and report your guilty plea to the Kansas Department of Revenue.  The department of revenue will then account the plea on your license and your insurance company or job will be able to discover the guilty plea when they run your driving record .  If you get more than three of these moving violations in a 12 month period the State of Kansas can suspend your driver's license.

Hire an AttorneyMany people find it wise to hire an attorney for speeding and traffic tickets.  An attorney can go to court for you and try to negotiate a way to keep the ticket off your record, either through a diversion or an amendment.  An attorney also might find it prudent to set your case for trial and try to convince a judge that you are innocent.  These are all possibilities...  On a large majority of cases an attorney can keep the charges off your record and you never have to go to court.

Throw the ticket away and never address it:   This is not a good idea.  If you skip your court date and never send in the payment you are making the worst possible decision for yourself in regards to the ticket.  If you don't go to court the judge will issue a warrant for your arrest and set a bond.  If you continue not to come to court the city or county will send a notice to the State of Kansas to suspend your driver's license.  If your driver's license has been suspended the state will send a notice to the address on your driver's license.  If you haven't updated your address and you have moved you won't get the notice.

If you don't get notice you will continue to drive and eventually you will get pulled over and then you will get arrested.  You will be charged with driving on a suspended driver's license and you will be looking at a mandatory 5 days in jail.  You will have to stay in jail until you can post the bond that the judge set for you and then you will have to go back to court like you should have in the first place.

Don't do this!  When you get a ticket you need to get it handled.  If you don't hire a lawyer you still need to get it handled.  You need to be responsible and get the ticket resolved or things will only get worse for you.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

How do I get a DUI taken off my record in Kansas? (DUI Expungement in Kansas)

You got a DUI.  You took a Conviction .  Now you are doing your best to get a job and the conviction keeps ruining it for you.  You keep getting the job offer only to find out that the offer is rescinded once they find out about your criminal recordDUI convictions on your criminal record make employment very difficult.  DUI convictions have stigma attached to them that latches onto a person and drags them down.

Up until July 1, 2011 if you had a conviction in Kansas for a DUI and you wanted to try and clean it up you were nearly out of luck.  There was no provision in Kansas law that made it possible for you to get the conviction expunged .  But that has all changed.  The Kansas legislature has made some changes to the law that allows for a person that had been convicted of a DUI to petition to expunge the offense from their record.

For people with DUI convictions that is a great thing.  But there are some catches.  If you have a DUI conviction you aren't eligible for an expungement until ten (10) years have passed since you were released from probation.  That doesn't mean that if you received a DUI ten years ago you can get get it expunged .  You have to have been off of probation for 10 years.  Look at the points to determine if your eligible as of 10/12/2011.

1. If you received a DUI conviction before July 1, 1993 you are probably not eligible.
2. If you got off probation before 10/12/2001 you may be eligible.
3. If you got off probation after 10/12/2001 you are not eligible.

Remember you have to use the date from which you were discharged from probation.


Monday, October 10, 2011

Terms to know for Traffic Court in Kansas

Often times when I go to Traffic Court people (Pro Se defendants) will come up to me and ask me what this means or what that means, or if they are going to jail of not.  This blog post is dedicated to those people.  It's a list of terms that most people don't understand.

Moving Violation - This is an offense that will get reported to the Kansas Department of Revenue and will impact your license and insurance negatively.  Example:  Speeding, Following to Close, Running a Red light

Non-Moving Violation- This is an offense that will not usually get reported to the Kansas Department of Revenue and will not impact your license.  Example: Illegal Parking

Prosecutor:  This is the attorney for a city, he/she is responsible for prosecuting offenses in the city court

District Attorney:  This is the attorney for the county and he/she represents the state.  The District Attorney prosecutes all offenses brought in the district court.

County Attorney:  See District Attorney

Infraction:  It’s the lowest level of offense.  Examples: Jaywalking

Misdemeanor:  This is the lowest level of criminal offense.  Kansas has classes of misdemeanors based on severity.  You can not get more that one year in jail for a misdemeanors Examples: driving on suspended license first offense is a class B misdemeanor, a driving on suspended license second offense is a class A misdemeanor.

Diversion Agreement:  This is an agreement between you and the state where you agree to certain conditions in exchange for the state not prosecuting you on a charge.

Ignition interlock device:  This is a device that is put into the car.  It keeps a car from operating unless the driver blows into it with no alcohol in his blood.

Amendment:  When the prosecutor changes the charges that someone is facing

Pro Se:  This is a term used to describe someone without an attorney representing them

Ex Parte:  This is a term you might here when someone is talking to the judge without the other party present.  This is generally not allowed.

Continuance :  This is a request for extra time.  If you need more time to make a payment on a case you ask for a continuance.

Nunc Pro Tunc:  This literally means "this for that."  You might hear this when someone is correcting a past order or mistake.

Motion:  When someone is asking the court to do something

Order:  When the court is telling someone to do something.

Plea:  When a defendant is making a statement about his/her charges as to his guilt.

Plea Offer:  A recommendation by the prosecutor of a punishment conveyed to the judge if a defendant will make a specific plea.

Verdict:  The decision made by the trier of facts (usually the judge in traffic court)

Sentence:  The decision made by the judge as to punishment based on the outcome of the verdict.

Suspended Sentence:  This is a term used when the Judge is giving someone jail time but not making them actually go to jail.

Underlying Sentence:  This is the term used when the judge is giving someone jail time but not making them actually go to jail if they meet certain conditions.  Example: pay fines, attend a class