Missouri drunk driving cases are commonly referred to as driving while intoxicated (DWI) when alcohol related, or driving under the influence (DUI) where drugs are involved. There are two separate cases within a Missouri DWI / DUI case—the civil case, known as the Administrative Hearing, where your license is at risk, and the criminal case, known as the Prosecution, where your freedom is at risk. Missouri has a DWI "per se" law, meaning that it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 percent or greater. If a person is arrested for drunk driving, DWI or DUI, refusal to take a chemical test can be used as evidence in court, and also result in criminal and administrative penalties, meaning a longer driver’s license suspension. Your license is at risk of being suspended or revoked if you do not take appropriate action within 15 days of your arrest if you refused to take a breath, blood or urine test after being arrested for DWI / DUI in Missouri, or if the results of your test were above the prohibited level of .08 percent BAC for drivers over age 21 and .02 percent BAC for drivers under age 21.SENTENCE, PROBATION & FINE
Conviction for a first DWI is a Class B misdemeanor.
Jail: Up to a maximum of 6 months imprisonment.
Fine: Up to $500.00. Court costs may also be between $10.00 and $100.00.
Probation: The general terms of probation are no drinking and driving, do not break the law, complete a SATOP course and pay a reinstatement fee. Probation usually lasts 2 years. A conviction plea of guilty plus the imposition of a fine and / or court costs with probation is commonly referred to as a Suspended Execution of Sentence or SES.
Suspended Driving Privileges: A criminal conviction for a first time DUI results in a 30-day suspension of driving privileges followed by a 60-day restriction to driving only to and from work, in the course of employment, or to alcohol treatment. There are no hardships or exemptions available during the first 30 day period if you lose your Administrative Hearing. This suspension becomes a permanent part of your driving record if you do not win your appeal to the Circuit Court of the County where you are arrested. The court may also require that a person be restricted to driving a motor vehicle which has an ignition interlock device while on probation. The device costs $50.00-100.00 to install and $50.00-$75.00 per month to maintain. A conviction will result in 8 points being assessed against the driver's license. Do not let these things happen to you contact our office for help.
If you have had your license Suspended, Revoked or Canceled and have been caguth driving and charged with DWS or DWR you are facing a serious legal matter. Judges in Missouri are serious about cracking down on people who drive even though their licenses are suspended. Many Judges even prohibit prosecutors and defense attorneys from bargaining on a DWR or DWS ticket for anything less than 10 days in the county jail. County jail is not where the average citizen wants to spend ten days. That is why you must contact Traffic Law Services as soon as possible so that we can defend you against this serious charge. Depending on your case we can reduce the consequences of a charge of Driving with a Suspended or Revoked license. We may even be able to have the charge amended to a lesser serious matter, or even beat the charge altogether, depending on the facts of your case. If you have been charged with this serious offense you need to contact our office immediately for help.
ACCUMULATION OF POINTS / POINT ACCUMULATION ADVISORY LETTER
Most individual traffic offenses range in points from between 2-12. 4 Points in 12 Months - If you accumulate 4 points in any 12 month span the Department of Revenue (DOR) will send you a Point Accumulation Advisory Letter
8 Points in 18 Months - If you accumulate 8 or more points in any 18 month span the Department of Revenue (DOR) will suspend your Driver’s License – making it unlawful for you to drive. The First offense will trigger a 30 day suspension of your license.
The Second offense will cause a 60 day suspension of your license.
The Third and subsequent offenses leads to a 90 day suspension of your license.
If you accumulate 12 or more points in any 12 month period, 18 or more points in any 24 month period, or 24 points in any 36 month period DOR will revoke your driving privilege for 1 year.
REVOCATION vs. SUSPENSION
The difference between a Revocation and a Suspension of your driving privileges is that under a Suspension after you have completed your suspension period, filed your SR-22 (Proof of Insurance) with DOR, completed Substance Abuse Traffic Offenders Program (SATOP) if an alcohol related offense lead to your suspension or revocation, and paid your reinstatement fee of $20 or $45, you are then eligible to have your license reinstated. However, under a Revocation you must complete all the above listed steps and in addition you must pass the complete driver examination and you will then receive a new license.
They are divided into 6 categories:
- 1-5 MPH over Speed Limit: Penalty - FCC Fine $73, 0 Points, Infraction
- 6-10 MPH over Speed Limit: Penalty - FCC Fine $83, 3 Points, C Misdemeanor
- 11-15 MPH over Speed Limit: Penalty - FCC Fine $108, 3 Points, C Misdemeanor
- 16-20 MPH over Speed Limit: Penalty - FCC Fine $133, 3 Points, C Misdemeanor
- 20-25 MPH over Speed Limit: Penalty - FCC Fine $208, 3 Points, B Misdemeanor
- Over 25 MPH over Speed Limit: Mandatory Court Appearance, B Misdemeanor
If the Speeding Ticket was written in a Construction Zone with worker present: add $250
If the Seat Belt Violation block is completed: add $10. Contact our office for help.
A Moving Violation is distinguished from other types of tickets in Missouri in that it is not specifically enumarated under RSMo 302.302, and is therefore a 2 point offense. Running a Stop Sign, Traffic Light, Improper Lane Change are three examples of many types of Moving Violations. These types of violations do add points to your license and therefore should be handled in a way that will minimize the impact on your driving record.
Missouri Drivers are required to exercise the highest degree of care in operation of a motor vehicle. Failure to do so either by speeding or inattentive or neglectful driving can result in the issuance of a Careless and Imprudent driving ticket. This is a 4 point ticket. If the incident which gave rise to the ticket involved an accident an additional 2 points, for a total of 6, will be assessed against the driver's record. This is halfway to a suspension of driving privileges in Missouri. Do not let this happen to you. Contact us for help.
Traffic tickets for commercial drivers with commercial driver licenses (CDL) can carry more severe penalties than the same ticket violations for non-commercial drivers because commercial drivers are generally considered to have an extra responsibility to traffic safety. Commercial Drivers spend more time on the road than the average driver. Where the average person drives to work, a CDL holder drives for work. As such, the State of Missouri does their best to insure that the drivers who spend so much of their time on the road are the safest and most responsible of all drivers.
There are also increased stakes for a CDL holder if they receive a ticket. If a non-commercial driver loses his privilege to drive he will likely be eligible for some version of a restricted use license to get to and from work. If a commercial driver loses his privilege to drive he will not be eligible to drive a commercial vehicle and thus will not be able to work at all. Add to that the fact that licensing agencies are quicker to suspend or revoke a CDL than an ordinary driver license and it is evident just how serious speeding tickets and other moving violations can be for a commercial driver.
Even traffic tickets that do not result in a loss of your privilege to drive a commercial vehicle can be extremely harmful. Many commercial drivers are covered by an employer insurance policy and risk becoming a financial burden to their employers if they receive traffic tickets on their CDL or other CDL violations. Some employers have specific policies with respect to certain point totals or convictions for their commercial drivers. Thus, you can lose your job based on your driving record.
In Missouri, each driver has only one Driver's License. One may not lose the base driving privilege and retain the CDL driving privilege.
A CDL holder must be disqualified for 60 days from driving a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) if convicted of or pleading guilty to two "serious traffic offenses", in separate occurrences, within a three year period, the three year period being determined by violation date. These offenses can have occurred in a commercial or non-commercial vehicle. "Serious traffic offenses" include: Speeding greater than 15mph, reckless driving, improper lane change, following too closely, driving a CMV without a CDL.
A CDL holder must be disqualified 1 year after being convicted of or pleading guilty to anyone of the following: DWI, DUI, Operating a CMV with a BAC of greater than .04, Refusing to Blow, Leaving the Scene of an Accident, DWR. No driver improvement programs, or limited driving privileges are available to those with a CDL for purposes of driving a CMV. Contact our office for help.
Non-moving violations occurred with a vehicle not in motion. Failure to Maintain Proof of Insurance, Failure to Register a Motor Vehicle, Failure to Display Plates are all considered non-moving violations. While these sound less damaging to your record, these offense still often carry points. Be sure to know the point impact of these violations on your driving record prior to just pleading guilty and paying your fine.
A person commits the offense of disorderly conduct or peace disturbance when he or she knowingly or intentionally engages in an act that is offensive to the public order. Examples of disorderly conduct include using abusive language in a public place, making an offensive gesture in a public place, creating a noxious odor in a public place, making unreasonable noise in a public place, fighting in a public place, or discharging a firearm in a public place. An act of disorderly conduct occurs in a public place if it produces an offensive consequence in the public place. A noise is unreasonable if it exceeds a certain decibel level. A person commits the offense of public intoxication when he or she appears in a public place while he or she is intoxicated to the point where he or she may be a danger to himself or herself or to another person. A public place is defined as any place where the public has access. It may include streets, highways, schools, office buildings, and shops. A private residence, a private yard, or a private driveway is not considered a public place. Contact our office for help.
The MIP "possession by consumption" law expands the old MIP law's definition of "possession" to include "possession by consumption" and being "visibly intoxicated." Possession by consumption means a minor who has "a detectable blood alcohol content of .02 percent". Any minor who is caught possessing an alcoholic beverage, there is a rebuttable presumption that the liquid contained in the beverage is alcoholic. The burden to prove the contrary is on the accused.
Under the Missouri MIP "possession by consumption law, minors (16-20 years old) who plead guilty to or are convicted of MIP will have their driver license suspended for 30 days for the 1st offense, 90 days for the 2nd offense and revoked for a year for the 3rd or any subsequent MIP offense.
RSMo 311.325.1 - Any person under the age of twenty-one years, who purchases or attempts to purchase, or has in his or her possession, any intoxicating liquor as defined in section 311.020 or who is visibly intoxicated as defined in section 577.001, RSMo, or has a detectable blood alcohol content of more than two-hundredths of one percent or more by weight of alcohol in such person's blood is guilty of a misdemeanor. RSMo 577.500.2 - A court of competent jurisdiction shall, upon a plea of guilty or nolo contendere, conviction or finding of guilt, or, if the court is a juvenile court, upon a finding of fact that the offense was committed by a juvenile, enter an order suspending or revoking the driving privileges of any person determined to have committed a crime or violation of section 311.325, RSMo, and who, at the time said crime or violation was committed, was more than fifteen years of age and under twenty-one years of age.
RSMo 577.500.6 - The period of suspension for a first offense under subsection 2 of this section shall be thirty days. The period of suspension for a second offense under subsection 2 of this section shall be ninety days. Any third or subsequent offense under subsection 2 of this section shall result in revocation of the offender's driving privileges for one year.ABUSE AND LOSE
The Missouri Abuse and Lose Law requires Missouri courts to suspend or revoke the driving privileges of any person who is determined to have committed any of the following offenses when they were under 21 years old, upon their plea of guilty, conviction, or finding of guilt.
- 1. Any alcohol-related traffic offense;
- 2. Any offense involving the possession or use of alcohol, committed while operating a motor vehicle;
- 3. Any offense involving the possession or use of a controlled substance;
- 4. Any offense involving the alteration, modification or misrepresentation of a license to operate a motor vehicle; and
- 5. Any offense involving the possession or use of alcohol for a second time if both offenses were committed when the person was under 18 years of age.
The driver license suspension period for a 1st offense Missouri Abuse and Lose Law violation is 90 days. The driver license revocation period for the 2nd and subsequent Missouri Abuse and Lose Law violations is 1 year. To get the Missouri driver license back when it is suspended or revoked under the Missouri Abuse and Lose law, a SATOP completion form, and $45 reinstatemtent fee must be sent to Driver License Bureau, P.O. Box 200, Jefferson City, MO 65105-0200, before the suspension or revocation period ends.EXPUNGEMENT
The MIP law allows for the expungement of a MIP when specific requirements are met. A person convicted of MIP under Section 311.325 may be eligible for an expungement only when all three (3) of the following requirements are met: (1) It must be the first time he or she pleaded or was found guilty of MIP, (2) a year has passed from the time he or she pleaded or was found guilty of MIP or the minor reached 21 years of age, and (3) he or she since has had no other alcohol-related convictions or "alcohol-related enforcement contacts" as defined in RSMo 302.525(3). A person seeking the expungement of a MIP must apply to the Court in which he or she pleaded or was found guilty. The application for expungement must state that the applicant has met all of the legal requirements for an expungement order to be made and, therefore, that the applicant is eligible for an expungement. A hearing takes place during which the applicant must prove to the Judge that he or she is eligible for an expungement. The Judge then makes a determination whether the applicant has proved that he or she is eligible for an expungement and, based thereon, either orders an expungement or denies the application for expungement. The expungement of a MIP is the court-ordered removal of all official records of the arrest, plea, trial and conviction relating to the MIP. The effect of an expungement under the MIP law is to restore a person's legal status to that he or she had before the arrest, plea or conviction of MIP, as if the MIP never happened. Contact our office so we can help make this happen for you.
In Missouri, under some circumstances, you may be able to have an arrest record expunged, which is the process of legally destroying, obliterating or striking out records or information in files, computers and other depositories relating to criminal charges. There are specific provisions written into certain offense that call for the expungement of records if certain conditions are met and the proper paperwork is filed. These primarily apply to persons who were minors at the time of the offense and the offense was alcohol related. There is also the provision were an Alcohol-related driving offense can be expunged after ten years given certain conditions are met.
The general statute dealing with expungements in Missouri is RSMo 610.122. Note: Except for the proceeding circumstances there is no way in Missouri to have a CONVICTION (SIS or otherwise) expunged. You are eligible in Missouri for expungement of your ARREST record if your arrest was:
- 1) Based on false information
- 2) There is no probable cause to believe you committed the offense
- 3) No charges will be pursued as a result of the arrest
- 4) You have no prior or subsequent misdemeanor or felony convictions
- 5) You did not receive a suspended imposition of sentence for the offense
- 6) No civil action is pending relating to the arrest or records sought to be expunged
If you qualify, we may file a verified petition for expungement in the civil division of the circuit court in the county of your arrest. The court then sets a hearing on the matter no sooner than 30 days from the filing of the petition. If the court finds that you are entitled to expungement of any record, it must enter an order directing expungement.
If you failed to appear (FTA) for an assigned court date, in all likelihood an arrest warrant was issued for you and the judge set a bail amount which is the amount of money that will need to be paid in order to get you out of jail. If you or a family member or friend cannot come up with that money than you will likely sit in jail until the trial date on your charge or until the judge decides to take pity on you and release you from jail. This is not the position you want to be in. It is a lot easier to resolve your warrant/bond situation when you are out of jail. Contact us right away if you have a warrant for failure to appear. We may be able to resolve the matter without you being arrested.