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Kansas Court Records

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What Are Traffic Violations And Infractions In Kansas?

Kansas statutes provide rules and guidelines for road users in the state. Violations of these rules and guidelines result in penalties, which could include fines, suspensions, and in some cases, imprisonment. Kansas traffic laws address violations and infractions. Violations can be criminal offenses, typically classified as misdemeanors. Infractions are considered non-criminal offenses. Violations can either be moving and non-moving violations. While moving violations are typically recorded against the offender’s driving record, non-moving violations are typically only penalized with fines.

What Are Felony Traffic Violations In Kansas?

Felony offenses in Kansas are severe violations and are punishable by more than one year in state prison. Typically, felonies involve crimes against people, property, or the public. When compared to other classes of crimes as outlined in the state statutes, felonies are the most severe offenses; therefore, resulting penalties are typically harsh. As provided by Kansas state statutes, felonies are grouped into:

  • Class A: These offenses are considered the most serious offenses and can be punished by life imprisonment. Murder is a Class A felony in Kansas.
  • Class B: Felonies in this category are less severe than Class A felonies but are also considered very serious. Class B felonies are punishable by a minimum of five years imprisonment and a maximum of 20 years to life imprisonment. Second-degree robbery is a Class B felony.
  • Class C: Class C felonies are punishable by imprisonment for a minimum of three to five years and a maximum of no less than 10 to 20 years. Involuntary manslaughter is a Class C felony.
  • Class D: Offenses in this category are punishable by a minimum of one to two years and a maximum of five to ten years in prison.
  • Class E: Class E offenses are punishable by a minimum of one-year imprisonment and a maximum of two to five years.
  • Unclassified felonies are penalized as specified in the statute that lists the offense. Where there are no specifications, unclassified felonies are considered Class E felonies for sentencing purposes.

In Kansas, criminal traffic violations are not typically classified as felonies; very few are. Felony traffic offenses are also classified by the offense’s degree, the presence of aggravating factors, and the offender’s criminal record. Typically, repeated offenses are classified as felonies. For example, while a first DUI offense is a misdemeanor, a third or subsequent DUI is considered a felony. Criminal traffic violations may be penalized by fines, forfeiture, imprisonment, and any other penalty required by law or determined by the court.

Examples Of Felony Traffic Violations In Kansas?

Examples of felony crimes in Kansas include:

  • Interference with law enforcement
  • Aggravated escape from custody
  • Aggravated assault of law enforcement
  • Aggravated battery against law enforcement

Examples of felony traffic violations are:

  • Third and subsequent DUI offenses (with a prior criminal record)
  • Fleeing or attempting to flee a police offer (third and subsequent offenses)
  • DUI with aggravated child endangerment
  • DUI with aggravated battery
  • Involuntary manslaughter
  • Fleeing an accident scene involving bodily harm or death

What Are Traffic Misdemeanors In Kansas?

Most criminal traffic offenses in Kansas are classified as misdemeanors. A misdemeanor crime is punishable by no more than one year in county or local jail. Like felonies, misdemeanors may also involve crimes against people, property, and the public; however, misdemeanors are less serious offenses than felonies. Resulting penalties from misdemeanor offenses are less severe than those from felony offenses. Kansas classifies misdemeanors into:

  • Class A: This category comprises the most serious misdemeanor offenses. These crimes are punishable by no more than one year in jail, up to $2500 in fines, or jail terms in addition to fines.
  • Class B: Misdemeanors in this category are punishable by no more than six months in jail and fines of up to $1000.
  • Class C: Punishable by up to one month in jail and fines of up to $500, these are the least serious misdemeanors in Kansas.
  • Unclassified: This category comprises offenses designated as misdemeanors without specification of class. These offenses may be penalized according to the provisions of the statutes that designated them misdemeanors. Where there are no defined penalties, unclassified misdemeanors are considered Class C for sentencing purposes.

Examples Of Traffic Misdemeanors In Kansas

Class A misdemeanor: Vehicular homicide, DUI (second offense)

Class B misdemeanor: Reckless driving (first offense), fleeing a police officer (first offense), DUI (first offense)

Class C misdemeanor: Following another vehicle too closely, drag racing

What Constitutes A Traffic Infraction In Kansas?

Traffic infractions in Kansas are non-criminal violations of traffic or road usage laws. Infractions are the least serious offenses in Kansas and are typically only punished by fines through traffic tickets or citations. In some cases, infractions may be recorded against the driver’s record, which could lead to increased vehicle insurance premiums or a suspension of the driver’s license.

Examples Of Traffic Infractions In Kansas?

  • Improper u-turn
  • Improper pedestrian crossing
  • Failure to stop at a railroad crossing
  • Soliciting rides on the roadway
  • Failure to yield to a pedestrian on the sidewalk
  • Improper parking
  • Driving on the sidewalk
  • Clinging to a vehicle
  • Coasting
  • Littering

How Do Traffic Tickets Work In Kansas

Kansas law enforcement officers, such as the Kansas Highway Patrol, issue traffic tickets or citations to road users who violate state or municipal traffic laws. The tickets are official notices that notify the recipient of the nature of the violation, the payable fine, and the name of the court where the ticket will be filed. Traffic tickets may also contain information on available payment options.

Recipients of traffic tickets in Kansas may respond by paying or contesting the ticket. Payment may be made in person at the District or Municipal courthouse in the county where the violation occurred or where the ticket is filed. Recipients may also make payments online, by mail, and over the phone. Some tickets require a court appearance; such tickets cannot be paid online, by phone, or by mail.

State statutes set ticket fines, and in most cases, are uniform throughout the state. However, for traffic violations that take place in highway construction zones, the fines will be doubled. Ticket recipients must note that paying a ticket is an admission of guilt, and this could lead to a conviction on the recipient’s record. The fines and penalties attached to the traffic offense may also apply upon payment of the ticket. Additionally, parties who pay traffic tickets waive the right to contest the ticket.

Parties interested in contesting traffic tickets may notify the appropriate court and schedule a hearing date. Ticket recipients must respond within 30 days. Failure to respond may result in the suspension of the recipient’s license. If the ticket requires a court appearance, failure to appear may result in the issuance of a bench warrant for the recipient’s arrest.

Unlike other states, Kansas does not use a driver point system. However, all moving violations are recorded against the offender’s driving record. Accumulating moving violations will result in a suspension or loss of driving privileges.

Are Traffic/Driving Records Public In Kansas?

As provided by the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act, Kansas driving records are closed to the public. The Act protects personal information on driving records, including social security numbers, phone numbers, residential addresses, and medical information. Personal information on driving records is accessible only to authorized persons or persons with acceptable uses. Such persons must complete and submit a Certificate of Acceptable Use.

How To Find Traffic/Driving Records In Kansas

The Division of Vehicles of the Department of Revenue maintains driving records. Traffic violations stay on driving records for between three to five years, depending on the severity of the offense. Parties interested in obtaining driving records may do so by mail, in person, or online. To request driving records by mail, requesting parties must complete and submit a Request for Access to Vehicle Records form. The completed form, together with a check or money order, must be mailed to:

Division of Vehicles
300 SW 29 Street
P O Box 2505
Topeka KS 66601–2505

Motor Vehicle Records cost $10, and Certified Motor Vehicle Records cost $15. Together with completed Certificate of Acceptable Use forms, third-party Motor Vehicle Records requests may also be mailed to:

Kansas.gov
534 S Kansas Ave., Suite 1210
Topeka, KS 66603–3406
Phone: 1–800–452–6727

Can Traffic Violation And Infractions Be Expunged/Sealed In Kansas?

In Kansas, expungement does not completely erase a violation or infraction from the offender’s criminal record. The process of expungement works the same as sealing - the record is protected from public access and may only be viewed by authorized persons. Eligible traffic violations and infractions may be expunged after a waiting period. If the sentencing requirements have been met, offenders may file a petition for expungement with the court after three (2) years for:

  • Traffic infractions
  • Misdemeanor traffic offenses

First DUI offenses may be expunged after five (5) years. Subsequent DUI offenses may only be expunged after ten (10) years. Other traffic offenses with a five-year wait period are:

  • Vehicular homicide
  • Driving with a suspended license
  • Felony traffic offenses
  • Driving without insurance
  • Fleeing the scene of an accident
  • Applying for motor vehicle titles with false information
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