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
- 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
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.