Driving While Suspended
If you are facing a Driving While Suspended charge it is very important that you hire a licensed Kansas or Missouri attorney immediately. In both Kansas and Missouri you could be facing significant fines, jail time, and loss of your license. In some instances you risk losing your license for extended periods of time. Waiting or failing to take action on your case can compound the potential penalties. Many times clients are unaware that there are options to get their license reinstated, or clear pending tickets to avoid a conviction of this serious charge.
If you are convicted in a Kansas municipal or district court you could face the following penalties:
- Driving While Suspended (1st offense) is a class B misdemeanor with potential penalties of six (6) months in the County jail and up to a $1,000.00 fine. There will also be an automatic suspension of your license.
- Driving While Suspended (2nd offense) is a class A misdemeanor with potential penalties of up to one (1) year in the County jail and a fine of up to $2,500.00. There will also likely be a minimum of five (5) days that you will be required to serve in the County jail. Many municipal Courts, for example the Overland Park Municipal Court, will make you serve the five (5) days in jail, and will not allow the time to be broken up or served with house arrest.
- Driving While Suspended (3rd offense) is also a class A misdemeanor with potential penalties of up to one (1) year in the County jail and a fine of up to $2,500.00. In Kansas the law mandates that on a third (3rd) or subsequent conviction you must sentenced to at least ninety (90) days of imprisonment in the County jail. In certain instances you will also be required to pay a fine of at least $1,500.00.
Additional Considerations in Kansas
- Kansas is a “moving” violation State. DWS and DWR are considered serious moving violations and will result in a license suspension ranging from ninety (90) days to three (3) years.
- Three (3) serious moving violations in the previous five (5) year period (i.e, DUI, DWS, DWR, No Proof of Insurance, Reckless Driving, Leaving the Scene, etc) will trigger an automatic three (3) year license suspension.
- Three moving violations in the preceding twelve (12) months can potentially lead to a license suspension.
If you are convicted in a Missouri municipal or circuit court you could face the following potential penalties:
- Driving While Suspended (1st offense) is a misdemeanor that carries a fine of $300.00. Missouri is a “point” system State and a Driving While Suspended is a twelve (12) point violation. This will cause an automatic license revocation of one (1) year.
- Driving While Suspended (2nd and 3rd offense) is a misdemeanor that can carry an imprisonment sentence of up to one (1) year, and a fine of up to $1,000.00. These second and third offenses will also cause automatic revocations. However, the Prosecutor has the discretion to charge a 3rd offense as a felony is certain aggravating factors are present.
- Driving While Suspended (4th or subsequent offense) depending on how many convictions occurred in the preceding ten (10) years this may be classified as a felony level offense. Missouri also employs an enhancement in penalties if you are considered a repeat offender. A repeat offender can expect to face substantial fines, and even up to four (4) years imprisonment.
The above is just an explanation of the potential penalties and consequences of receiving a conviction for Driving While Suspended. Any potential fines and imprisonment are ultimately up to the discretion of the Municipal or District Court Judge. This makes it extremely important to have an experienced attorney on your side to negotiate with the Prosecutor, and advocate on your behalf to the Judge.
Kansas & Missouri
Potential Solutions to avoiding a Driving While Suspended, or Driving While Revoked conviction in both Kansas and Missouri:
- Clear any pending or old traffic tickets. In many cases people are unaware that a ticket was not resolved, or a court date was missed. Clearing these can often pave the way to getting eligible to reinstate your license.
- Contact the Kansas Department of Revenue, or the Missouri Department of Revenue to determine whether any judgments or reinstatement fees are owed.
- Clear any outstanding cases that are at warrant. In order to secure a person’s appearance in court the Judge will often issue a warrant. This situation can be problematic, as new charges often arise if the person is stopped while operating a vehicle. Additionally, due to Kansas City’s unique positioning on the state line a person who rarely spends time in one state may have a warrant in the other that they are unaware exists.
- Most importantly hire an experienced local attorney to serve as your advocate to deal with complicated court procedures and over-zealous Prosecutors. Your attorney should also be able to guide you through the reinstatement process if possible.