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Missouri Drunk Driving Defense Attorneys

You had a few drinks earlier in the evening and were driving home. You were pulled over by the police and asked to take a field sobriety test. You got arrested for DWI and received a notice that your driver license will be suspended or revoked.

What do you do now?

Do you understand the intricacies of Missouri DWI law?

Can you afford not to fight your DWI charges?

You need a lawyer who fights DWI convictions in Missouri.

You need a DWI attorney who will help minimize the impact of a DWI on your life. You need an experienced Missouri drunk driving defense lawyer who will to protect your rights.

DWI lawyer W. M. Thornburg and the drunk driving defense attorneys at MODWI.com are experienced criminal lawyers who successfully fight DWI convictions in Missouri.

A drunk driving arrest is not a conviction.

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Our MO DWI lawyers handle DWI cases in criminal courts across the State of Missouri.

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Missouri DWI Law

Missouri DWI Administrative Alcohol Driver License Suspension / Revocation

Your drivers license will be suspended or revoked if you don't take action within 15 days of your DWI arrest if your breath alcohol test was above Missouri's legal limit (.08%, age 21 or over; .02%, under age 21) or if you refused a breath, blood or urine test after being arrested for DWI in Missouri.

Get an experienced DWI attorney now to preserve your rights. Let a top drunk driving criminal defense lawyer help you. If you have been arrested for DUI / DWI, click here to contact a Missouri DWI lawyer at MODWI.com or call us at (800) 584-0495.

FIRST OFFENSE DWI (Driving While Intoxicated)

Conviction of a first DWI under Missouri Law (RSMo 577.010) is a Class B misdemeanor.

  • JAIL: Up to a maximum of six (6) months imprisonment.
  • FINE: Up to $500.00. Court costs may also be between $10.00 and $100.00.
  • PROBATION: The general terms of probation are no drinking, do not break the law, complete SATOP, etc.. No driver convicted of or pleading guilty to the offense of driving while intoxicated (DWI) shall be granted a suspended imposition of sentence (SIS) for such offense, unless the driver is placed on probation for a minimum of two (2) years.
  • SUSPENSION OF DRIVING PRIVILEGES: A first time DWI conviction results in a 30-day suspension of driving privileges followed by a 60-day restriction to driving only to and from work, in the course of employment, or to alcohol treatment. There are no hardships or exemptions available. This suspension goes on the person's driving record. The court may also require that a person be restricted to driving a motor vehicle which has an ignition interlock device while on probation. The device costs $50.00-100.00 to install and $50.00-$75.00 per month to maintain. A first conviction of DWI, DUI, or BAC will result in 8 points being assessed against the driver's license.

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SECOND OFFENSE DWI

Conviction of a second DWI within a five year period is a Class A misdemeanor.

  • JAIL: Up to a maximum of one year in jail.
  • FINE: Up to $1,000.00, plus court costs of between $10.00 and $100.00.
  • PROBATION: Only after a person has served a mandatory minimum of 48 hours of incarceration are they eligible for probation. The jail requirement may be waived in lieu of doing 10 hours of community service. The terms of probation are standard: no breaking the law, no drinking, no going to places where alcohol is served, attend SATOP, etc. Court ordered AA meetings, outpatient treatment, or inpatient treatment programs are also a possibility.
  • REVOCATION OF DRIVER'S LICENSE: A criminal conviction of a second time DWI within 5 years results in a five (5) year revocation of driving privileges. A hardship license may not be applied for until 2 of the 5 year revocation has been served. This suspension goes on the person's driving record. Twelve points are assessed against the driver's license regardless of how old the first DWI conviction was. The court must also require that a person be restricted to driving a motor vehicle which has an ignition interlock device while on probation. The device costs $50.00-100.00 to install and $50.00-$75.00 per month to maintain.

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THIRD OR SUBSEQUENT DWI OFFENSE

Conviction of three or more DWI's within 10 years results may mean that the driver is deemed to be a "Persistent Offender" and guilty of a Class D Felony. There will also be a 10 year denial of driving privileges.

  • JAIL: Up to five (5) years in prison.
  • FINE: Up to $5,000.00, plus court costs of between $10.00 to $100.00.
  • PROBATION: Missouri law prohibits a suspended execution of sentence for a felony DWI. The court may suspend execution of sentence after 10 days in jail or 60 days of community service. The defendant is then placed on a probation.
  • REVOCATION OF DRIVING PRIVILEGES: Upon a third or subsequent criminal conviction for DWI, the defendant's driver's license is revoked for 10 years regardless of how old the two prior convictions are. These suspensions go on the person's driving record. If convicted of a felony DWI, no hardship license is available. If the DWI is a third, but not a felony, a hardship license may be applied for after 3 years. The court must also require that a person be restricted to driving a motor vehicle which has an ignition interlock device while on probation. The device costs $50.00-100.00 to install and $50.00-$75.00 per month to maintain.

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Missouri Implied Consent

Everyone who operates a motor vehicle in the state of Missouri is deemed to have given his or her consent to have his or her breath, blood, urine, or other bodily substances tested for alcohol and/or drugs. This is known as Missouri's "Implied Consent" law. You are presumed to know and understand your rights and responsibilities concerning the testing your breath or bodily fluids in relation to a DWI arrest.

The arresting officer will choose what type of test to administer. Under Missouri law, however, you are allowed 20 minutes to contact an attorney about whether you should submit to a test.

You also have the right to obtain your own test of your body fluids by a physician, qualified technician, chemist, registered nurse or other qualified person after you have submitted to the officer's requested test.

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Driver's License Consequences

in a Missouri DWI arrest there are two separate cases; the DWI criminal case, and the civil administrative alcohol action taken by the Department of Revenue against the driver's license. If you are arrested for DWI and blow over the legal limit, you have only 15 days from the date of arrest to request an administrative hearing or your license automatically will be suspended (1st offense) or revoked (2nd offense within 5 years or subsequent offense). Time is of the essence. Contact us for a FREE consultation with a top MO DWI defense lawyer. Don't wait. The time to "lawyer up" is now!

Suspension Penalties

If an administrative hearing is not requested or if a Sustain Order is issued after the administrative hearing:

  • FIRST TIME FAILURE OF A TEST: For a driver with no alcohol related law enforcement contacts within the previous five years, driving privileges are suspended for 30 days followed by 60 days of Restricted Driving Privilege. The restricted license is available upon showing proof of financial responsibility (SR-22 Filing proof of insurance) before the 30 days suspension has expired. The restriction allows a person to drive "in connection with a person's business, occupation or employment, and to and from an alcohol education and treatment program" only. The DWI administrative alcohol suspension appears on the person's driving record.
  • SECOND AND SUBSEQUENT FAILURES OF A TEST: Driving privileges are revoked for one year. During an administrative alcohol DWI one-year revocation, the driver is not eligible for a hardship license.

DWI Breath Test Refusal Consequences

If you refused the test, immediate action must be taken to preserve your rights or your driving privileges (your driver license) automatically will be revoked for one (1) year. If it is your first offense DWI, you can't apply for a hardship license until 90 days after your DWI breath test refusal driver license revocation has begun. If you face driver license revocation as a result of a DWI breath test refusal, contact us now for a FREE consultation with an experienced Missouri DWI lawyer. Let us explain how we can help you.

The administrative hearing and the criminal case are two separate cases. Neither one has any bearing whatsoever on the other. However, if you are suspended pursuant to one, that suspension will be run concurrent with a suspension in the other. So, if you lost at the administrative hearing and at trial, and it was your second time DWI, you would only be suspended for one year total. But, your driving record will reflect two separate suspensions for the same arrest.

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Appealing an Administrative Alcohol Suspension - Trial De Novo

You have the right to appeal the administrative suspension of your drivers license to the circuit court of the county in which you were arrested for DWI. A "Trial De Novo" must be filed within 15 days of the date that the suspension was mailed by the Department of Revenue administrative alcohol hearing examiner. If an appeal is taken, the matter is heard anew by a judge. The issues are the same and the Department of Revenue has the burden of proof. Statements made under oath during the administrative hearing may be used in the Trial De Novo and in the criminal DWI case.

 

Hardship License

If your licence has been revoked for convictions or a chemical test refusal, you may be eligible for "Limited Driving Privileges", commonly known as a hardship license. You may apply for a hardship license to either the circuit court of your county of residence or the Director of Revenue. A hardship license may not be granted for the following reasons, including the fact that you have been convicted of a felony involving the use of a vehicle, the failure to pay child support, or a suspension in another state. There are also many requirements concerning when a person may apply for the hardship license. For instance, a person convicted of two DWI's within 5 years may not apply for a hardship license until he or she has served at least 2 of the 5 years of revocation. You should consult with an attorney concerning whether you are eligible for a hardship license.

 


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