Body camera video will often determine whether to challenge a DUI charge

Posted by Matt McLane | May 16, 2024 | 0 Comments

DUI lawyers should always request videos from the stop and field and breath testing of his client. Video review with the client is imperative to the decision making process on whether to contest a case or engage the prosecutor in plea negotiations. The best practice is for the lawyer to request three videos: dash camera; body camera; and video from the breath testing room at the station. In requesting all 3 videos, the lawyer and client are in the best position to formulate their defense strategy.

Can I get a temporary license while resolving unpaid traffic tickets in Kansas?

Posted by Matt McLane | Feb 17, 2023 | 2 Comments

DC-1020 form can assist a driver who is otherwise suspended with needed short-term relief from a current suspension for unpaid tickets. The application is free and should be used in instances where a driver can not get reinstated until pending, past due tickets are resolved. The attorney can use the temporary driving privileges to achieve a much better resolution on charges such as driving while suspended. Having some privileges is better than having none.

Unlawfully hosting minors for underage drinking party; the DO's and Dont's as a parent

Posted by Matt McLane | Feb 10, 2022 | 0 Comments

The social host law in Kansas, known as "Paul's Law," is filed as a Class-A misdemeanor with a minimum penalty of $1000 and possible community service. The element of "recklessly permitting" underage drinking must be proven by the prosecutor in order to achieve a conviction. A better solution may be seeking diversion of the charge if the conditions of diversion are reasonable.

Driving in Violation of Restrictions and Underage Driving

Posted by Matt McLane | Aug 25, 2020 | 0 Comments

Driving in violation of restrictions is a common ticket issued to under age drivers who drive wherever and whenever they choose. Parents, of course, can control this but who wants to chauffeur their kids around to some or all of their activities? Since a favorable plea agreement can be obtained in most cases, then allowing (responsible) kids to drive outside their restrictions is a calculated risk accepted by many parents (including myself).

Prosecutor has burden of proving prior convictions at sentencing

Posted by Matt McLane | Feb 19, 2020 | 0 Comments

Prior convictions against your client must be shown by competent evidence, and the best evidence of a prior conviction is a certified copy of a journal entry from the convicting court. When a defendant properly contests the accuracy of his criminal history and the State attempts to establish criminal history with copies of official documents, those documents must satisfy the requirements of authentication under Kansas law.

Missouri's process to regain driving privileges following a 5- or 10-year denial

Posted by Matt McLane | Dec 19, 2019 | 1 Comment

Drivers may petition to their local court to restore their driver's license following very lengthy suspensions for DWI convictions. Two convictions will trigger a 5-year revocation; three convictions in a lifetime will trigger a 10-year denial. Missouri law allows drivers to petition the courts and must show a favorable change in behavior in order to persuade the court that they are no longer a threat (behind the wheel) to society. I handle these types of actions with great success.

DUI and marijuana, how does law enforcement know you're stoned while driving?

Posted by Matt McLane | Oct 10, 2019 | 1 Comment

THC usage has increased since the passage of state laws allowing the use and possession of marijuana for recreational and medicinal purposes. This has a direct impact on DUI enforcement since more drivers will likely get stopped and arrested for suspicion of driving while high, or DUI-D. Some states like Washington and Colorado have passed laws setting a legal limit on THC levels. Both states have a limit of 5 ng/mL at which the driver is legally presumed "impaired" under the statute. Kansas has no such law but a driver can still be prosecuted for DUI-D if other factors are present during the testing stage of the investigation. A blood draw is required to test for THC and getting driver's to consent to a blood draw has proven difficult.

Domestic Assault charges in Kansas City

Posted by Matt McLane | Sep 24, 2019 | 0 Comments

Domestic Assault charges are serious and could lead to a jail term up to 90 days and/or fine on a first offense. While the accused enjoys the presumption of innocence, any physical evidence on the victim, ie bruising or marking, will be used against the accused at trial. The accused should consider a plea agreement if his attorney is able to secure a favorable agreement whereby the original charge is reduced to a less offensive charge, such as Disorderly Conduct.

Minor in Possession in Overland Park, Kansas

Posted by Matt McLane | Aug 12, 2019 | 0 Comments

MIP charges can result in a 30-day license suspension if the student pleads Guilty or is found Guilty at a trial. Therefore, I usually recommend doing diversion if diversion is offered. Generally, the accused can apply for and get diversion if they have clean record. The person must complete an alcohol class and stay clean from alcohol/drugs for the entire diversion period of 6- to 12-months. In some instances, the case should be taken to trial if the evidence is weak or the student does not qualify for diversion due to prior alcohol arrests.

Missouri's Implied Consent statute allows Drivers 20-minutes to contact a lawyer for a "private" consultation prior to breath test decision

Posted by Matt McLane | May 03, 2019 | 0 Comments

Because law enforcement deprived a Missouri driver of his right to confer 'privately' with his attorney prior to a breath test, and since the director failed to show the driver was not prejudiced, his refusal to consent to the chemical test was not voluntary and unequivocal, and therefore the circuit court erred in sustaining the revocation of his driving privileges. Petitioner's driving privileges should be restored.

Challenging prior DUI convictions; The value of a Motion to Exclude out of state convictions

Posted by Matt McLane | Apr 19, 2019 | 0 Comments

I have written before concerning the new changes to the Kansas DUI statute.  In July 2018, the new law took effect that instructs Judges on what to look at when considering a defendant's past DUI-related convictions.  My client W.B. has two prior convictions, 1 from California and 1 from Iowa.  We have filed motions to challenge these convictions based on differing elements of the individual state laws and are awaiting the results following our oral arguments in April 2019.

Can prior out-of-state DUI convictions be used against the accused facing a new DUI charge in Kansas?

Posted by Matt McLane | Feb 22, 2019 | 0 Comments

Prior out of state convictions are subject to new considerations under the revised Kansas DUI statute, KSA 8-1567(j). Kansas courts will now look at the name of the offense (DUI), underlying elements of the offense (driving/incapable of safe operation/breath test over .08), and whether the out of state offense targets similar conduct to the Kansas offense. The revisions to the statute are a response to the court's ruling in State vs. Stanley, a 2014 case that ruled a prior Missouri DWI conviction was not a "comparable offense" and therefore not used against the defendant at sentencing of his Kansas DUI conviction.

High speed tickets in Kansas...are they amendable?

Posted by Matt McLane | Feb 01, 2019 | 0 Comments

High speed drivers who are not eligible for ticket "amendments" to non-moving violations still have recourse to get the initial high speed ticket lowered to a more reasonable speed for auto insurance purposes. Completing driving classes and showing proof of excellence in the classroom will aid young drivers in their quest for reduced penalties on high speed tickets.

Is Distracted Driving worse than Drunk Driving?

Posted by Matt McLane | Jan 18, 2019 | 0 Comments

Texting while driving and driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) share similar characteristics and consequences. Both practices cause the driver to lose focus and concentration on the task at hand: driving. Most, if not all states, have laws to punish texting while drivers. However, the penalties are not near as severe as the DUI laws that punish drivers through license suspensions and fines and/or jail. Eventually the law for Texting and driving will catch up to the laws for DUI. Both can cause severe damage and injury and both should be punished accordingly.

Do Kansas courts consider a "margin of error" in breath testing results?

Posted by Matt McLane | Dec 19, 2018 | 0 Comments

Kansas courts generally do not consider variances in a breath test machine (Intoxilyzer 9000) when a driver submits a test just slightly over the legal limit of 0.08%. The Kansas statute does not give any cushion to a driver who blows 0.08% an hour or more after being pulled over. The DUI statute allows for a whopping three (3) hour window for the collection of a breath or blood test. This time frame allows for the alcohol level to continue rising in the blood until it hits a peak, and then begins to decrease as the alcohol is metabolized over time.

Standards of Evidence used in American Jurisprudence

Posted by Matt McLane | Nov 16, 2018 | 0 Comments

The American Criminal Justice System involves multiple levels of proof required to sustain a conviction or award child custody to one party over another. The sliding scale of proof is often a grey area for litigants looking to avoid prosecution. Law enforcement must meet at least two of the "proof levels" to sustain an arrest. and then must meet the highest level of proof, "beyond a reasonable doubt," to sustain a criminal conviction. Criminal defense lawyers often file pre-trial motions to knock out the prosecutors case, often citing the first two levels of "reasonable suspicion" and "probable cause" as problematic for the prosecutors. These two levels serve as the most litigated areas in the criminal justice system. It is where many DUI cases are won or lost.

Missouri Implied Consent Notice (DWI breath testing) Unlawful Due to Coercive Nature of the Warning

Posted by Matt McLane | Nov 16, 2018 | 0 Comments

Missouri's Implied consent statute, 577.041.1, is under review by the MO Supreme Court after an appellate court ruled the language used in the implied consent warning is "coercive" for using the inaccurate word "immediately" when warning of consequences for a breath test refusal. The driver actually has fifteen (15) days before have his or her license suspended, and therefore the use of the "word" is patently false and misleading and therefore a violation of one's due process rights.

Missouri voters approve medical marijuana use by wide margin

Posted by Matt McLane | Nov 07, 2018 | 0 Comments

Missouri voters approved medical use marijuana by a margin of 66 to 34. Under the law, "qualified" patients can legally obtain marijuana prescriptions and can cultivate up to 6 marijuana plants and purchase at least 4 ounces from regulated shops on a monthly basis. The taxes from the retail sales will benefit programs for our military veterans.

Should a driver get a 2nd chance to "blow" after initially refusing the test?

Posted by Matt McLane | Sep 06, 2018 | 0 Comments

Kansas law allows driver's a chance to submit to testing even after initially refusing to blow while at the station. Five factors must be considered before allowing a driver to change his or her mind regarding whether to take a test. Drivers should know in advance whether they should agree to a test. Several factors, including driver's DUI history, should be considered before making this crucial decision.

Driver's License Appeal; Petition for Reconsideration

Posted by Matt McLane | Aug 29, 2018 | 0 Comments

Driver's license appeals are difficult and time consuming but provide driver's a second chance opportunity of avoid a suspension. Kansas law allows for a 10-day window to file a Petition for reconsideration with the Division of Vehicles or a 14-day window to file a Petition for Review in District Court.

Teenagers driving in violation of restrictions-under 16 drivers

Posted by Matt McLane | Jun 27, 2018 | 0 Comments

Young drivers who drive in violation of their restrictions are facing a potential 30-day suspension of their license and fines up to $250 for a first offense. Keep these drivers on a short leash by insisting they drive according to the restrictions or close to home and before 10:00 PM for safety purposes. Too many young drivers are getting tickets for speeding and driving outside the restrictions. I blame the parents as much as the kids.

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McLane Law Firm

Matt McLane has been defending individuals charged with DUI, traffic and criminal offenses since his graduation from Washburn University Law School in 1996. Licensed in the states of Kansas and Missouri. Mr. McLane specializes in DUI and criminal defense throughout the Kansas City metropolitan area.

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