Appeals

DUI Appeals

When you appeal a DUI case, the case is transferred to a higher Court that has the power to address or change the legal and sometimes factual decisions made in the lower court. Depending on which court you are appealing to, the appeal could result in numerous different outcomes, including:

  • Suppression of evidence against you that was previously allowed in the lower court
  • A not guilty verdict, when you were previously found guilty
  • A lesser or different sentence
  • A different interpretation of the facts and evidence

Appealing a DUI Conviction Out of Municipal Court

In Kansas, when you appeal a drunk driving charge from a municipal court, you are provided De Novo review in the District Court. This basically means that the case starts all over. The new court and judge has jurisidction and can make completely new findings or decisions in your case. For example, if the municipal judge deemed that the breath test was admissible in court, the new District Judge might instead deem that it shouldn't be allowed. Obviously, decisions like these can have significant effects on the outcome of a drunk driving charge.

Moreover, when you appeal a DUI conviction from a city court, you are allowed a jury trial in the District Court. The trial in the municipal court would have been a bench trial, meaning that the judge made the sole decision of your guilt. You can still request a bench trial in the district court, but as an experienced DUI trial attorney, I usually prefer a jury.

In any event, if you wish to appeal a drinking and driving conviction out of a city court, you must timely file the Notice of Appeal and Appeal Bond. Otherwise, you lose your right to appeal. Furthermore, you must provide a copy of the notice to the prosecutor.

Your appeal will end up in the District Court of the county where the municpal court which heard your case is located. For example, if your case was heard in Olathe, Overland Park, Shawnee, Gardner, Leawood, or Lenexa, then your case would be appealed to the Johnson County District Court. If your case was originally heard in the Kansas City, KS municipal court, often called the unified government, then your cse would be appealed to the Wyandotte County District Court.

Appealing a DUI Convicton Out of District Court

Appealing a DUI conivction from the District Court is expensive and rare. Much of the decision making and ability to alter factual decisions is limited. I purposefully avoid these appeals and instead focus my law firm practice on actual trial litigation. I prefer to stay focused as a trial attorney and instead refer appeals from the District Court to appealate attorneys who focus on the Kansas Court of Appeals and Kansas Supreme Court.

Appealing an Administrative Driver License Suspension

When you are initially provided your pink sheet after a DUI arrest, you have 14 days to deliver and request for a hearing. Otherwise your license will be automatically suspended. By making a proper and timely request, you are in essence appealing the decision of the officer to suspend your license. After the administrative hearing, you can then appeal that decision to the District Court, where you will have more ability to litigate and be provided a District Court judge to govern the matter.

If you need to appeal a case from a city court, please call immediately as you have very limited time to appeal. While I practice DUI legal defense throughout Kansas, the vast majority of my driving under the influence defense is focused in Johnson County, Kansas and the surrounding cities. I have handled numerous appeals from different city courts.