DWI Assault in Missouri
Attorneys from Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center can help if you are charged with DWI assault in Missouri. Contact us for resources and guidance. Call now!
Kimberly J. Benjamin, Founder & Managing Attorney
March 01. 2023.
Missouri DWI Assault: What You Should Understand
Missouri trend data reveals a disturbing trend of increasing traffic crashes involving alcohol. In 2019, there were 134 fatalities and 2616 injuries from DWI offenses. The punishment can be severe for DWI offenses, including potential jail time and heavy fines.
It is illegal to cause serious physical injury to someone while operating a motor vehicle in an intoxicated or drugged condition in Missouri. This offense is commonly referred to as DWI assault. The penalties for DWI assault depend on the severity of the injury, whether the vehicle was a passenger or commercial motor vehicle, and the defendant’s prior criminal record.
If you have injured someone while driving your car under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you risk facing a felony charge. It doesn’t matter if the injured person is inside or outside the vehicle. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you might face up to 15 years in prison for a DWI in Missouri. DWI charges in Missouri are serious offenses that should never be faced without the guidance of an experienced attorney.
A Brief Overview of Missouri DWI Laws
Missouri law defines intoxication as having excessive blood alcohol content beyond the legal limit of 0.08. A driver can also be determined to be driving while intoxicated if such a person fails sobriety tests and is subject to a DWI arrest.
In addition to criminal penalties, Missouri DWI laws also provide for administrative penalties. A driver found guilty of driving while intoxicated will have their driving privilege and driver’s license suspended for at least 30 days. They must also pay reinstatement fees and attend a court-ordered treatment program. The penalties for conviction on DWI charges increase with each subsequent offense. Additionally, the offense will be recorded on the person’s Missouri driver record.
Arrest Process for DUI
Driving under the influence will subject you to the arrest process for DUI by a law enforcement officer. The arresting officer will typically conduct field sobriety tests, and a breathalyzer test, to determine your level of intoxication. If the results of the tests reveal that you are intoxicated, you will be arrested and taken into custody on a Missouri DWI charge.
You will be taken to a police station, where you will be processed. This process involves completing paperwork and being photographed and fingerprinted. You will then be taken to a detention facility, such as a jail or prison, where you will remain until the DWI court hearing.
When you make your first appearance in court for your DUI arraignment, the charges against you will be read in open court, and you will have to enter a plea. A court judge will also decide whether to set bail or to keep you in jail until your trial. For you to be released from custody, bail must be paid.
If you are convicted of the DWI charge, you will be subject to the criminal penalties outlined by Missouri State Law.
Consequences of a Missouri DWI
A conviction of DWI crimes can have serious consequences, including fines, jail time, license suspension, community service, probation, and other penalties. It can also have long-term consequences, such as higher insurance rates, employment issues, and difficulty obtaining loans.
After a conviction on an alcohol-related driving offense, your passenger or commercial driver’s license can be suspended or revoked. The length of the suspension or revocation of driving privilege will depend on the number of prior convictions and the severity of the offense.
In addition to criminal and administrative penalties, a DWI conviction can also lead to civil liability. If a driver causes an accident while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they can be held liable for any damages caused to the victim. Damages may include medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
What Is an Assault in Missouri?
Assault crimes refer to the intentional or reckless infliction of serious physical injury on another person. Assault includes physical contact made to cause fear or harm and contact resulting in actual bodily harm.
The severity of an assault crime determines whether it is a misdemeanor or a felony offense. An assault conviction can result in jail time, fines, and other penalties.
Punishments for Assault
In Missouri, punishments for assault vary depending on the degree of the offense.
First-degree assault is the most severe type of assault and is a Class B felony offense. A conviction for first-degree assault can result in a prison sentence of up to 15 years and fines of up to $20,000.
Second-degree assault is a Class D felony offense. It carries a maximum prison sentence of seven years and fines of up to $10,000.
Third-degree assault is a Class A misdemeanor offense with a maximum jail sentence of one year and fines of up to $2,000.
Fourth-degree assault is a Class B misdemeanor offense with a maximum jail sentence of six months and fines of up to $1,000.
Penalties Missouri DWI Assault
Accidents, injuries, or deaths can increase the severity of DWI penalties as follows:
If another person was physically injured, this is a Class E felony punishable by up to four years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
DWI accidents resulting in serious bodily injury qualify as Class D felonies. They could result in up to 7 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
A DWI accident resulting in someone else’s death or the injury of law enforcement or emergency personnel is classified as a Class C felony. This offense may lead to fines of $10,000 and prison sentences of 3-10 years.
A DWI accident that kills a law enforcement officer or emergency personnel is classified as a Class B felony. The sentence ranges from 5 to 15 years in prison.
An individual who previously committed a Class B felony and causes a DWI accident may be charged with a Class A felony, which carries a prison sentence of up to 30 years.
People charged with felony DWI offenses should contact an experienced DWI lawyer as soon as possible.
How Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center Lawyers Can Help You
Being charged with a DWI or DWI assault can be a frightening experience with lifelong consequences. If you face criminal charges, it is essential to understand your rights and to seek the assistance of an experienced assault and violent crimes defense attorney.
An experienced attorney will help you understand your rights, develop a defense strategy, and fight for a favorable outcome in your case. With their help, you can protect your rights and your future.
Contact the Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center in Kansas City, MO, for a free case evaluation.
If you have been drinking, use our "Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) Calculator"to estimate your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) before you drive, but please keep in mind that the information it provides is just an estimate and may not be inaccurate.