Posts Tagged ‘Kansas City DUI attorney’

Defense Strategy – Discovering Police Procedural Errors

Sunday, June 26th, 2011

These are just a few of the mistakes that a police officer may make during an initial or DUI arrest that may form the basis for a valid defense and strengthen your case. An experienced Kansas City DUI attorney will be familiar with these defense strategies and can use this information to negotiate a reduction in charges or to seek acquittal at trial.  If you have been arrested for DUI, you should seek an experienced Kansas City DUI defense attorney who will work to protect your rights and your freedom.

1. Making a roadside stop based on an anonymous phone tip.

If the arresting police officer did not witness you driving the auto in a dangerous manor himself, the witness will be required to appear in court to testify as to what they saw and reported to police.

2. Arrest based mostly or entirely on your statements.

The state prosecutor must be able to prove, with eye witness testimony, that you had been driving under the influence (DUI).

3. Stop without probable cause.

There must be a legitimate reason for you to be pulled over by police.  The officer must explain in detail what illegal activity the officer suspected you to be doing necessitating the stop.

4. Pulling you over for driving too slow or stopping in the middle of the road.

These are not unlawful or are legitimate reasons for a road stop.

5. Weaving within a lane.

6. Administering the field sobriety tests incorrectly.8. Administering the one-legged stand test incorrectly.

7.  Administering Field Sobriety tests to someone who is not a candidate to take these tests.

Someone with medical conditions, like a foot or back problem should not take the field test.

Call us today if you have been arrested for a DUI in Kansas City. We can help, call today.

Legal Standard for Breathalyzer Test

Monday, June 6th, 2011

Legal Standard for Breathalyzer Test: The officer must have ‚Äúreasonable suspicion‚ÄĚ that a driver is intoxicated to request a Breathalyzer test.¬† If you were stopped for having a taillight out and did not admit having anything to drink, the officer must develop evidence to justify a Breathalyzer test.¬† You have the absolute right to decline to perform field sobriety tests and should politely do so.¬† They are subject to the officer‚Äôs subjective judgment, and the officer has typically already determined that he believes you are under the influence.¬† The only purpose of the field sobriety test is to develop ‚Äúprobable cause‚ÄĚ to support a DUI arrest.¬† This means if the officer did not observe you driving erratically, did not observe any specific signs of intoxication, such as, red eyes, slurred speech, the smell of alcohol, etc and you refuse field sobriety testing, the officer probably lacks probable cause to conduct a breath test.¬† If the officer directs you to take a breath test anyway, your attorney can seek to have the breath test results suppressed.

A Law Firm Focusing on DUI Defense

The DUI Clinic is committed to defending people who have been charged with a DUI offense. Our lawyers have represented people in the entire Kansas City metro area and throughout the states of Kansas and Missouri for more than more than 15 years. Our extensive knowledge of these states’ laws concerning DUI charges and DUI defense has allowed us to seek positive resolutions for countless clients.

Contact The DUI Clinic by calling us at 913-262-4444, toll free at 888-4-DUI-CLINIC.

Stopped in Kansas after Drinking Alcohol: What Do You Do? [Part I]

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

Many of us have experienced the feeling of dread that occurs while you are traveling down I-70 in Kansas or Missouri and suddenly see red flashing light in your rearview mirror.  The stress and anxiety that goes with being pulled over is even greater if you know that you have been drinking.  You may be overwhelmed with a wide spectrum of emotions including fear, anxiety and even guilt.  It is important to realize that people from all walks of life find themselves in your situation, but the outcomes of these encounters with law enforcement often turn out very differently depending on how they are handled.

The most effective defense to a potential Kansas DUI charge begins the moment you are pulled over.  Todd Hottman and the knowledgeable and experienced staff at the DUI Clinic of Hottman and Associates analyze every aspect of your DUI stop, DUI investigation, DUI arrest and DUI chemical testing.  This means that what you do at the time of the stop can be as important as what happens when you submit to chemical testing after your arrest for driving under the influence.  In this two-part article, we have provided some suggestions for how to handle being pulled over in Kansas if you have been drinking.

Provide Identification but Do Not Volunteer Information

The officer will usually have stopped you because he or she observed a traffic violation like speeding or ‚Äúerratic driving‚ÄĚ, such as failing to maintain one‚Äôs vehicle in a lane.¬† If the officer pulled you over for either reason, you must provide the officer with your driver‚Äôs license, registration and proof of insurance.¬† You should not admit that you have been drinking or that you are coming from a place that serves alcohol like beer or wine.¬† The officer may use this type of admission as part of the evidence justifying a DUI investigation or subsequent DUI arrest.¬† The officer may even later visit the business to obtain evidence, such as credit card receipts, surveillance video or witness statements from servers.

The officer should tell you why you were pulled over, and you have a right ask if he or she does not do so.¬† If you are pulled over for speeding or a busted taillight, the officer needs more evidence before he can even conduct a DUI investigation.¬† The officer needs enough evidence that you were driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol to meet the legal standard of ‚Äúreasonable suspicion‚ÄĚ.¬† Speeding or a broken taillight does not create a basis for reasonable suspicion because neither activity suggests that a driver is committing a DUI offense.¬† If you do not voluntarily or unintentionally provide evidence that you may be driving under the influence in this situation, you may well drive away.

If the officer pulls you over for swerving in and out of your lane, the officer typically has reasonable suspicion when you are pulled over.  This only permits the officer to briefly detain you and inquire further.  The officer will look for signs that you have been drinking including alcohol on your breath, red watery eyes and slurred speech.  If the officer does not observe any of these signs, the officer generally should send you on your way.  The officer typically needs more to conduct a DUI investigation.  A common ploy in this situation is to ask if you will consent to field sobriety tests (FSTs).  The officer cannot force you to submit, and you should not do so.  Field sobriety tests are merely intended to justify having you submit to a portable breath test, which you are also free to decline.  The officer may arrest you anyway if you refuse these tests, but Mr. Hottman may be able to have the charges dismissed or will have a strong case to reduce any charges because without more the officer lacks probable cause (a higher standard than reasonable suspicion) to make an arrest.

If you or someone you love has been arrested for DUI, you should contact a Kansas City DUI attorney at The DUI Clinic of Hottman and Associates today!  DUI charges are serious but help is merely a phone call away at (913) 262-4444.  Call today for your free no obligation initial case evaluation.

Kansas City DUI/DWI Field Sobriety Testing Defense Strategy Explained By Kansas City DUI/DWI Attorney

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

Field Sobriety Testing: The field sobriety test can actually consist of a number of tests, including walking in a straight line; counting backwards; touching one’s nose while one‚Äôs eyes are closed; reciting the alphabet; and tracking a moving flashlight with one’s eyes. The police officer is testing the motorist for the effects of alcohol or drugs, but also gathering evidence that could be used in court.¬† All of these tests have a significant rate of false positives and some are not even sanctioned as a reliable indicator of intoxication.¬† An experienced DUI attorney may successfully challenged field sobriety tests on the basis of many factors including bad weather, language barriers, officer prejudice, medical conditions, obesity or physical disability, lack of certification to perform the tests, incorrect selection, administration or scoring of the tests and other arguments.

A Law Firm Focusing on DUI Defense

The DUI Clinic is committed to defending people who have been charged with a DUI offense. Speak to an experienced Kansas City DUI attorney that has represented people in the entire Kansas City metro area and throughout the states of Kansas and Missouri for more than more than 15 years. Our extensive knowledge of these states’ laws concerning DUI charges and DUI defense has allowed us to seek positive resolutions for countless clients.

Contact The DUI Clinic by calling us at 913-262-4444, toll free at 888-4-DUI-CLINIC.

Kansas City DUI/DWI Defense Strategy – Challenging the Legal Basis for Stop in Kansas and Missouri

Saturday, January 29th, 2011

Legal Basis for Stop: A police officer cannot stop you without ‚Äúreasonable suspicion‚ÄĚ based on specific facts. The stop cannot be arbitrary or simply based on a hunch. The officer must either stop you because you are observed violating a law or because the officer has reasonable suspicion that a violation of law is being committed. An officer may stop you because he observes you violate a law that suggests you are intoxicated or for a completely unrelated violation of law.

If you are stopped for having a taillight out, the question will arise whether the officer can articulate specific observations during the stop that provided the officer with reasonable suspicion that you were driving under the influence, such as, red watery eyes, slurred speech, an admission that you had been drinking or slurred speech. These observations may provide the officer a reasonable suspicion of DUI so that he may request that you perform field sobriety tests.

If you are pulled over for weaving between lanes, and the officer simply smells the odor of alcohol, these facts taken together may be sufficient to meet the reasonable suspicion requirement. If the officer cannot articulate specific facts that explain the officer’s basis for stopping you or requesting field sobriety tests, an experienced DUI defense attorney may use this to have your case dismissed or the charges reduced.

A Law Firm Focusing on DUI Defense

The DUI Clinic is committed to defending people who have been charged with a DUI offense. Our lawyers have represented people in the entire Kansas City metro area and throughout the states of Kansas and Missouri for more than more than 15 years. Our extensive knowledge of these states’ laws concerning DUI charges and DUI defense has allowed us to seek positive resolutions for countless clients.

Contact The DUI Clinic by calling us at 913-262-4444, toll free at 888-4-DUI-CLINIC.

Defense Strategies in a DUI Case Arising Out of Mistakes during the Arrest Process in Kansas City

Sunday, January 2nd, 2011

If you have been drinking, a DUI stop can be a stressful and disheartening experience. However, an experienced DUI defense attorney may employ a number of defense strategies that can be used effectively to seek a reduction or complete dismissal of the charges. Many of these defenses may be based on mistakes by the officer during your DUI stop and the subsequent arrest process. These are effective defense strategies that may keep you out of jail and allow you to avoid the serious consequences of a DUI conviction. An experienced DUI defense attorney may challenge the proper administration of sobriety tests, chemical tests, probable cause and search and seizure procedures. Mistakes by the officer in the mechanical or procedural aspects of your initial stop or subsequent arrest can form the basis of a successful DUI defense.

A Law Firm Focusing on DUI Defense

The DUI Clinic is committed to defending people who have been charged with a DUI offense. Our Kansas DUI defense attorney and Missouri DWI defense attorney have represented people in the entire Kansas City metro area and throughout the states of Kansas and Missouri for more than more than 15 years. Our extensive knowledge of these states’ laws concerning DUI charges and DUI defense has allowed us to seek positive resolutions for countless clients.

We invite you to review the profile of our principal Kansas City DUI attorney, Todd Hottman, by following the link below.

Contact The DUI Clinic by calling us at 913-262-4444, toll free at 888-4-DUI-CLINIC, or send us an e-mail.