4 Important Questions you Need to Know about Felony DUI’s
Taking a few moments to think through some of the most important questions you have regarding a driving while intoxicated defense can save you time and increase the chances of a more positive outcome.
1. For a felony DWI in Missouri, what does the prosecution have to prove?
For a typical Driving While Intoxicated charge, the prosecution must prove that the person charged drove a vehicle while influenced by alcohol and/or drugs to the extent that the driver’s abilities to drive a vehicle were legally impaired. For a felonious charge in Missouri, the prosecution also has to prove the impairment, if the driver performed any other act forbidden by law and that act caused great bodily harm, injury or even death of a person other than the driver. In Missouri, drinking the alcohol doesn’t have to be the main cause of the injury or death. If alcohol is involved, even if it is the other driver is at fault, the impaired driver could be charged. Since “great bodily harm” is loosely defined, someone should be concerned with a felonious charge if ANY injuries were sustained by any party.
2. What happens in a felonious DUI Conviction?
Many defendants of a felonious Driving While Intoxicated charge are placed on probation for a significant amount of time and must complete costly, court-mandated treatment programs. In Missouri, a prison term for a class D conviction may get a prison term not exceeding 4 years. However, that sentence changes to 7 years in 2017. Depending on the severity of the case, some felonious convictions serve prison time. There are various classes of charges that carry various terms – Class C Driving While Intoxicated convictions are required to serve 60 days in prison and Class B convictions must serve at least 2 years before long term probation terms.
3. What happens to a person’s driver’s license if convicted of a charge?
In addition to a prison sentence, the driver faces the Missouri state requirements for license revocation. When a driver is convicted of 2nd Driving While Intoxicated charge, the license will be revoked, normally, for one year. If the repeated offense is within a 5 years of the last conviction, the driver may also be denied a license for 5 years. After 3 or more convictions, licenses are denied for 10 years.
4. Why is it important to hire an experienced DUI attorney?
- Reduce Time in Jail – Your attorney can represent you to and speak on your behalf with the courts and judges. An experienced lawyer has developed relationships with the court system that help you potentially avoid jail time.
- Decrease Costly Fines – DWI charges in Missouri carry steep charges. An experienced defense attorney can help you navigate penalties and work to reduce as much as possible.
- Criminal Record – When a convicted felon is charged with additional crimes, the penalties can be more and more severe.
- Other costs of a conviction – Once someone has a felony conviction on their record, it makes life much more difficult. Convicted Driving While Intoxicated felonies present problems for getting jobs, renting a home or apartment and the loss of rights like voting, owning a gun or earning certain professional licenses.
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Why are The Law Offices of Matthew | Russell | Dempsey considered by many as the leading defense lawyers in Springfield?
Our combined 30 years of experience litigating cases in the Greene County Court System gives us an inside view on how to help our clients navigate the complexities of being charged. We know “the system” like the backs of our hands and our knowledge is your power. Hire us as your Springfield DUI Lawyer. Call us at 417-882-2522 or contact us online.