Springfield DWI Lawyer
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 MRD Lawyers DUI attorneys in Springfield, MO 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.
- I Just Got a DWI. Will I Lose My License?
- Does a DWI mean I will go to jail?
- How much does a DWI cost?
- How To Defend Your Rights After a DWI
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.
A conviction for driving while intoxicated can have a devastating impact on your freedom.
A first-time conviction for driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs will result in a three-month loss of driving privileges and can mean up to six months in jail and a fine of as much as $500. And the penalties for subsequent offenses only get worse from there, with up to four years in jail, a $5,000 fine and a 10-year revocation of driving rights for a third offense.
- Case Study – Don’t Let the Department of Revenue Take Your License
- Case Study – Reasonable Suspicion Based on Previous Contact
- Case Study – State of Missouri vs John Eric Howell (No. SD331618)
- What To Look For In a DWI Attorney
Missouri DWI Law
FELONY DWI IN MISSOURI
The primary definition of a DWI is when a person operates a vehicle in an intoxicated condition. While most DWI charges are misdemeanors, there are cases in Missouri when DWIs can result in felony charges.
DWI FELONY STATUTE
According to MO Rev Statute, Title XXXVIII. Chapter 577.010, a person guilty of a DWI felony can be grouped into one of five categories including:
A class E felony if:
(1) The defendant is a persistent offender; or
(2) While driving while intoxicated, the defendant acts with criminal negligence to cause physical injury to another person;
A class D felony if:
(1) The defendant is an aggravated offender;
(2) While driving while intoxicated, the defendant acts with criminal negligence to cause physical injury to a law enforcement officer or emergency personnel; or
(3) While driving while intoxicated, the defendant acts with criminal negligence to cause serious physical injury to another person;
A class C felony if:
(1) The defendant is a chronic offender;
(2) While driving while intoxicated, the defendant acts with criminal negligence to cause serious physical injury to a law enforcement officer or emergency personnel; or
(c) While driving while intoxicated, the defendant acts with criminal negligence to cause the death of another person;
A class B felony if:
(a) The defendant is a habitual offender;
(b) While driving while intoxicated, the defendant acts with criminal negligence to cause the death of a law enforcement officer or emergency personnel;
(c) While driving while intoxicated, the defendant acts with criminal negligence to cause the death of any person not a passenger in the vehicle operated by the defendant, including the death of an individual that results from the defendant’s vehicle leaving a highway, as defined in section 301.010, or the highway’s right-of-way;
(d) While driving while intoxicated, the defendant acts with criminal negligence to cause the death of two or more persons; or
(e) While driving while intoxicated, the defendant acts with criminal negligence to cause the death of any person while he or she has a blood alcohol content of at least eighteen-hundredths of one percent by weight of alcohol in such person’s blood;
A class A felony if:
(a) the defendant has previously been found guilty of an offense under paragraphs (a) to (e) of subdivision (6) of this subsection and is found guilty of a subsequent violation of such paragraphs.
PENALTY OF CONVICTION
After three or more DWI’s in your lifetime, you will be eligible for a felony offense. A convicted driver must serve at least 30 days in jail or perform 60 hours of community service. Fines may be up to $10,000 as well as court fees and alcoholism treatment costs. The State of Missouri can also revoke a driver’s license on the third offense for at least 10 years.
MISDEMEANOR DWI IN MISSOURI
Missouri law, like every state, prohibits the operation of a vehicle while in an intoxicated condition (blood alcohol concentration of .08% or higher). This includes actual physical control of the vehicle, so the vehicle does not have to be in motion. If a driver is in a position to control the movement of the vehicle while intoxicated they can be charged with a DWI.
DWI’s in Missouri come with different penalties and charges based on the BAC level of the driver, as well as the driver’s history. Generally, a first-time DWI offense is a Class B misdemeanor, with a BAC of .15-2% the minimum jail time is 48 hours, and a BAC of more than .2% the minimum jail time is 5 days.
Driving while intoxicated
- A person commits the offense of driving while intoxicated if he or she operates a vehicle while in an intoxicated condition.
2. The offense of driving while intoxicated is:
(1) A class B misdemeanor;
(2) A class A misdemeanor if:
(a) The defendant is a prior offender; or
(b) A person less than seventeen years of age is present in the vehicle;
PENALTY OF CONVICTION
Generally, a first-time DWI offense is a Class B misdemeanor, with a BAC of .15-2% the minimum jail time is 48 hours, and a BAC of more than .2% the minimum is 5 days. A person convicted of a first-offense DWI faces fines of up to $1,000. In addition to fines, the driver may be required to pay various fees and court costs.
A second-offense DWI carries a maximum jail sentence of one year with a minimum of 10 days in jail or 30 days of community service. They will also face fines of up to $2,000 along with any subsequent fees and court costs.
In addition to criminal charges, in Missouri, a second-time offender will have their driver’s license revoked for one year as well as a mandatory ignition interlock device and a state-approved substance abuse traffic offender program following license reinstatement.
Contact Us Today
If you have been charged with a DWI, get legal help immediately. MRD Lawyers has the experience to ensure you get the representation you deserve to ensure the best possible outcome to your situation. Call us today for a consultation and to learn how we can help you.
WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY ABOUT US
This law firm is outstanding. Quick to make an appointment and very helpful on the situation I’m going through. I highly recommend MRD lawyers. Very professional and informative. Don’t hesitate to give them a call! They are awesome!
Matt Russell and staff are Down to earth, genuine human beings who made me feel like they really cared about my individual case. Matt made a lasting impact on my life with the results he was able to provide. Very satisfied client; highly recommend.
Matt Russell and his staff are truly amazing. I am so happy to have Matt helping us. He is very honest, caring and has been so helpful with everything. I am so glad that I found Matt. He is very genuine and over all a good guy to have on your side.
Matt and his team exceeded my expectations in every way. Legal issues are in no way pleasant but I was made to feel well-represented, informed and respected during the entire process.
Tim & Anamei
I hired Russel Dempsey for my DWI case and from the beginning he was very professional and easy to deal with. He was able to break everything down for me and basically tell me how things would go. It was the first time I was in trouble with the law and he helped me understand what was going on and could answer any question I had. I received the news today after two longs years of my case being drug out (not Russel’s fault) that my case has been dropped. I 100% recommend him and his practice.
Where do I start? I thought I was going to have to plead guilty!! That was over a year ago. Fast forward to today and I just got news that case was dismissed!!! If it was not for the diligence and expertise of Matt Russell that would not have happened. The staff is always super friendly and great at sending reminders for all court dates etc. Nobody wants to go to court, but if you do you want it to go as smoothly as possible and you want to be represented by the best....and that's MRD lawyers.
Matthew was awesome! He was able to take care of my ticket and he was very responsive with all my inquiries. I would recommend MRD Lawyers to anyone who’s having any legal troubles.
Can't say enough good things about Matt Russell. Very professional and gets things done. Very friendly and just awesome all around if you go anywhere else your wasting your time and money. Thank you again Matt you freaking Rock man!!!
Matthew is truly one of a kind. Definitely does not fit the stereotype of your typical lawyer. He has gone above and beyond to help out me and my family. . Will always be grateful to Matthew for the kindness he showed me
An extremely effective law firm that individualized my case, provided options and expectations and got results.
So I decided to do some research on the law firm,I discovered that they help with the overflow for the public defenders office.its nice to know that not all court appointed lawyers work for the state and I like companies who help those in there community.
I would highly recommend working with MRD Lawyers. Russell was extremely kind, knowledgeable, and understanding of my circumstances and helped explain everything to ensure that I understood my case and what my options were. I was pleasantly amazed every time we met to discuss where we were at and the next steps. I went into everything expecting the worst but Russell helped to calm my nerves and ensured that I received the best resolution to my case while also exceeding my expectations!
If you're here unfortunately you're in need of a lawyer... No need to look any further! Matthew works as hard as can be to get you the best possible outcome for your case!
Mr.Russell did such a good job with my case. I was amazed with how familiar he was with the judge and prosecutors, I mean that in a good way. I have never seen any lawyer make a judge laugh and it made me much more comfortable when he did. I owe a huge thanks to the whole firm for helping me, they were extremely responsive even when I was residing out of state. The communication system that they have with their emails and easy access was all around well organized and quick. Thanks Matt! God bless you guys.