Picking up a DUI in Manhattan, Kansas will typically result in a citation and order to appear at the Manhattan Municipal Court. The first time you are ordered to appear is aptly named “first appearance” or “initial appearance.” At this hearing you will have three options. Those three options are: 1. Plead Guilty, 2. Plead Not Guilty, 3. Plead No Contest. If you plead no contest, you will still be found guilty, however it’s not the same as pleading guilty. One benefit of hiring a DUI attorney to represent you is that you may not be required to appear to your initial appearance because your attorney can appear at Manhattan Municipal Court on your behalf.
If it’s just your first DUI you usually qualify for diversion. Before you can get on diversion, you should always have a DUI lawyer look over your case to see if diversion in Manhattan Municipal Court is right for you. After your initial appearance, a diversion conference is usually set up a few weeks down the line. During this time you should fill out the application for diversion and, if you and your attorney feel it’s the right choice, turn in your application at least 7 days prior to your diversion conference.
If it’s your second DUI, it’s very unlikely you will be allowed diversion and you will have to make the choice between your three options at your initial appearance/arraignment in Manhattan Municipal Court.
On your third DUI and each one after, it is a felony and you will not be in Manhattan Municipal Court, you will go to Riley County District Court. Because it’s a felony, you will have the right to a preliminary hearing, which is an extra step not included in misdemeanor charges.
Whether your first DUI, second, or 5th, it’s important to contact a DUI attorney in the Manhattan, KS area that knows what to look for to give you advice as to your best options.