Kimberly J. Benjamin, Founder & Managing Attorney
November 02. 2022.
DWI First Offense in Missouri — Class B Misdemeanor
A DWI is a crime regardless of whether it is a first-time offense, and criminal charges attract penalties upon conviction. Typically, the penalties for a first-timer would be less than that of a serial offender. However, when facing your first DWI offense, you are likely to be scared about what it could mean for you.
A first DWI charge under Missouri law is typically a Class B misdemeanor. But several circumstances surrounding individual cases could change this to a more severe charge.
Trained DWI lawyers would have to evaluate your case to give you a personalized consultation. However, you should have some basic knowledge about first-time DWI offenses to understand what you are up against.
How Much Does a DWI Cost First-Time Offenders in Missouri?
Another thing to consider with a DWI is the financial cost. For a simple first-offense DWI, the fine required by law must not exceed $1000. However, with a suspended imposition of sentence, there would be no fine. You would have to pay the costs of your other traffic tickets and any court fees.
In addition, all Missouri DWI offenders must participate in the Substance Awareness Traffic Offender Program (SATOP), where they will be screened to determine the appropriate treatment they need. SATOP is compulsory for individuals that tested with an excessive blood alcohol concentration of over 0.08%, which is the legal limit for which they would be considered intoxicated.
Even if you refused a breath test, your driver’s license would be suspended, and you would likely have to complete the program to reinstate it. SATOP assessment screening costs $375, including a $126 assessment screening fee and a $249 supplemental fee. Each SATOP program has its own cost, as follows:
Offender Education Program: $200
Weekend Intervention Program: $467.45
Clinical Intervention Program: $1,067.42
Youth Clinical Intervention Program: $510.20
Other fees may include attorney fees, probation fees, the cost of an ignition interlock device, police booking fees, compulsory insurance fees, and license reinstatement fees. You may be looking at spending $5000 or more, as these costs can vary widely. An experienced DWI attorney may be able to help keep the situation and costs under control for you.
It is worth noting that prior DWI convictions can affect the fines, penalties, and other costs associated with a subsequent DWI. When you are charged with your first-offense DWI in Missouri, a skilled attorney can help you to understand the charges and the legal implications of your DWI.
The Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center offers experienced legal representation that can help mitigate the penalties you face. Our attorneys have years of experience in DWI cases and will provide you with the best legal defense. Reach out to us today for a free initial consultation.
Why Hire a Lawyer?
As explained above, a first-offense DWI may carry more criminal penalties than anticipated. Many things could complicate your situation, prohibit you from getting a suspended imposition of sentence, or make you ineligible for probation and parole.
The best thing to do may be to contact a lawyer when you are pulled over on suspicion of a DUI, even before taking a breath test. Hiring a lawyer to fight DWI charges from the get-go may result in a reduced sentence or help you keep your record clean. Additionally, they may save you a lot of money by avoiding fines and miscellaneous fees.
Also, it is essential to note that if you are convicted of a first-time DWI offense, you may be eligible for DWI expungement after ten years. However, you must not have committed an alcohol-related traffic offense within that timeframe. Hence, you would be more careful after being let off the hook of your first DWI charge.
If you need the services of a Missouri DWI attorney for consultation or further assistance with your case, you can reach out to a DWI lawyer in Raymore, MO, at the Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center.
Our attorneys understand Missouri DWI law and are knowledgeable in defending clients accused of DUI offenses. We will provide the best legal advice and representation to reduce or avoid criminal penalties. Contact us today for more information and a free initial consultation.