As DUI attorneys, we have talked to hundreds of people the day after their DUI arrest and there are a few common themes.
- They are mad at themselves and have no idea what comes next.
- They are embarrassed by what their friends, family and co-workers will think.
- They need to drive so their kids can get to school and so they can get to work.
- They have a million other things going on and just don’t have time for this. In short, they beat themselves up.
This is where we jump into action.
We minimize the damage a DUI arrest will have on your life
Driving while intoxicated (DWI) and driving under the influence (DUI) are criminal offenses in Missouri that often have a huge impact on your daily life. More than any other charge we defend against, Missouri DUI penalties have become increasingly harsh on those who have been arrested or charged with a DUI. If not handled correctly, you could lose your license, your job and pay thousands of extra dollars in fines and costs. At Glaesman Law, we meticulously scrutinize each DUI arrest, blood or breath test, and field sobriety test to help you avoid license suspension or criminal penalties.
Contact us today for a free consultation, or keep reading to learn more about Missouri DUI laws and our approach to defending you against them.
If you’ve been arrested for a DUI, your case will proceed down two separate tracks at the same time. The first track is civil and deals with the suspension of your driver’s license. On this side of the case, your lawyer can appeal any license suspension action taken against you by the DOR to try to prevent your license from being suspended for any amount of time.
The second track is the criminal prosecution of your case where the State or Municipality will determine if you are actually guilty of the DUI itself and, if so, what the punishment (above and beyond license suspension) will be.
- First DUI Offense
- Second DUI Offense
- Third and Subsequent DUI Offenses
- DUI Resulting in Physical Injury
The first issue you’ll deal with after a DUI arrest will be the administrative suspension of your license by the Department of Revenue (DOR). The length of the suspension and the appeal process needed to avoid it will depend on several factors like how many DUIs you’ve had in the past, and whether or not you refused the blood or breath test to determine your BAC.
If you have failed your breath or blood test, the length of suspension that you risk depends on how many previous DWIs are on your driving record. If this is your first time being arrested for DUI, you risk a 30 day suspension followed by a 60 day restricted driving privilege. If this is your second DUI arrest during the past five years, you are at risk of losing your license for one year.
Missouri’s implied consent law requires you to submit to an alcohol and/or drug test when requested by a law enforcement officer. If you refuse to submit to the test, your driving privilege is revoked for one year. The arresting officer will take your driver’s licenser right there on the spot and you wont get it back until you’ve served the one year revocation period. You’ll have a 15 day driving permit but, if you let 30 days pass without filing an appeal, your license will be revoked for one calendar year.
Hire an experienced DUI attorney to appeal your license suspension
Once you’ve been arrested for DUI, you need to act fast to try to avoid any license suspension coming your way. If you do nothing, your license will be gone. You have 15 days to appeal any administrative suspension after a failed breath or blood test and 30 days to appeal the one-year revocation if you refused.
Here is how the appeal process works. Once your appeal has been filed, your DUI lawyer will get the Court or the DOR to issue a stay order on the license suspension. This means you will still be able to legally drive while we fight this suspension.
Once we appeal, the DOR must prove that you were operating a motor vehicle with a BAC over .08 and that there was probable cause to stop you in the first place. We will review the police report, the Alcohol Influence Report (AIR), the breathalyzer maintenance logs, the certification of the officer who conducted the test and any other relevant information such as officer dash and body camera footage. We will scrutinize every aspect of the officer’s case – from the time he pulled you over to the time he booked you for the DUI. If the officer does not do a proper DUI investigation, we expose where he went wrong.
If you’re reading this page and realizing that you’ve already missed the appeal deadline and/or your license has already been suspended, learn more about how to get reinstated after a DUI license suspension.
Criminal Penalties for a DUI Conviction
This is the section where I’m supposed to tell you that you’re going to jail if you don’t immediately pick up the phone and call me. I’m not going to do that. A DUI is very serious and you should hire a DUI lawyer to help you. But this website and our firm will always try to give you honest, actionable information so you know what lays ahead.
While it’s true that each DUI class comes with its own mandatory minimum and maximum ranges of punishments, the truth is your sentence within these ranges depends on a few different factors. The number of prior prior DUIs you’ve had in the past and whether there was an accident in which someone was injured or killed will all play a roll. Remember, not all cases are the same. Each have different facts and human beings involved.
For instance, someone pulled over for crossing the center line who eventually submits to a breathalyzer and blows a .09 would be treated much differently than someone who flees from the cops, leads them on a high speed chase, and crashes his vehicle into a tree with a BAC 3x the legal limit. You need a DUI lawyer who can creatively work with whatever facts you bring to the table to make sure you get the best possible result on your DUI.
First DUI Offense
Your first DUI offense in Missouri will be charged as a class B Misdemeanor and punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a $1000 fine. These are the maximum punishments. Someone who doesn’t have a ton of criminal history or any other aggravating factors about their case probably isn’t looking at jail time on their first DUI.
That said, you should still hire a lawyer. Why? Because even though you might not go to jail, you could still end up with a DWI conviction, 2 years of probation and a myriad probation classes and conditions. Not to mention, there is always a chance you could be acquitted or your case dismissed altogether. Hiring a DUI attorney gives you the information and legal insight you need to make the best decisions for your case and get the best result possible.
Second DUI Offense
If you have been charged with DUI for the second time within five years of your first offense, you are what is considered a DUI “prior offender”. As a prior offender, you face heightened criminal penalties and have to jump through even more hoops to get your license reinstated.
If you have been charged as a prior DUI offender for getting another DUI within 5 years of your first one, here are some additional penalties and restrictions you will need to deal with:
A second DUI within 5 years is filed as a Class A misdemeanor and is punishable by up to one-year in the county jail and/or a fine of up to $2000. Typically, these cases still result in probation, but the court cannot suspend your sentence (SIS) as it would on your first DUI offense. This means, even if you do get probation, you will likely receive a conviction for DUI on your permanent criminal and driving records.
Even if you do get probation, as a prior offender you would be required to do 10 days in jail prior to starting your probation, or agree to 240 hours of community service as a condition of that probation. Most people choose the community service even though that is a lot of hours to do. If your judge is feeling especially harsh, he could even place a condition on your probation that requires you to submit to alcohol monitoring.
In addition to all of these added criminal consequences, the process of getting your license back from the Department of Revenue is complicated. First, a DWI conviction on the criminal portion of the case as a prior offender will add 12 points to your license causing an automatic one-year license suspension. When you are finally eligible to get your license back, you will be required to do SATOP and get an SR-22 again. But, this time you will likely be placed in a higher level of SATOP which is more expensive and requires more time to complete. And if that wasn’t enough, you will be also be required to get an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle prior to your license being reinstated keep it installed on your vehicle for at least 6 months after your license is reinstated.
Third and Subsequent DUI Offenses
Your third or subsequent DUI offenses will be filed as felonies. Felony DUIs are treated harshly by the criminal justice system and almost always come with some sort of jail or imprisonment and a felony conviction. Felony DUIs are broken down as such:
|Third DUI – E Felony||“Persistent Offender”||30 days confinement, or |
480 hours of community service
|2 to 4 years in prison |
and/or $10,000 fine.
|Fourth DUI – D Felony||“Aggravated Offender”||60 days confinement||2 to 7 years in prison |
and/or $10,000 fine.
|Fourth DUI – D Felony||“Chronic Offender”||2 years confinement||3 to 10 years in prison |
and/or $10,000 fine.
You get the idea. The more DUIs you’ve in your past, the harsher the punishment gets. In addition to the the DUI being upgraded to a felony and possible prison time in the Missouri Department of Corrections being put on the table, your license is likely to be revoked for 5 years, 10 years or permanently depending on your situation.
As a “persistent offender” on your third DUI, you will not be eligible for probation or parole unless you first spend at least thirty days of imprisonment or complete 480 hours of community service. An aggravated offender must spend at least sixty days of imprisonment before they are eligible for probation or parole and chronic offenders must serve at least 2 years. There are no community service options for an aggravated, chronic or habitual offenders.
DUI Resulting in Physical Injury
To make matters worse, the penalties really escalate if the DUI results in a motor vehicle accident that ultimately hurts or kills someone. In this scenario, you will be charged with a Felony DUI even if it is your first time. The following table should give you an idea of what you are up against if you have been arrested for DUI after a car accident that has caused injury or death to another.
|Class E Felony||If you act with criminal negligence to cause physical injury to another person.|
|Class D Felony||If you act with criminal negligence to cause physical injury to a law enforcement officer or emergency personnel, or serious physical injury to another person.|
|Class C Felony||If you act with criminal negligence to cause serious physical injury to a law enforcement officer or emergency personnel or the death of another person.|
|Class B Felony||If you act with criminal negligence to cause the death of law enforcement officer or emergency personnel, two or more persons, any person while your BAC is over .18, or any any person not a passenger in the vehicle resulting from your vehicle leaving the road.|
|Class A Felony||If you’ve been previously found guilty of a class B felony and are charged yet again under the class B felony factors above.|
You Need an Experienced DUI Lawyer
If you’ve been arrested or charged with a DUI, you need a lawyer to help you. DUI cases are among the most complicated matters we handle. The criminal penalties and license sanctions that come with a DUI arrest or conviction can be harsh. That is why you need someone who knows how these cases are handled by the criminal justice system and the driver’s license authorities.
We offer free consultations and would be happy to help you with your case. Contact us any time.