In Missouri, when you commit a first-time DWI, you will be charged with a class B misdemeanor case. The penalties vary depending on the severity of your case. You can face up to a maximum of 6 months in county jail.
But in Missouri, jail time is highly unlikely for a first DWI. We will discuss the penalties you are likely to face below. But first, let us talk about Missouri drug laws.
Missouri DWI Laws
There are strict laws for driving while intoxicated or in drugged condition. The police can pull aside and request to perform a breathing test to ascertain the level of your blood alcohol concentration (BAC).
If the BAC level exceeds the legal limit, you can be charged with a DWI/DUI. You may be thinking, what if I refuse to submit to the testing for alcohol or drugs in my system? This may not solve your problems because of the implied consent laws in Missouri.
These laws essentially mean that by driving on the road, you have implicitly agreed to testing. Under the implied consent laws, your driving privileges will be revoked for up to one year.
Penalties for Missouri First Offense DWI
Now that you have been charged in a DWI court, what next? Here are some possible outcomes you might experience.
For a first-time DWI, you can receive a sentence of 6 months. However, an experienced DWI defense lawyer may be able to help you have the case suspended.
Probation is typically the most likely outcome for most first-time DWI cases. You can be given 2 years of probation or a substance abuse treatment program.
Apart from various fees and court costs, you will also be required to pay up to a $1000 fine.
Administrative Penalties and Drivers License Suspension
When you are convicted of a first DWI offense in Missouri, your driving privileges will be automatically suspended. Your license will also be suspended for 90 days.
However, you can request a restricted driving privilege. This allows you to drive during the first 90 days, but you will have to have an Ignition Interlock Device installed in your motor vehicle.
Do You Need an Attorney for Class B Misdemeanor?
It is highly unlikely for you to serve jail time for a first DWI/Class B misdemeanor. That is, if you work with an experienced criminal defense attorney and play it smart.
Knowing your rights and getting legal help early on can help you avoid a severe DWI conviction.
An experienced attorney will have a good understanding of Missouri law and will know how to defend you for your first alcohol-related traffic offense.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Get Out of a DWI in Missouri?
Failing the sobriety test in Missouri does not mean that you will automatically be found guilty. However, the sooner you take the necessary steps, such as hiring a criminal defense attorney, the better chances you have of winning the case.
What are the Levels of DWI in Missouri?
There are two main levels of excessive blood alcohol content in Missouri. If your BAC reaches 0.08%, it is referred to as the “per se” BAC limit.
A 0.15% BAC level or higher is classified as an aggravated DWI.
How Long Does a Class B Misdemeanor Stay on Your Record?
After your first DWI offense, it will stay on your record for 10 years. After this, you can talk with your attorney about getting your criminal record expunged.