Getting charged with a DUI (known as DWI – Driving While Intoxicated) can have a serious impact on your life both personally and professionally, whether or not you are ultimately convicted. From the moment you are arrested, a series of events is set off that have time-sensitive consequences that you will need to take care of as soon as possible, at the same time that you will need to navigate the social and professional consequences of the situation. One of the first things that you should do following an arrest is to contact an attorney who can help you through this process and ensure that you meet each important deadline following your arrest.
The team at Kirsch & Kirsch, LLC has a history of success representing clients for DUI charges, and we will be happy to do the same for you. Contact us as soon as possible for a free initial consultation so we can discuss the specifics of your arrest, the circumstances surrounding it, and any other relevant details that can help us get a better understanding of your upcoming case. At the same time, we will be able to put your mind at ease by explaining our process a bit better and give you an idea of how we will help you through this case and work towards the best possible outcome. Remember that a charge ≠ a conviction, and even in the most cut and dry of cases, we may be able to work towards an alternative dispensation from the courts.
The Importance Of Working With a DUI Attorney
When you show up in court for your arraignment after a DUI/DWI arrest, you will be facing a system that has been designed to move people to a conviction as quickly as possible, and the prosecutors who will be handling your case will be almost-solely focused on a “win,” which, for them, is your case ending in a guilty finding. The legal complexities of DUI charges can quickly overwhelm a defendant, and many people, unfortunately, plead guilty at their arraignment when the prosecution offers a “reduced sentence” without a drawn-out court battle. This is a major decision to make, and one that you should absolutely not make without the support of an experienced DUI attorney.
Stay On Top Of Deadlines
One of the first things that you will need to know is that the moment you are arrested triggers an automatic license suspension through the Missouri Department of Revenue which does not take into account whether or not your charges are ultimately dropped, or even if you are found to be not guilty. At your arrest, the police will take your license and issue you a 15-day temporary license in its place. At the end of these 15 days, your license will be suspended by the Department of Revenue unless you request and successfully complete an Administrative Review with the Department – which you will need to request.
This Administrative Review is not the place to ask for forgiveness or alternative solutions – the reviewer does not care about your medical needs, education, or work-related requirements for transportation. Your best bet is to have your attorney handle this process so that you can continue to drive while your case is open in court. If you fail to go through this hearing within 15 days, your license will be suspended.
This is one of many details that you will need to stay on top of in order to ensure that the duration of your case is as smooth as possible. Without the help of an experienced and dedicated DUI attorney in Jefferson City, these details can quickly overwhelm you and continue to complicate your experience.
Get Advice Every Step Of The Way
As you go further into your case, the complexities will continue to mount until it feels entirely overwhelming. Fortunately for you, there is a DUI attorney in Jefferson City who is keeping a close eye on your situation and providing you with legal advice with each new detail that arises. On your own, it can feel like there is no hope for a reasonable outcome, reduced sentence, dismissal, or alternative penalty; however, with your attorney communicating their strategy with you, it can be easy to stay positive through the process and focus instead on the things that you can control.
Simply knowing that there is someone that you can call and get answers to your questions is a great source of stress relief through this stressful process. The team at Kirsch & Kirsch, LLC will be able to help you understand the specifics of your situation, and will be happy to explain the answers in as much detail as you need.
Identify Alternative Outcomes
Prosecutors prey on the uncertainty and confusion that tend to overwhelm defendants who are either representing themselves or working with inexperienced legal representation. When it seems that there is nowhere left to turn, these defendants are likely to accept their charges and plead guilty, which is a “win” for the prosecution that they otherwise may not have gotten. While it is true that DUI charges are serious, it is also true that there are many different ways to reach a resolution that your attorney will be able to explain to you in great detail.
Many first DUI charges can result in up to six months in jail, $1,000 in fines, and a 90-day license suspension. From there, the penalties go up. However, Missouri does allow courts to make plea bargains or even dismiss charges, so working with your lawyer early will help you both understand the layout of your case and start to build a roadmap towards the best-case scenario. In many instances, a first DUI may be dismissed or reduced in exchange for outpatient treatment and education, as well as a number of other options that we will discuss with you during our initial consultation and throughout the course of our work together.