In Missouri, Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) is the crime of driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and it is dangerous and costly in numerous ways. If you are stopped by a law enforcement officer while operating a motor vehicle and arrested because your blood alcohol content (BAC) is over the legal limit of 0.08%, you might wonder what your options are. What can you expect legally if you’ve been charged for driving while intoxicated? How can a DWI lawyer assist you with your case? To avoid dire consequences, you will need to hire an attorney for help.
DWI Lawyer Ozark MO
What can I expect legally when it comes to a DWI?
When a driver is charged with a DWI in Missouri, two separate actions affect their arrest and the suspension/revocation of their driving privilege. First, criminal proceedings by the State of Missouri or a municipal subdivision will govern the issued ticket. Second, administrative action by the Missouri Department of Revenue Drivers License Bureau (DOR) will apply. If your blood alcohol level is over the legal limit or you refuse to submit to a BAC test, your license can be automatically suspended or revoked. An attorney can help you navigate both the criminal and administrative aspects of a DWI.
Why should I hire a DWI lawyer?
An experienced DWI lawyer will provide the legal knowhow and expert advice that you need to possibly minimize your penalties. Your attorney’s thorough understanding of the legal process will give you confidence during each stage, from the initial arrest to the final hearing or trial. With your lawyer’s help, you will better understand the court system, plea negotiations and agreements, and administrative procedures with DOR, and you will receive the assistance necessary to make informed decisions.
This guidance is beneficial for first-time offenders, who may not understand the procedures involved, as well as repeat offenders, who face harsher penalties. Essentially, a great DWI lawyer will work hard to ensure that you achieve the best possible outcome.
What are potential penalties for a DWI?
Penalties for a DWI vary by state and number of offenses. In Missouri, where a DWI is defined as operating a motor vehicle with a BAC by volume of 0.08% or more (unless you are a minor or driving a commercial vehicle, in which case the allowed limits are lower), penalties for the first offense (under State Law – municipal ordinances can vary) can include license suspension or revocation, imprisonment for up to six months, fees to reinstate your driver’s license as well as the Substance Abuse Traffic Offender Program (SATOP), a fine of up to $500.00, and mandatory alcohol treatment or addiction evaluation programs. In addition, drivers may face limited driving privileges involving the requirement for a breath interlock device to be installed in any motor vehicle you operate, which could be required by the court or DOR. An interlock device which requires a satisfactory BAC test in order for the car to start and, by law, is also required to have a camera and GPS unit as part of the device.
Please note that these penalties apply to basic DWI convictions. If you injure or kill someone while drunk driving, the penalties will obviously be more severe.
Are you or a loved one facing DWI charges? Before you do anything else, find a DWI lawyer to stand by your side. If you live in southwest Missouri, contact Matthew B. Owen, Attorney at Law. Mr. Owen is committed to providing his clients with professional dedication, legal expertise, and sound advice. When you’re ready to get started, please call 417-893-0885 or contact Mr. Owen online.