Being convicted of a DWI (driving while intoxicated) or DUI (driving under the influence) charge in the state of Missouri is a criminal matter. These charges can be extremely serious and can potentially follow you for the rest of your life if they’re not properly handled. Heavy fees, license suspensions, community service, jail time, and permanent charges on your criminal record are a few of the consequences you may face.
How serious your charges and their consequences are will depend on many factors, but one of the most important is if any previous DWIs or DUIs are on your record. This factor will also determine how your DWI or DUI is categorized. Your first DWI or DUI in Missouri will be categorized as a misdemeanor. If this isn’t your first offense, the rules become slightly more complicated.
Missouri DWI/DUI Offenses: Learn the Facts
- For your first DUI/DWI offense in the state of Missouri, you will likely be charged with a misdemeanor. Misdemeanors are less severe than felonies and may be able to be expunged from your criminal record after a certain period. In addition, you face up to 6 months of jail time, a 30-day license suspension, fees of up to $500, and/or other penalties.
- For your second Missouri DUI or DWI, you will likely be charged with a “prior offender” or class “A” misdemeanor. This is a more serious type of misdemeanor and can result in up to 1 year of jail time, fines of up to $1,000, a license revocation of up to a year, and/or additional penalties.
- For three or more DUI/DWI charges, you will likely be charged with a felony. The type of felony you receive will be classified as a class “D” or “persistent offender” offense. Felonies stay on your criminal record and cannot generally be expunged. Additionally, you may receive up to four years of jail time as well as community service, fines of up to $5,000, one year of license revocation, and/or other types of penalties.
It’s important to note that the above conditions may change given the circumstances of your particular DWI offense or any harm which was caused. If, for example, you were charged with a DWI after causing a car accident which injured an innocent victim, your charges may be significantly more severe. When other individuals or property becomes damaged, extra jail time may additionally be included.
Whether you’re eligible to expunge your misdemeanor and/or receive a less severe sentence will also depend on the nature of your charges and if any injuries or property damage resulted. To find out if either is possible or to find out if reinstating your driver’s license ahead of time is an option, you will need to speak to a criminal defense lawyer.
Thomas Law Offices has skilled DWI lawyers and criminal defense lawyers who can answer any questions you may have if you’ve been charged or convicted of a DWI/DUI misdemeanor or felony. If you’ve recently been charged convicted and believe you deserve a less severe sentence, your time to act is running out. Contact Thomas Law Offices today to learn more.
We recently ran a tremendously successful New Year’s Eve campaign to help Columbia drivers get home safely after ringing in 2017 and avoid getting behind the wheel while drunk. We know the implications of drunk driving. We can help you recover from a DWI and turn your life around.