DWI

There are two separate and distinguishable proceedings that are involved in a DWI.  One deals with the suspension of your license.  That can occur if you refuse a breath, urine, or blood test, or give a consent to a test and give a sample .08% or above.  (See below for a more detailed explanation).  The other proceeding would be the filing of criminal charges by a Prosecuting Attorney.  (See below for a more detailed explanation).  

Refusing to Submit to a Chemical Test:  If you refused to submit to a chemical test of your blood, breath or urine the Department of Revenue will revoke your driver's license.   You will be issued a temporary driving permit that will enable you to operate a vehicle for 15 days from the date of your arrest. An appeal will be filed with the Circuit Court in the County of your arrest within 30 days of your arrest. A Stay Order can be presented to a Judge that will allow you to drive while the appeal is pending. 

At the civil trial for your Refusal, the Department of Revenue will be required to prove that the arresting officer had probable cause to believe that you were operating a vehicle in an intoxicated condition at the time of your arrest and that you refused to submit to a chemical test of your blood, breath, or urine. If the Court finds that the Department of Revenue has proven these things your driver's license will be revoked for one year.  If, on the other hand, the Judge finds in your favor, your driver's license will be reinstated.

If unsuccessful in the case against the Department of Revenue, there are several things that you will be required to do in order to get your license reinstated. They include the completion of Substance Abuse Traffic Offender Program (SATOP), paying a reinstatement fee to the Department of Revenue, obtaining SR-22 Insurance, and possibly the installation of an Ignition Interlock device on your vehicle for a period of time. 

Agreeing to Submit to a Chemical Test:  Due to the fact you agreed to provide a sample of your blood, breath or urine, the Department of Revenue suspended your driver's license. You will be issued a temporary driving permit that will enable you to operate a vehicle for 15 days from the date of your arrest. Within that 15 day period, a Request for Administrative hearing must be filed. You will then be issued another temporary driver's license that will last until the hearing takes place. 

At the Administrative Hearing, the Hearing Officer is be required to make a decision regarding whether or not the arresting officer had probable cause to place you under arrest for Driving While Intoxicated. They will also have to make a finding that your blood alcohol content was at least .08%. If the issues are found against you, your driver's license will be suspended or revoked. If the decision is against you, you will have the ability to appeal the same within 10 days by filing a Petition for Trial De Novo in the Circuit Court and will be heard in front of a Circuit or Associate Court Judge in the County of your arrest. The issues at the trial will be very similar to the issues at the Administrative Hearing.

If unsuccessful in the case against the Department of Revenue, there are several things that you will be required to do in order to get your license reinstated. They include the completion of Substance Abuse Traffic Offender Program (SATOP), paying a reinstatement fee to the Department of Revenue, obtaining SR-22 Insurance, and possibly the installation of an Ignition Interlock device on your vehicle for a period of time. 

Criminal Charges:  The issues in this case can be much different than the issues in the civil case. The range of punishment varies widely in criminal court. Possibilities include anything from a fine and probation to a sentence in the County Jail and potentially a prison sentence if you have had more than two prior DWI cases. The outcome could depend on the number of prior offenses you have as well as the facts and circumstances surrounding your particular case.

***Past results afford no guarantee of future results. Every case is different and must be judged on its own merits.***


Walsh & Walsh Law Firm
635 North Main Street
Poplar Bluff, MO 63901
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