Category Archives: Traffic

Tales From Traffic Court – Why You Need a Lawyer Every Time!

Every time I’m in traffic court I see a familiar pattern. It turns out that about 75% of the people on the docket call have no attorney and are representing themselves.

traffic ticket attorney garden city ksJust the other day I watched a young man appear on his first Garden City KS traffic ticket and plead guilty. He had no prior convictions, so he would pay a fine and be on his way. Then, the very next person came forward and pled guilty to the very same thing. However, she had four prior convictions which means she’ll lose her license, face stiffer fines and even the possibility of jail time. Big difference.

The point of all this is simple: Get an attorney in every traffic case even if it’s your first one. For example, if the young man with his first ticket had an attorney representing him, he could have gotten the charge reduced or even dropped. This will make a difference if he receives another traffic violation within 12 months. He’ll avoid higher fines and the possibility of the suspension of his driver’s license. In the other case, if she would have had representation on all prior tickets her situation could have been drastically improved!

The bottom line is you need to get an attorney in each case and get it reduced or dismissed so you don’t have a bunch of convictions which can have severe consequences. Besides higher fines and driver’s license suspension, every conviction can lead to higher insurance rates and even employment problems.

Another thing, if you don’t think you’ll get another ticket, think about this. The budget for the police department is based on the amount of crime and how many officers are needed to control it. When the Sheriff or Police Chief appears before the County Commissioners or City Council at budget time they will almost always ask for budget increases to combat a rise in crime. But here’s the rub; it is fairly easy for law enforcement officers to increase “crime” by stopping everyone for anything. This really happens, I’ve seen it.

To prove my point, I recently had a case where a Finney County Deputy had stopped a truck after leaving a car wash. He was ticketed for spilling his “load” on the highway. However, the only thing being spilled was the water running off his clean truck fresh from the car wash! Is this a stupid ticket? YES!

Always get an attorney. Protect yourself and your rights.

For help with Garden City KS traffic violations including speeding tickets, driving under the influence (DUI), and expired license, tags or insurance call my office at 620-275-9614.

Kansas Vehicle Tag Laws vs. Urban Legend

garden city ks traffic lawyerBeware citizens of Kansas because there’s a myth circulating out there, and incredibly it is often passed on by county clerks around Kansas. The tale involves how you can buy a car from someone and transfer your plates to the purchased vehicle and have a 30-day grace period to get the car titled and tagged.

However the truth is you don’t have any grace period, and the penalties for an illegal tag are very stiff. Although it is a misdemeanor it still carries a fine of up to $2,500 and the potential of county jail time of 30 days to 6 months.

So, how did this mythical urban legend get started?

Well, there used to be a law in Kansas allowing a person trading a car to use their tagged plate from the traded vehicle on the new car and have 30 days to get a new title and tag. This law had been around for so long that many people still think it’s on the books, including, believe it or not, county clerk employees. I recently had a client who was ticketed for illegal registration in a nearby County. It turns out the county clerk admitted telling him he could move the tag from the old car to the new and get a title within 30 days. Whoops.

When it comes to current vehicle registration laws you have two options for a tag. First, BEFORE driving the car, take the vehicle title straight to the county clerk (with proof of insurance) and buy a tag, or buy a 60-day temporary tag. If the car is bought or traded through a dealer, then the dealer can give you a 60-day temporary tag.

Lastly, if a county employee or anyone else tells you this urban legend do your fellow citizen a favor and set them straight. You just might save them from a whole lot of misery.

For help with Garden City KS traffic violations including speeding tickets, driving under the influence (DUI), and expired license, tags or insurance call my office at 620-275-9614.

How A Bad Driving Record Can Ruin Your Life

garden city ks traffic lawyer

Garden City KS 67846 Lawyer for speeding tickets, expired tags, expired license, no proof of insurance and DUI.

It’s hard to believe, but driving records can be much more damaging than criminal records.

How is this possible? Well, things have changed.

You see, insurance companies and employers are looking at your records differently these days. This is because more and more people are expunging their criminal history.  So, insurance carriers and prospective employers are trying to find your history in different ways.  One way is your driving record.

A resume can be full of half truths, missing items or made up degrees, so employers are not as interested in a resume as you might think.  The time it takes to verify every school, prior job or degree you have is too burdensome.  Instead, they are looking at other ways to peer into your life and make a quick determination of who you are… whether it is deserved or not.

It used to be that a quick peek at a criminal record was a good indicator of character, but those records can be expunged by any good attorney, including me. Having this done is still a good idea because many jobs are dependent on criminal history, but there is no way to expunge your driving records. Even worse, they are easily accessed by any prospective employer or probing insurance company.

Two recent events come to mind.  One client of mine got a DUI about three years ago.  We have expunged it from her criminal history, but the suspended license she got with that DUI remains on her driving record for at least 5 years.  She still is unable to get insurance for her vehicle because of that driving record.

Another incident, which was even more unfair, involved a client who got a conviction for “Minor in Possession of Alcohol” (MIP) while at college.  He wasn’t driving and wasn’t even near his car when alcohol was found in his dorm room.  In Kansas, an MIP conviction also results in a suspension of your driving privileges.  Today he can’t get a promotion at his job because when his employer submitted his name to that employer’s insurance company, the insurance company rejected his application.  All they saw was the suspended driver’s license several years ago and refused insurance coverage.  My client can’t take the promotion at his job as the employer’s insurer refuses to allow him to drive a company car.  All because of a beer in a dorm room 3 years ago.

Although I did not represent this client in the MIP case it would have been better to have legal counsel. It is entirely likely the result would have been something other than a suspended license. Instead, the client went to court unrepresented, entered a guilty plea and paid a fine.  It wasn’t until later he learned his license was suspended.  And it wasn’t until a lot later he found out it would keep him from getting a promotion.

The point is you should be very careful with your driving record.  Don’t think pleading to an infraction and paying the fine and court costs will be the end of a ticket.  It can have some long term consequences.

For help with Garden City KS traffic violations including speeding tickets, driving under the influence (DUI), Minor in Possession (MIP) and expired license, tags or insurance call my office at 620-275-9614. Also, I can help you expunge your criminal history and clear it up as soon as possible so you have a better chance at promotions, cheaper insurance and job security.