A first time Missouri Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) case will be charged as a Class B misdemeanor in State Court. This will be true whether you were intoxicated by alcohol, drugs or a combination of drugs and alcohol.
While you will hear the terms Driving Under the Influence or “DUI” multiple times throughout the process or as you speak with friends about the case, that is not the legal term for a DWI in the State of Missouri. As a Judge pointed out to me as a very young Prosecutor, it matters what the law is when it comes to court. There is not a law on the books about DUI. In the State of Missouri, there is only Driving While Intoxicated.
Here are some possibilities about what you can expect with a first time Driving While Intoxicated charge.
Fine: A fine can be from $0 to $500 on a Class B misdemeanor.
Jail: A jail sentence can carry from 0 days in jail to 6 months in a County Jail on a Class B misdemeanor.
Probation: On any misdemeanor charge, there is up to 2 years of Unsupervised Probation in the State of Missouri. However, there are other sorts of probation other that Unsupervised Probation depending on the Jurisdiction that your case is filed in. There can be Court Supervised Probation where you have to check in with the Court and pay fees directly to the Court. There are Supervised Probations that involve supervision by a private company (Community Alternative Sentencing Program in Greene County, Missouri). Finally, there can be Supervised Probation by State Probation and Parole in some misdemeanors.
Other Possible Costs: There can be several, if not all, of the following expenses associated with the Class B misdemeanor DWI:
- Law Enforcement Recoupment (LER) Fee – Paying back the officer for the time they spent on your case. The amount you will have to pay for this depends on the number of officers, the agency they are with and how closely they follow their paperwork protocols. This LER has ranged from $65 through $400. Typically it is within the $150 ballpark.
- Crime Victim’s Compensation Fund (CVCF) – This is a $10 fee that every defendant pays on any misdemeanor in the State of Missouri.
- Community Service Fees – In Greene County, Missouri and the surrounding area, you have to pay to do community service through CASP. Typically it costs $115 to do 40 or more community service hours. The amount of community service hours (and the cost that the missed work will bring you while doing these hours) is highly dependent of the facts of your case and the location you are arrested in.
- Substance Abuse Traffic Offender Program (SATOP) – This is the program that you will likely need to get your license back. This program is regulated by the State of Missouri and can be taken multiple places across the State. The typical expense is $645 for the first time offender. A portion of that will be due during the screening process and a portion will be due at the time of the treatment.
- Potential raise in insurance.
- Time missed from work due to court appearances, community service and treatment.
- Potential loss of future income as a result of a conviction on your record.
- Attorney’s fees.
With all of this at stake, please do not leave your life up to chance. A good attorney, one that spends their career on criminal defense and DWI defense, can make all of the difference. Anyone can walk in and plead guilty on their own. Any attorney can go accept the Prosecutor’s first “deal” of an offer. An experienced DWI defense attorney will be able to help you navigate the jurisdiction and Courts to help get the best outcome possible.