Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a serious criminal offense in Missouri, and it can result in Class B or Class A misdemeanor charges at a minimum. Depending upon the particular facts of the case, a DWI can be charged as a felony offense and, in some cases, can result in the most serious Class A felony. To be clear, a DWI conviction can result in a jail or prison sentence, not to mention the additional penalties associated with a drunk driving conviction. As such, it is critical to have one of our experienced Jefferson City drunk driving lawyers on your side to help you fight the charges you are facing.
Given that Missouri has higher rates of drunk driving than other states in the country, law enforcement officials take DWI cases extremely seriously, and prosecutors are often eager to move forward with DWI charges. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Missouri has a drunk driving fatality rate of 4.8 per 100,000 population, which is significantly higher than the national average of 3.3 per 100,000 population. In each category, including age groups and by sex or gender, Missouri DWI rates are higher than the national averages.
When can a person face charges for drunk driving or driving while intoxicated? Under Missouri law, a person can face DWI charges if they are aged 21 or over and have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. For drivers under the age of 21, Missouri has a “zero tolerance” law, which means that any amount of alcohol consumption is unlawful and can result in charges. Missouri also allows for sobriety checkpoints, which means that you could be stopped and asked to take a breathalyzer even if the police have no reasonable suspicion to stop you.
You should know that, by driving in Missouri, you have given implied consent to have your BAC tested. Accordingly, if you refuse a breathalyzer test, you can face serious penalties that include a one-year suspension of your driver’s license.
What are the consequences for a DWI conviction? Take a look at the following penalties under Missouri law:
When a DWI also results in bodily injury or death to another person, depending upon the defendant’s criminal history, that person can face penalties for serious felony offenses, from a class D up to a class A felony.
Do you need assistance building a defense against DWI charges? Our Jefferson City drunk driving defense lawyers can assist you. Contact Scott A. Hamblin today.
A Jefferson City man faced DUI charges following a field sobriety test. Charges against the defendant were dropped after Scott successfully maintained the client’s claims that the test results were inaccurate. While the client initially appeared to be in a difficult situation, Scott was able to push investigators to determine the sobriety test results as invalid, so the charges were dismissed.
A mother was seeking sole custody of her children following a divorce. The father refused to cooperate, leaving the client in a difficult situation as she felt as though her children didn’t have a voice. Scott recognized her need for an advocate and carefully listened to the children’s wishes, which conclusively helped the client achieve sole custody of her children and protected their best interests.
A client from Fulton was accused of drug possession as a result of a home search. While drug charges may potentially be filed as a Class C felony involving severe consequences, Scott was able to help the client receive a reduced sentence. Ultimately, the client faced significantly smaller penalties compared to the initial charges.
Scott assisted a defendant in a particularly challenging divorce case in which the other spouse was not cooperating. Scott was able to help the client avoid court through an aggressive legal approach to resolve all outstanding disagreements while maintaining the client’s long-term needs.
One client sought legal assistance after an altercation with another individual in Jefferson City. The client was arrested on assault charges despite allegedly not starting the fight. Since an arrest can lead to life-altering penalties such as being terminated from employment and serving jail time, Scott was able to build a solid legal defense in the client’s favor and argued in favor of the client’s innocence.
A grandparent sought visitation rights to his grandchild after the parent tried to block him. Scott takes grandparents’ rights very seriously, and so he devised a strategy to help the grandparent set a visitation schedule. Scott developed a strategy to show that the child’s best interests were fulfilled through the grandparent’s ability to visit the child, helping push the case towards a resolution in the client’s favor.
Scott assisted a client who was injured in a car accident due to another driver’s negligence. The defendant claimed that the opposing party using their phone at the time of the crash, and Scott emphasized this claim to show that the other driver was at fault for the client’s injuries. The case concluded with the client receiving the necessary compensation for medical bills following a long hospital stay due to injuries.
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For accessible and experienced representation, contact attorney Scott Hamblin today.