Our Experienced University City DWI Attorneys Provide Comprehensive Defense for Drivers Charged with DWI in University City
University City DWI charges are not to be taken lightly. In addition to fees and penalties you'll face as a result of a DWI, the charge will go on your record for the rest of your driving career. The insurance costs alone resulting from such a conviction can be hugely expensive and can be long-term or even permanent rate increases. In order to avoid the many negative consequences of such a charge, drivers hire University City DWI attorneys to represent their interests in regards to the criminal charges and any administrative penalties they may face.
This page provides information for persons who have been charged with driving while intoxicated and are seeking a University City DWI lawyer. If left unchallenged, DWI tickets result in severe repercussions for drivers, likely resulting in a temporary license suspension, the buildup of points against their driving record, and a rise in auto insurance rates for the charged driver. This page outlines the ways in which legal representation can improve your circumstances and why our University City DWI lawyers are known to offer superior services.
Why Hire a University City DWI Lawyer: Understanding the Charges
DWI charges can be issued to drivers who don't actually consider themselves "drunk" or "intoxicated" – the charge merely refers to a driver's inability to safely operate a vehicle, their blood alcohol content, and whether they have been consuming any alcoholic beverages. University City DWI tickets vary in severity depending on the circumstances – the driver's past record, the amount the driver's blood alcohol content exceeded the legal limit of .08%, the age of the driver, and whether any damage or harm was caused by the driver. Drivers arrested for having a blood alcohol content that is more than twice the legal limit face particularly harsh penalties, as do drivers facing repeat charges.
DWI charges are more complex and more serious than many other traffic violations. In the state of Missouri and in University City, DWI falls under two distinct portions of the law: criminal alcohol law and administrative alcohol law. This means that drivers who have been arrested for DWI face both a criminal charge and administrative penalties. This also means that their legal defense must be mounted on two fronts in order to be most effective. Trying to mount a complex legal defense on your own, without experience and knowledge of the many procedures and deadlines applicable to the case, makes it very hard to win. Because DWI charges are far more complex than other traffic tickets, many drivers hire a University City DWI lawyer to represent their legal interests. Our lawyers have a depth of experience in representing clients in these areas and committed are to mitigating the negative consequences our clients face.
When a driver is arrested for DWI in University City, the ticket that is issued falls under Criminal Alcohol Law. If a driver is convicted of the DWI offense, the ticket adds points against the driver's record, which count as strikes against them. When too many points accumulate from multiple traffic violations, the driver's license may be suspended or revoked.
When a driver receives a University City DWI charge, their driver's license will automatically be revoked for a period of time regardless of the number of points they have accumulated for this or past offenses as per Administrative Alcohol Law. In other words, a driver who receives a DWI charge in University City faces one automatic suspension of revocation just for driving with a blood alcohol content that exceeds the legal limit, and may also face further loss of driving privilege due to the accumulation of points.
DWI License Suspension and DWI License Revocation
Losing your license is just one aspect of a University City DWI charge, but for many drivers it can have the most immediate and severe negative consequences. If your family's livelihood relies on your ability to drive to work, losing your license can cost your job. Other pressing family responsibilities such as transporting children to school, accessing medical care, or driving to care for an elderly or ailing family member are other reasons many people simply must drive on a daily basis. Hiring a University City DWI lawyer to work on your case immediately after your arrest is the best way to assure continued access to driving.
When drivers are arrested for DWI in University City, it is customary that the arresting officer confiscates the driver's license and issues a temporary driving permit. However, this permit is valid for only 15 days, after which time your license suspension will go into effect. All drivers are required to serve at least thirty days of a license suspension. After the initial thirty-day period, drivers may request a temporary or contingent license at the Department of Motor Vehicles in order to receive permission to drive for work or other proven personal reasons. In order to receive one of the two types of temporary licenses, known as Restricted Driving Permit or Limited Driving Privilege, you must obtain proof of insurance and in some cases have an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) installed in your vehicle. Temporary licenses are only available to drivers whose license has been suspended. License revocations are not eligible for such permits.
There is a very short window of opportunity for requesting a provisional license: You must obtain this license and request a hearing shortly after having your license taken. Your license may have been taken by the arresting officer if you failed a chemical alcohol test such as a blood or breath test, or if you refused to take one. If you fail to make this request immediately, your window of opportunity has passed to drive until after your hearing or after your suspension period ends, a period that can last from 90 days to a year.
If your license has been taken away, it is vital that you do not drive at all. Driving with a revoked license is a serious offense. If you are arrested and convicted of driving with a revoked license, you face jail time and a pricey bond to get out.
University City DWI Criminal Charges and Point Accumulation
In addition to administrative sanction, drivers convicted of DWI in University City face criminal penalties which includes the assignment of points. We specialize in representing clients in both of these arenas in order to reduce penalties and achieve the best possible outcome for each case.
Any time a driver is convicted of a moving violation, points will be added to their Missouri driving record. The points system is a penalty method designed to promote safe driving practices and exert penalties against drivers who violate laws on a regular basis. Minor violations such as speeding or careless driving accumulate small numbers of points (3-4 points per charge), while severe charges such as felonies committed with an automobile or driving with a suspended or revoked license lead to the assignment of 12 points. When too many points accumulate in a short period of time, the driver's access to a license is jeopardized. For example, Missouri drivers who accumulate 8 or more points in 18 months are subject to driving privilege suspension.
- 1st suspension – 30 days
- 2nd suspension – 60 days
- 3rd or further suspensions – 90 days
Drivers who accrue 12 or more points during the course of 12 months, 18 or more points over 24 months, or 24 or more points in 36 months, can expect to have their driving privilege revoked for a calendar year.
Repeat DWI in University City
Drivers who are issued a second or further University City DWI conviction face even more serious penalties. Our lawyers represent drivers facing first time or subsequent DWI charges, and are able to achieve amended charges, reduce the associated penalty, and reinstate driving privileges as soon as possible. In the absence of competent legal representation, first time convictions cause drivers to lose their license for a 90 day period. Commercial drivers who receive a DWI for driving with a blood alcohol content of .04% or greater lose the privilege to drive a commercial vehicle for an entire year following if the ticket goes unchallenged. Individuals who face multiple or repeat DWI charges receive a minimum of a year-long license revocation, and may even face a five- or ten-year license denial. Whether you are facing a DWI charge for the first time or you have received a repeat offense, you may experience negative consequences as a result for years to come. Hiring a knowledgeable and reputable University City DWI lawyer is the best way to protect your driving privilege.
Most drivers know that getting a DWI has severe repercussions. What comes as a surprise to many is that there is a very limited period of time during which a driver may challenge the charge. For example, if your license is revoked for DWI, you must request a hearing within fifteen days to avoid revocation. Drivers who sincerely want a charge reduced or amended are advised to contact our lawyers promptly. Simply complete our online contact form and a member of our team will be in touch with you shortly. We offer free, no-obligation case review for potential clients on a routine basis.
You have 15 days to request a hearing after you are arrested for DWI. A request for a hearing must be submitted in writing; this is one of the first tasks our attorneys will complete on your behalf. Requesting a hearing is your chance to protect your legal rights and is not a deadline to be missed. If you miss this deadline, your license will be suspended or revoked automatically. At the time of arrest, your license will be taken from you and you'll be issued a 15 day permit. If arrest is overturned in court, license revocation will be reversed, but driver must pay a $45 reinstatement fee and prove completion of a SATOP course.
Another mistake that can be made is requesting a hearing but then failing to appear at it. Failing to appear in court is a huge mistake. If you are arrested again, you're certain to go to jail for a period of time.
It is important to request the presence of the arresting officer at your hearing. This can provide valuable information to your attorney. If you fail to do this, the hearing will be based on the written report only, which may not provide the entire. There is also a chance the officer may not show up when requested and then you will get your license reinstated. In most cases, the officer will show up and it comes down the skill of your attorney in negotiating your case. Our DWI lawyers have a depth of experience in navigating the legal system to the best advantage of our clients.
Missouri's Implied Consent Law essentially means that by getting behind the wheel of a vehicle, you have given your consent to submitting to a chemical test for alcohol if it is suspected that you may be under the influence. Some drivers do choose to refuse this test, but refusing to take a breath or blood test to measure the presence of alcohol in your system can result in a year-long license revocation. However, an officer must have a logical reason for pulling you over in the first place to administer such a test, and particular standards must be met when the test is administered. Whether you failed a chemical test or refused to take one, we can help you navigate the process of resolving your case to your best advantage.
DWI and Special Populations
Arrest rates of women for DWI are on the rise. Women are affected by alcohol differently than men. Many attorneys are accustomed to representing mostly men and are not aware of the differences in how women and men should be advocated for when it comes to DWI cases. A depth of experience in DWI law coupled with a thorough understanding of the nature of intoxication – and its differences for men and women – make a strong DWI lawyer for any individual. Women's rates of DWI arrests are steadily on the rise in the US.
Young people may be denied college admission or college loans as a result of a DWI charge on their record. Any criminal charge can lead to an automatic denial of enrollment and/or financial aid. Many parents and young adults are unaware of the serious nature of a DWI charge – and the fact that it can negatively impact your record and limit career opportunities for years to come. The mere presence of a DWI charge can suspend your access to student financial aid or loans. Furthermore, students who are currently enrolled may have student loans and grants revoked for a two year period as a result of a illegal possession charge.
Doctors, dentists and nurses will lose their medical license if they receive a DWI. It is in the best interest of anyone potentially in this predicament to engage the services of an adept DWI lawyer to work proactively to prevent the loss of their professional license.
SATOP – Substance Abuse Traffic Offender Program
Following an alcohol offense, drivers are required to complete a Substance Abuse Traffic Offender Program before their license can be reinstated. This is a requirement for drivers who are convicted and for those who are not.
Finding the Best DWI Lawyer in University City
If you have been arrested for DWI in University City, you should take into consideration the potential negative consequences of such a charge when you decide whether to hire a DWI attorney and if so, whom. DWI charges are not insignificant; they can have detrimental consequences for years to come and will remain on your record permanently. The penalties and fines associated with even a first time arrest are considerable.
Some drivers attempt to provide their own legal advocacy to resolve their DWI. There are a significant number of important deadlines that must be met as well as legal practices and regulations that must be understand in order to resolve the case in your favor. Hiring an expert University City DWI lawyer is the only way to ensure a positive outcome. When looking for someone to represent you, keep in mind that your defense attorney must conduct thorough investigation of facts, have an exhaustive cross-examination, and possess a strong base of knowledge of constitutional principles and Missouri driving laws. Hiring the cheapest lawyer available is not a wise choice. Like many things in life, you get what you pay for with attorneys. If you get the cheapest one, you'll have mediocre representation. Look for an attorney with a competitive rate and a strong track record. Look for evidence that the attorney you've chosen has a wealth of knowledge in the arena of driving law.
When our University City DWI lawyers investigate your case, you can expect to be asked questions regarding what you were doing on the day of the arrest (i.e. where you had been and where you were going in the car), how much alcohol you had consumed, what the arresting officer said and did at the time of your arrest including the officer's tone and manner, the reason you were given for being pulled over and the roadside sobriety tests that were conducted, how you performed on any roadside sobriety tests that were conducted and the results of chemical tests performed, and any exchanges you had with the officer. Any witnesses to the arrest will also be relied upon for their memory of the incident.
One reason to hire expert legal counsel is that the arresting officer may have made one or more mistakes in the process of your arrest. A thorough investigation of your arrest by your lawyer may uncover the fact that an arresting officer did not have adequate justification for having pulled you over in the first place. And once a driver has been pulled over, there are certain standards and practices that must be adhered to. If the arresting officer made a mistake somewhere in the process of your arrest, your University City DWI charge may be easily amended or dropped. If you are able to uncover and highlight these mistakes, your case may be resolved in your favor even more rapidly. Here are some mistakes the officer could make: Failing to provide a clear reason for stopping you that involves the violation of a law or ordinance; pulling you over on the basis of an anonymous tip or phone call; pulling you over because of a single weave out of your lane – there must be more obvious swerving to justify your being pulled over; following you into your home without your inviting them to enter; arresting you based only on what you've said, and not having seen you driving your vehicle; a lengthy detainment period that cannot be justified for the purposes of their investigation; stopping you just because you stopped in a strange place or were driving slowly – there must be a clear violation of a law or ordinance, not just strange behavior; failing to follow the correct procedures of the Health Department when administering alcohol tests; at any time, stopping a vehicle without clear violation, such as to check your registration or without any given reason; or requiring you to take an alcohol test without probable cause. When our firm investigates cases, they piece together a thorough understanding of the incident and its surrounding circumstances.