People make mistakes. Sometimes these mistakes can have a substantial impact on your life, however. If you’ve been charged with DUI/ DWI in Missouri, there are steps you can take to help protect your future. The first step is to contact an experienced attorney to help fight the charges against you and discuss any valid defenses to the crime you are accused of committing.
Defenses to a DWI/ DUI Charge
If you’ve been pulled over and charged with DUI/ DWI you are probably anxious and unsure of what to expect. You are likely nervous about your future and even your career. In addition, you may have been wrongly accused or even have a defense to the charges against you. For example, some defenses to DWI/ DUI include:
- The officer did not have reasonable suspicion to pull you over in the first place.
- The officer did not have probable cause to make an arrest.
- The officer did not follow certain processes and procedures when administering the field sobriety tests.
- You were coerced into submitting to a chemical test.
- The equipment used to administer the chemical test was not properly maintained or calibrated.
DWI/ DUI Penalties
In Missouri, you face both criminal and administrative penalties for a DWI/ DUI. The punishments you face, criminally and administratively, depend on the facts of your case as well as the number of prior DWI/ DUI convictions. Penalties can include:
- 1st Offense – fines up to $500 and/or jail time up to six months, and license suspension for 30 days and restriction for 60 days
- 2nd Offense – now considered a “prior offender” with fines up to $1000 and/or jail time up to one year, license suspension up to five years, and installation of an ignition interlock device
- 3rd Offense – now known as a “persistent offender”, a third offense is a felony which includes up to four years in prison, fines up to $5,000, license suspension for ten years, and installation of ignition interlock device
Missouri and the Implied Consent Law
Missouri, like all fifty states, has an implied consent law for those suspected if driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The law states that if an officer suspects drunk driving, you have impliedly given consent to test your blood, breath, or urine by virtue of having a Missouri driver’s license. In effect, this means that if you are pulled over, asked to submit to a breathalyzer, and you refuse, your driver’s license will automatically be suspended.
It is important to know that you have the right to refuse the chemical test, or breathalyzer, however, doing so comes with consequences. You also have the right to request to speak with an attorney before submitting to the test. You will be given twenty minutes within which to call a lawyer. Take advantage of this time and contact legal counsel right away.
Contact the DWI/ DUI Attorneys at the KC Defense Counsel
Driving is a privilege, however, once that privilege is taken from you, you may realize how important it is. If you face DWI/ DUI conviction and loss of your driving privileges, speak with an attorney right away. A DWI/ DUI can have a lasting effect personally and professionally and our criminal defense attorneys can help fight for your rights, driving privilege, and future.