The Law office of Matthew | Russell | Dempsey believes the best defense for a driving while intoxicated charge is prevention. However, mistakes are made and some drivers may even repeat those mistakes. We get this question all the time, so we thought it would be helpful to outline what happens with multiple DUI’s in Missouri and when they become felonies?
For First offense:
- Up to 6 months in jail
- Up to $500 in fines
- License revoked for 30 days up to 1 year
For 2nd offense:
- Up to 1 year in jail
- Up to $1,000 in fines
- License revoked for 1 year
For 3rd offense
- Up to 4 years in jail
- Up to $5,000 in fines
- License revoked for 10 years
Many times, drivers convicted of multiple charges may be required to install an Ignition Interlock system that requires the driver to blow into the device on the dashboard. Similar to a breathalyzer, the Ignition Interlock system allows or prevents the vehicle from starting based on the driver’s blood alcohol (BAC) content.
ALL DWI’s ARE SERIOUS. CONVICTION OF A SUBSEQUENT DUI CAN HAVE A LIFECHANGING, NEGATIVE IMPACT ON YOUR LIFE.
When does a Driving While Intoxicated charge become a Felony?
- In Missouri, a DWI can become a class D felony on the 3rd DWI arrest
- When the convicted driver injures or kills another person
What happens when someone is convicted of a Driving While Intoxicated Felony charge?
- Many defendants receive significant probation time with their sentence with the completion of specialized treatment programs.
- Some convictions receive prison time depending on the severity and circumstances of their cases.
- In Missouri, a class D felony can receive a term not to exceed 4 years, though that will change to 7 years in 2017.
- Class C felony DWI convictions must serve at least 60 days and Class B felony chronic offenders must serve a minimum of two years before placed on probation or parole.
Why is it important to hire an experienced DWI attorney for a Felony DUI?
- Minimize jail time – It is critical you have representation to work with the courts and the prosecutor to minimize your sentence and avoid jail time, if possible.
- Reduce fines – While steep for felonies, an attorney can help reduce the maximum penalties.
- Protect your record – If a convicted felon is charged for another felony, the judicial system can impose a more severe penalty for the new conviction.
- Other costs of a felony – Being convicted of a felony makes it more difficult to gain employment, rent a home/apartment. Convictions result in loss of voting rights, ability to carry a gun or get a professional license.
- Have a plan – Hiring the best defense attorney gives you the best options to win a dismissal, plea bargain or represent your case at trial.
Have you been charged and are also looking at how Missouri’s SATOP program works? Check out this blog:
What makes the Law Offices of Matthew|Russell|Dempsey different?
Our combined 15 years of experience as Greene County prosecutors gives us an inside view for how to help our clients navigate the complexities of being charged for Driving While Intoxicated. We know “the system” like the backs of our hands and our knowledge is your power. Call us at 417-882-2522.