Everything You Need to Know about DWI Court Missouri
DWI Court Missouri provides offenders with the best chance of avoiding jail time and getting their license back, but you need help. Learn how a lawyer can help.
Kimberly J. Benjamin, Founder & Managing Attorney
April 20. 2022.
Why Should You Hire a DWI Lawyer in Missouri?
Missouri has strict DWI laws, and the court process could be frightening and intimidating. A DWI conviction could affect your driving privileges and cost you considerable fines.
Hiring a DWI defense lawyer is an important decision. You want to handle everything in a pre-planned manner without any uncertain surprises. Working with a lawyer could be a great decision to understand the criminal charges, process, prepare things beforehand, and protect your rights in the DWI court in Missouri.
Contact the Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center for a free consultation on your DWI arrest. Our experienced lawyers will help you handle the case in your best interest.
What Are DWI Courts in Missouri?
DWI courts in Missouri are special courts designed to help people with non-violent DWI offenses. This is a voluntary program where the offender must regularly appear before the Circuit’s DWI Court Judge.
What Happens on Your First DWI in Missouri?
If you have been convicted or charged with a DWI offense for the first time, it will be considered a Class B misdemeanor. The penalties of a Class B misdemeanor could be harsh and can put you and your reputation on the stack.
The consequence of a first DWI in Missouri are:
- Jail: Maximum six months in prison.
- Fine: A maximum fine of up to $500 plus court fee, which could be anywhere between $10 to $100.
- Probation: Usually in between one to two years.
- Suspension of Driving Privileges: Suspension of driving privileges for 30 days, followed by a 60-day restriction of driving to and from work (only if the offender is an employee) or an alcohol treatment program.
The court could also order the person to be restricted from driving a vehicle with an ignition interlock device while on probation. This device could cost you anywhere between $50 to $100 for installation and $50 to $100 for monthly maintenance. Furthermore, the conviction would also result in 8 points against the driver’s license.
The DWI penalties for repeat offenders or people with a criminal history could be severe and include more than limited driving privileges. A DWI case is not something you can fight and successfully complete independently. The results depend on the case, its own merits, the prosecuting attorney, and your criminal defense attorney.
What Are the Chances of Winning a DWI Jury Trial?
In Missouri, only 2% percent of DWI convictions end up on jury trial. It depends on the case, its conditions, and the offender. However, most attorneys suggest avoiding a jury trial because you could get a better disposition by working out a plea.
In such cases, going to a jury trial is considered worthless, which would only result in increased expenses and poor results.
At Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center, we assess your case with utmost interest and attention to suggest possible solutions without investing time, money, and energy. Book a free consultation with us.
What Is the DWI Court Program in Missouri?
DWI court program in Missouri Law consists of substance abuse treatment, continuous drug and alcohol testing, continuous alcohol monitoring, judicial supervision, and compliance with the substance abuse traffic offender program. Because of this, a DWI court is mostly considered a treatment court.
A conviction of driving while intoxicated or DWI ends you in both a DWI court hearing and a Civil License hearing. The Missouri Department of Revenue would conduct the Civil License hearing. The court hearing would be conducted by the municipal court, the State court, or the Federal court. These two hearings could result differently. You could face license suspension even after winning your DWI court hearing or vice versa.
What Is the Process of DWI Court in Missouri?
The Missouri DWI court process consists of FIVE steps. Each step is important, and any reckless behavior could put you in a tough situation.
1. DWI Arrest
The law enforcement officer will stop on violation of traffic laws or probable cause of traffic offense, including lights off, speeding, lane violation, etc. If you are found under the influence of alcohol, you will be detained for a series of tests to clarify your state.
The tests include:
- Horizontal gaze nystagmus.
- Vertical gaze nystagmus.
- Walk and turn.
- One-leg stand.
- A portable breathalyzer test.
Based on these tests, the officer might arrest you for a certain DWI case or might read you the Missouri Implied Consent Warning to ask for a chemical test. If you refuse the chemical test, you will receive Form 4323.
However, if you submit the test and your blood alcohol concentration is 0.08% or above, you will be issued Form 2385, and you will be arrested.
2. Arraignment or First Court Appearance
In your first court appearance, you will be read the charges of your case and will be asked to enter a guilty plea or not guilty. Entering not guilty is always a reasonable option. Depending on that, the judge will set the bail and conditions of your release. Your attorney will help you negotiate the bail terms and conditions. However, in some cases, it might be in your best interest to plead guilty to a pretrial disposition, which depends on your decision.
3. Pretrial Hearings
Pretrial hearings are scheduled after the first court hearings. These hearings are a great option for your attorney to prepare evidence and defense strategy against your charges. Your attorney will search for pretrial motions that could help dismiss or amend your DWI charges.
4. Plea Negotiations
Before proceeding with the trial, your DWI defense attorney will enter into plea negotiation to negotiate the plea terms and conditions with the prosecutors. Most of the time, attorneys end up in successful plea bargains. However, it depends on the criminal conviction, case facts, and the prosecutor.
If the plea bargain doesn’t result in good, your case will be taken to trial. You will be the one deciding to move forward with the trial or not. The prosecutor will have to prove that you have been driving a vehicle while intoxicated during the trial. Your attorney will be along with you with a defense strategy to protect your rights in court.
If you have been charged with a DWI conviction in Missouri, consult with our skilled DWI defense lawyers. We serve all around Kansan City, Raymore City, and Belton City, MO.
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.