Kansas DUI Court Process
Many steps occur following an arrest for a Kansas DUI. Information regarding the criminal legal process is listed below. For more information on the civil administrative process, click on the Kansas Driving tab.
Kansas DUI Court From Start To Finish
ARRAIGNMENT – your first official court hearing following your arrest for DUI in Kansas is called the Arraignment. At this hearing, you will go to court and the judge will formally explain the charges against you and ask you to enter a plea. If you plead Guilty or No Contest, the judge will impose a sentence. If you plead Not Guilty, your case will be set for trial. Other issues such as bond/bail and the appointment of an attorney may also be arranged at this time.
NOTE: It is highly encouraged that you at least consult with an attorney prior to your arraignment so that you are fully informed of your options prior to entering a plea. If you hire an attorney to represent you, he/she will have an opportunity to review the police report and advise you at this hearing and each subsequent stage of your case.
PRETRIAL HEARING – the pretrial hearing is an opportunity to go before the judge to inform him/her on the status of your case. Issues with discovery and scheduling may also be dealt with at this time. The pretrial hearing is a chance for you or your attorney to have a pretrial conference with the prosecutor regarding possible plea bargains that may be available to you. If a plea agreement is reached at or prior to this hearing, the judge will enter it on the record. If no plea arrangement is made, the judge will set your case for trial.
MOTION HEARINGS – If your case has been set for trial, your attorney will likely have defense motions to file that attempt to suppress certain evidence. Once a defense motion has been filed, a hearing will be held. At the motion hearing, your attorney may call witnesses and cross examine the police officers or state witnesses involved in your case. Expert testimony may also be heard. Examples of motions include challenges to the legality of your stop and motions to suppress chemical test results.
TRIAL – There are two possible types of trials in Kansas DUI cases – Jury trials and Bench trials. In a Jury trial, arguments will be made before a judge who will decide issues of law, to a jury who will determine issues of fact. In a Bench trial, your case will be heard by only a judge who will act as both judge and jury, determining issues of law as well as issues of fact. Typically, Bench trials are more desirable in cases involving complex legal arguments that would be too confusing for a jury to understand. Whether you will have a Bench trail or a Jury trial is a strategic decision that should be discussed with your attorney. At the end of your trial, the judge will impose a sentence if you are found guilty, or dismiss the charges if a verdict of not guilty is returned.
APPEAL – Following a guilty verdict in a Kansas DUI trial, you have the right to appeal to higher courts for review. You must file your request for an appeal timely, however, or your right for review will be considered “waived.”
For more information on the Kansas criminal court process, contact an experienced Kansas DUI defense attorney in your area.