Being arrested and charged with a crime can change your whole life. If you or a loved one has been charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Kansas City, MO, you probably have some questions.

Drinking and driving is a very serious offense. The possible consequences depend on several factors. However, the right representation can ensure that your rights are protected throughout the process.

Driving While Intoxicated in Kansas City

The consequences for drinking and driving in Kansas City depend on how many offenses are listed on your record and other factors, such as whether there was an accident or injuries involved. Alcohol-related traffic offenses will stay on your record for five years.

The first offense is a Class B misdemeanor. That means you’ll be facing a possible jail sentence of 48 hours to six months, of which you’ll have to serve a minimum of 48 hours altogether. You’ll also be subject to a fine ranging from $750 to $1,000 and be ordered to undergo a mandatory screening/treatment for substance abuse. In addition, you’ll lose your license for up to one year and have an ignition interlock device installed on your car when your driving privileges are restored.

A second offense for DWI bumps the classification to a Class A misdemeanor and increases the fine to the $1,250 to $1,750 range. The minimum jail time for a second conviction is five days, but you can qualify for work release after two days in jail. Your other punishments will be the same as for a first offense.

Your third drunk driving conviction is when things get more serious. It’s still a Class A misdemeanor unless you’ve had a previous DWI conviction within 10 years prior. Then, you’ll be charged with a felony. The minimum jail sentence is 90 days, but you can be incarcerated for up to a year. Work release is still possible after 48 hours.

The fine is increased to the range of $1,750 to $2,500. Loss of driving privileges, the interlock device, and mandatory alcohol abuse counseling/treatment is also part of the outcome.

After a fourth and every subsequent DWI arrest, it’s a mandatory felony conviction with priors from 2001 to present. All other fines and punishments remain the same as for a third conviction.

Driving While Intoxicated in Missouri

These classifications and outcomes are the same as for the rest of the state of Missouri, but with a few exceptions. The state fine is $500 for the first offense, and the maximum fine even after four convictions is capped at $5,000.

The consequences for your driving privileges are stiffer throughout the state. Following the mandatory 30-day suspension after a first offense, you’ll have a restricted license for 60 days or an interlock device plus a restricted license for 90 days. Second convictions will cause you to lose your license for five years, and a third offense means you won’t be driving in Missouri for 10 years.

How to Protect Your Rights After a DWI Offense

Whether you were just passing through town or you live and work in the Kansas City community, you need a law firm you can trust to look after your interests. We’ll go out of our way to ensure that every aspect of your arrest was within the law and that your rights are protected from start to finish.

Get in touch with a lawyer from the Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center to discuss your pending case today. We’re committed to providing professional representation at fair rates, and we’ll work hard for you. Contact us now and schedule a free consultation. (816) 281-0941