First Offense DWI
Typically a first time DWI offense in Missouri is charged as what is classified as a Class B Misdemeanor. These types of cases can be heard in municipal, city and state courts. It is hard to say exactly what will happen with this type of first time offense because each case is unique; that is why it is best to have a competent attorney who is experienced in DWI cases sit down and take a look at it with you. Most DWI attorneys offer free consultations for this.
What does a Class B Misdemeanor for a first time DWI offense usually entail in the state of Missouri? It means the maximum penalty you will face will be a fine in the amount of up to $500 and you could also be put in jail for up to 6 months. In most cases, for first time offenders in the state it is highly unlikely you will serve any jail time even if you enter a plea of guilty. Many times a skilled DWI attorney can settle a first time case without the need to even have a trial.
In order to avoid going to trial, a lawyer will often negotiate to have you placed on a special type of probation. In the state of Missouri this is called a “Suspended Imposition of Sentence” (SIS). This simply means that if all the conditions of the probation are successfully met then the DWI will be removed from your record and it will be as if you were never sentenced and convicted for the DWI offense.
Typical SIS probation conditions in Missouri are as follows.
- Supervised Bench Probation
- Successful completion of the Substance Abuse Traffic Offenders Program (SATOP).
- Community Service Time
- Participation in a Victims Impact Panel
- Required to have an Ignition Interlock Device
- Shock Jail Time
- Secured and Continuous Alcohol Monitoring which is done from a Remote Location
- Performing Restitution to the Arresting Agency
- Additional Drug and Alcohol Testing and Treatment
- May be Prohibited from Drinking and Driving Under any Circumstances
- Subjected to Additional Breath testing
- Banned from Entering Establishments that Serve Alcohol
- Not Allowed to Possess or Consume Alcohol
If you blow over a .15 under Missouri law you are considered to be ‘Driving Under the Influence’ (DUI), as such Missouri law prohibits you from being eligible for an SIS. It is to be noted that this provision is not always enforced but I high blood alcohol content usually leads to more severe forms of probation.
An Overview of the Missouri First Time Offender DWI Statutes (Missouri Statute RSMo 577.010)
- If you drive a motor vehicle in an intoxicated or drugged condition you are guilty of the crime of ‘driving while intoxicated’.
- For a first time offender this is considered a Class B Misdemeanor. No SIS will be granted to you if you are convicted or plead guilty to a DWI offense unless you are placed on probation for a minimum of two years.
- If you operated a motor vehicle while driving with a blood alcohol content over .15 you will not be granted SIS privileges unless you agree to participate in and successfully complete a court ordered treatment program.
- You may not be granted a ‘suspended imposition of sentence’ under the following provisions of Missouri law.
a. If you operated your motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content level between .15 to .20 you shall be subject to a term of imprisonment not less than 48 hours.
b. If you operated your motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content higher than .20 the required term of imprisonment will not be less than 5 days.
With all the possible outcomes that surround any DWI proceeding,it is always recommended to consult with an experienced DWI attorney regarding your case.