A Guide to Missouri Driver’s License Hearings
Even a first-time DWI offense in Missouri brings severe consequences upon conviction. Attorneys from Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center can help. Call now!
Kimberly J. Benjamin, Founder & Managing Attorney
November 03. 2022.
Missouri DUI Repercussions
When arrested for a DUI, you face criminal proceedings and administrative repercussions. An arrest leads to a suspension or revocation of your driving privilege. However, through administrative hearings, you may be able to prevent the permanent suspension of your license.
There are time limits for requesting the hearing and complicated processes for requesting a hearing. That is why you need to understand all the requirements, as a mistake may lead to an extended period of losing your driving privileges. In addition to your knowledge, hiring experienced DWI lawyers in Kansas City to handle your case may guarantee a higher chance of success.
License Suspension Law
According to the Missouri code, the Missouri Department of Revenue can suspend the license of any person upon the determination that the police officer had probable cause to arrest the person on suspicion of driving with excessive blood alcohol concentration (BAC).
For a regular non-commercial driver, excessive blood alcohol concentration starts from 0.08% and 0.02% for people under the age of 21. The Missouri zero-tolerance law means that underaged drivers immediately get their licenses suspended once arrested for a DWI. However, like adult drivers, they can request an administrative hearing.
At the point of arrest, the arresting officer will ask that the suspected offender take an alcohol test. When they determine that the BAC is above the legal limit, the officer will collect the offender’s license and issue them a notice of suspension or revocation. It states that the person will no longer be able to drive legally after fifteen days from the date the notice was issued. It also comes with a form that enables the driver to request an administrative hearing.
During the fifteen-day period, a driver can request a hearing, and the suspension will be halted until 15 days after the hearing. In the event that the driver wins their case, their license will be reinstated; otherwise, it will remain suspended or revoked. However, they may be entitled to a restricted driving privilege (RDP) during the suspension period.
How to Request a Hearing for a Suspended License in Missouri?
According to the Missouri Department of Revenue, the accused motor vehicle driver has to mail a request to the following address:
Missouri Department of Revenue
ATTN: General Counsel’s Office
PO Box 475
Jefferson City MO
One must follow specific rules in making this request for an administrative license hearing. They include:
The offender has to submit the request within 15 days of receiving their notice of license suspension. Otherwise, the suspension becomes permanent and irreversible.
You must provide your attorney’s full name and mailing address in the request.
You must also indicate whether you would like to have an in-person hearing or a telephone hearing.
Missouri Drivers License Administrative Hearing Process and Appeal
In an administrative hearing, you want to have a reputable lawyer to fight DWI charges. As a result, the weight of evidence is what determines the burden of proof. Once there is more than a 50% chance you committed the act, you lose the case. There are only two essential issues that need proving. The first is that the arresting officer had probable cause to arrest you, and the second is if your blood alcohol concentration was truly above the legal limit.
The most common defense is to question whether the police officer administering the BAC test followed the regulatory rules. There are numerous rules they could have broken while testing you, so it is likely that they broke one or two.
Additionally, your lawyer may also be able to prove that the officer did not have probable cause to arrest you. After the hearing, the Department of Revenue will mail you a decision after a few days.
Appealing your administrative hearing decision must be done in the same county where you were arrested. During the appeal process, the administrative decision will still stand, so your license will remain suspended if the hearing officer rules that way.
Limited Driving Privilege (LDP)
Also referred to as a hardship license, a person with a suspended license may be eligible for an LDP to enable them to drive to school, their place of work, and any other necessary places they need to go. You may apply by submitting a completed Application for Limited Driving Privilege (Form 4595) to the Department of revenue. You will also be required to do the following:
File proof of SR-22 insurance with the DOR
Install an IID and maintain it for the duration of the limited driving privilege. (The court may require a first-time offender to install an IID to receive an LDR).
The DOR typically reviews applications and mails back their decision within a week. The Department of Revenue cannot process suspensions or revocations that are five or ten years in length. Instead, you must apply to the county circuit court.
Driver’s License Restoration in Missouri
Unfortunately, an administrative alcohol suspension or revocation will remain permanently on your driving record. You can check your record online through the DOR’s website. To get your license reinstated, you’ll need to do the following:
Determine that you are eligible for reinstatement. If you have not been convicted or had your license suspended on an alcohol-related charge within the last five years, you will be eligible for reinstatement after 90 days.
Pay a $45 fee for reinstatement and file proof of SR-22 insurance starting from the day you were suspended. (You may be excluded from the insurance Missouri license reinstatement requirements as a first-time offender or minor).
File proof that you completed SATOP and installed an Ignition Interlock device if you are a repeat offender.
Retake your driver’s examination.
Missouri License Reinstatement Lawyer
As with criminal charges, hiring a criminal defense attorney in Kansas City, MO, can come in handy as they would have enough experience to represent you in an administrative hearing. Winning the hearing may be your only chance to prevent a license suspension of between 1 and 10 years if you are a repeat offender.
The attorney-client relationship ensures they have to defend you to the best of their abilities while maintaining confidentiality with your private information. Additionally, if you have a criminal conviction, they may be able to help you get an expungement in Missouri.
Missouri law is quite strict regarding DWI arrests, but with the help of a trained DWI lawyer from the Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center, you may be able to scale through. Do not hesitate to reach out!
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.