In Missouri, driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a criminal offense. It is a serious charge that carries significant penalties.
DWI penalties are often complicated, and depend on factors like blood alcohol content measured at the time of arrest. Additionally, prior convictions may influence penalties.
Administrative License Suspension
Many people don’t realize that a driving while intoxicated charge (DWI) can also result in administrative license suspensions, even if the criminal charges are later dropped. These can have serious consequences on your life, not just with regards to your driving privileges but with regard to your employment and financial stability.
Getting your driver’s license suspended is not something that anyone expects or prepares for. But if you have been arrested for DWI in Missouri, you should know that you are entitled to an administrative review of the suspension by the Department of Revenue.
The type of hearing you need to request depends on whether you submitted to a blood alcohol content (BAC) test that exceeded the legal limit or refused one. In either case, the Department of Revenue will issue a Notice of Suspension or Revocation of Your Driving Privilege (Form 2385).
If you receive this form, you have 15 days from the date on which it was issued to request an administrative review and pay the nonrefundable hearing fee. You will need to work closely with your Missouri DWI attorney to ensure that this process is done correctly and timely.
Arrests in Missouri are a part of the DWI court process. Typically, the prosecutor brings a charge for driving while intoxicated (DWI) against the defendant, and the driver is punished by fines, jail, probation, etc.
In addition to criminal charges, the police may also revoke or suspend a person’s driver license. This can happen in cases where the defendant is alleged to have refused a chemical test, or in cases where they have given a test that was over the legal limit.
When the officer suspects that you have been drinking, they will request that you take a blood, breath, or urine sample to check your alcohol content. The law requires that you consent to the testing if you are arrested for a DWI or a related offense.
The arresting officer will look at your performance on the field sobriety tests and other observations to decide whether to charge you with DWI. If the police officer does not find a reasonable cause to believe that you were driving while intoxicated, then the charges can be dismissed or reduced to misdemeanors.
Arranging an Administrative Hearing
In Missouri, if you were arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI), you may be entitled to an administrative hearing. At the hearing, you will have an opportunity to present evidence and question witnesses about your case.
The hearing can be a very stressful time, but it is a necessary step in the legal process of dealing with your DUI charge and the impact it will have on your life. If you fail to properly defend your case, it could result in losing your license and even jail time.
If you are a first-time offender, the impact on your life is minimal, but if you have been convicted of two or more DWIs in a five year period, the court will take a much harsher stand against you. Consequently, if you are facing a DWI charge, it is crucial to retain an experienced attorney to represent you.
Arranging an Arraignment
If you’re arrested for a DWI, you will have to go through both an administrative and criminal process. This can be confusing and overwhelming.
The first step in the legal process is the arraignment, which takes place in open court. Here, the judge reads your rights and charges against you.
This is also the time where you’re asked to enter a plea. Almost always, you’ll be given the option to plead guilty or not guilty.
Arraignments need to happen within a reasonable time of an arrest and charge. This ensures that you’re not spending too much time in custody and that your case is progressing as quickly as possible.
We can assist you during this critical stage of the DWI court in Missouri process and advocate for your release at a bail hearing. Our attorneys can help you get a reduced bond or work with the court to arrange pre-trial release so that you can return home to your family and continue living your life normally.
Barry Lachey is a Professional Editor at Zobuz. Previously He has also worked for Moxly Sports and Network Resources “Joe Joe.” he is a graduate of the Kings College at the University of Thames Valley London. You can reach Barry via email or by phone.