If you’ve been arrested for DWI in Jefferson City, MO, you may already be familiar with how the process works. However, you should also know that the penalties for a second DWI offense will increase if you’re convicted. Therefore, your best chance of beating your new drunk driving charge comes from hiring a DWI Attorney.
Kirsch & Kirsch, Attorneys at Law, can review your case and prepare a solid defense strategy designed to beat your charge. Call today.
Penalties for a Second DWI Offense in Missouri
Second DWI convictions in Missouri are categorized as Class A misdemeanors and carry the following penalties:
- Up to one year in jail. Convicted defendants must serve at least ten days before the suspension can be lifted, or the defendant can be placed on probation.
- Up to two years on probation
- Fines up to $1,000
- Driver’s license suspension from one to five years
- Installation of an ignition interlock device
- Alcohol monitoring
- Mandated drug or alcohol treatment program
- A new charge on the defendant’s criminal history
- The possibility that SR-22 high-risk car insurance may be required
A criminal defense attorney can fight your DWI charges in Missouri. If the case against you is strong, they may also be able to get you a reduced sentence.
The Importance of Working with a DUI Attorney
The criminal courts that service Jefferson City and the surrounding area tend to be particularly harsh when it comes to adjudicating a second DWI offense. However, every defendant is innocent until proven guilty, even if they have a prior conviction for the same crime. An experienced DWI attorney can perform the following services for you:
- Review the police report, probable cause affidavit, and any other documentation associated with your case
- Subpoena and depose the arresting officer and other witnesses to the alleged crime
- Examine all discovery evidence, including video of your driving pattern and performance on voluntary roadside exercises
- Subpoena the maintenance documentation of the machinery and certification of the operator who administered the blood alcohol content (BAC) test
- Act as an intermediary between you and the police and prosecutor
- If the DUI was charged as part of an accident, subpoena medical records for other parties
- Negotiate with the prosecutor
- File motions to suppress any evidence that the police obtained by violating your rights
Common Defenses DWI Attorneys Use to Win
Every case is different, and an experienced DWI attorney will review all of the prosecutorial evidence specific to your charges. Here are some battle-tested defenses that can work for a second DUI offense.
The police must demonstrate that they had a valid reason to stop a driver. This could involve a violation of a traffic law, a legally-sanctioned DUI checkpoint, responding to a traffic accident, etc. If not, any other actions are inadmissible.
No Wheel Witness
Either the police or some other party must be able to testify that they saw the defendant in control of the vehicle. If not, it can be grounds for a dismissal. This is particularly relevant in single-car accident cases where the police arrive, but the driver is no longer in the vehicle.
Coerced Roadside Exercises or BAC Test
Under Missouri Law, you do not have to participate in roadside exercises. They are voluntary, and the officer should explain that to you. In fact, the roadside exercises are sufficiently challenging that few people do well enough on them to make the police reconsider making an arrest.
Once you’re placed into custody, the arresting officer should read the implied consent warning from a prepared text. This is to inform you of the consequences of refusing to provide a breath or urine sample upon request.
Other Procedural Errors
Officers in Missouri must adhere to strict protocols when investigating a DWI offense. Consequently, there is significant room for error. A DWI attorney will review all phases of the DWI investigation to determine whether the officers made a mistake that could benefit their clients. These could include things like failing to describe the defendant’s physical behaviors in detail, failing to demonstrate the roadside exercises before administering them, having an expired breath operator certificate, and more.
Frequently Asked Questions About DWI in Jefferson City, Missouri
Just because you’ve been arrested for DWI in the past doesn’t mean that you will know all of the answers. For specific information about your case, contact a DWI attorney near you. In Jefferson City, MO, contact Kirsch & Kirsch for a diligent defense.
Is a second DWI a felony in Missouri?
In most cases, a second DWI is still a misdemeanor. However, you may be charged with a felony if you were driving while intoxicated and caused an accident that resulted in injuries or death.
What is the difference between a DUI and a DWI?
For all intents and purposes, DUI and DWI are the same charges. DUI refers to “driving under the influence,” while DWI refers to “driving while intoxicated. Some states use the term DUI, but Missouri law uses DWI for drunk driving.
Is jail time mandatory for a 2nd DUI in Missouri?
If you are convicted of a second offense, there is a mandatory 10-day jail sentence, but the judge could sentence you to more time. An attorney can sometimes negotiate with the prosecutor to waive jail time as part of a plea deal. Any plea arrangements have to be approved by the courts.
Experienced DUI/DWI Lawyer in Jefferson City, MO
If you’ve been charged with a DWI in Missouri after you’ve had a prior drunk driving conviction, you need to take the matter seriously. The penalties for a second DWI increase, regardless of how much time has elapsed since your first conviction. Contact the criminal defense attorneys at Kirsch & Kirsch for a proactive approach to your case.
Our criminal defense lawyers will review all aspects of your drunk driving case and build a solid defense. Don’t trust your future, freedom, and reputation to an inexperienced public defender. Contact Kirsch & Kirsch, Attorneys at Law to discuss the charges against you.