DWI Defense

Vehicle accidents caused by intoxicated drivers claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in the United States in the year 2013 alone. Several years ago, more than 20,000 people were killed in the U.S. as a result of accidents attributed to an intoxicated driver. In large part, laws that imposed stiffer penalties for drunk driving were likely responsible for drastically reducing drunk driving fatalities. On the other hand, harsher penalties for intoxicated driving have increased the importance of effective representation if you are charged with driving while intoxicated.

With any type of assessment, there is always a risk that the assessment will result in a false positive, that is, an evaluation that wrongly indicates something. In the case of DWI, an officer may mistake fatigue, poor coordination or the effects of a medical condition as indication of intoxicated driving and arrest a non-intoxicated driver for driving while intoxicated.

Field Sobriety Tests

Field sobriety tests are commonly used to assess intoxication, yet these are performed by officers who have no baseline data about how the driver performs those tests while completely sober. These tests are more aptly described as coordination tests. Fatigue alone could greatly reduce performance on these tests, as could anxiety from the fear of a police officer's making a mistaken assessment as to the sobriety of the driver.

Penalties For DWI And Related Offenses

In Missouri, in addition to criminal penalties, a driver charged with a DWI is subject to suspension or revocation of the driver's license as a potential penalty in a separate administrative law hearing. A blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test result showing a BAC level of .08 percent or higher will result in an automatic suspension, as will an assertion of a refusal to subject to a Breathalyzer test, even if the DWI charge gets dismissed or reduced to a lesser charge.

Criminal Penalties Increase With Each DWI Conviction In Missouri

The criminal penalties for first DWI conviction includes up to six months in jail and up to a $500 fine. For a second DWI conviction, the penalties may increase up to one year in jail and up to a $1,000 fine. A third DWI conviction may result in up to a four-year prison sentence and a $5,000 fine. A fourth DWI conviction may result in a criminal penalty up to seven years in prison and a $5,000 fine. With a fifth DWI conviction, the offender may be sentenced to five to 15 years in prison with parole only available after a minimum of two years served. As the potential penalties increase for each subsequent DWI guilty plea or conviction, effective representation is crucial in order to help prevent severed penalties in the future.

Contact Ledbetter Law Firm, LLC

It is important to get experienced defense representation right away. Call us at 314-925-0239 or toll free at 800-704-3214 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your drunk driving case right away.