Have you been arrested for a DUI? This is likely a frustrating, scary, and embarrassing time for you. You really thought you were okay to get home.
There are always a lot of questions that come up right away with this situation. When the officer pulled you over, you thought you did okay on the tests. Can he really arrest you? Maybe the officer did not do any tests at all on the side of the road; how can he do that? Are you going to lose your license? Should you blow into their machine? Were they really going to take your blood? You did not like sitting in the holding pit for four hours. Are you going to have to go back to jail?
These are all legitimate questions. We at MRD Lawyers are experienced DWI attorneys in Springfield, Missouri and have encountered all of these questions and many more. That is why you need a trained professional to assist you with these questions. Let the DWI attorneys at MRD Lawyers answer some of those questions today.
What You Need To Know
Many people do not know this, but at the moment you get issued a ticket for your arrest on a DWI, there are two actions going on at the exact same time.
There are the driver’s license side and the criminal side. These are two separate legal issues and they are handled very differently and usually at different times.
The driver’s license issue is handled by the Missouri Department of Revenue (DOR). This is the agency that issues you your driver’s license. You are going to find that the DOR is both the Prosecutor and Judge in some cases.
The criminal issue is handled by the State or Municipal Prosecutor and Courts. These two issues can often times lead to two separate hearings or trials.
Did you Submit to a breath test?
In reviewing this situation, the first thing our DWI attorneys like to know is if you submitted to a breath test. The reason we like to know this right up front is to determine the status of your driver’s license.
If you refused to give a breath test, you are facing a one year revocation of your license under Missouri’s Implied Consent. If that is the case, your DWI attorney must file a lawsuit for you as soon as possible to put a stay on that action. That stay will keep you driving legally while we wait for the criminal side of your case to get filed and dealt with.
If you gave a breath test, you are facing a 90 revocation of your license. You were likely given a Missouri DOR Form 2385 at the time of your arrest. This is a form that acts as your temporary driver’s license for 15 days from the date of your arrest. It is also the document that we use to request a hearing to keep your license from being revoked for those 90 days.
You have the option of having an in-person hearing or a telephone hearing in fighting for your license. There are pros and cons to each route and we can discuss which is best for your situation when you come in for your free consultation. As mentioned before, DOR acts as the Prosecutor and the Judge in these hearings. This creates a lot of challenges in winning these hearings.
You will find that a lot of attorneys no longer choose to have these hearings. We always take advantage of having these hearings even though they are difficult to win. The purpose of the hearing can be to get more information from the officer if nothing else.
Is this your first dwi?
The second thing we like to know in our review of the case is how many DWI pleas or finding of guilty you have had in the past. The purpose of this question is to determine what level of opposition we will be facing moving forward.
A first time DWI will be dealt with by the Prosecutor and Judge much differently than a fifth time DWI. A first time DWI is commonly dealt with in municipal courts or by the junior members of the State Prosecutor’s Office. A fifth time DWI will be dealt with by more senior Assistant Prosecutor’s and will be much more closely followed and more aggressively prosecuted. This level of difficulty will be important in giving our client’s advice on the course this case will take.
Where were you arrested?
The third thing MRD Lawyers will examine is where you were arrested and by whom. Jurisdiction is a very big deal. The Prosecutors in Republic Municipal do not act the same as the ones in Greene County. The Prosecutors in Greene County do not handle cases the same as Prosecutors in Christian County.
This difference in Jurisdiction can mean the difference in conviction or no conviction or jail or no jail. Without the proper experience, a family law attorney or an estate planning attorney would not be able to tell you the differences in what the Prosecutors and Courts do from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. This level of knowledge allows the attorneys at MRD Lawyers to put their clients more at ease as the clients learn that the worst case scenario is not nearly as bad as they are imagining.
put our experience to work for you
Once we learn these three general categories of the situation, we start digging into the details of the case. Who were you with? Are they potential witnesses? Who was the officer? How did the encounter with the officer go? What stands out to you? Based on these answers, we start developing our legal defense. We will later supplement these answers with the police reports and dash cam videos to develop a plan of attack for your defense.
But this case will go beyond the legal nuts and bolts. We push ourselves at MRD Lawyers to find out who you are and what your goals are. A one size fits all result is not what we do. We do not plea every case. We do not try every case. We listen to the goals of the client and do our best to meet those goals.
Of course you want this case to go away. Why do you want this case to go away? Will you lose your job? Let’s talk about how we can save your job. Are you worried that your family will find out? Let’s talk about how we can make this case hard to find on the Internet and avoid the ignition interlock. Were you wrongfully arrested? Let’s talk about how we are going to show that at trial.