Five Myths About DWI in Missouri
12 Dec 16
While some of us may be familiar with the basics of drunk driving and DWI enforcement, a large number of DWI suspects are surprised to learn about the legal realities of their charges. Below, we discuss five common misconceptions held by the public about DWI/DUI and what can be done to best protect the rights and best interests of those accused of these alcohol-related crimes.
“I HAVE TO TAKE THE FIELD SOBRIETY TESTS IF AN OFFICER ASKS ME TO DO SO”
If a Missouri law enforcement officer suspects that you have been drinking and driving he/she will almost always ask you to exit your vehicle and perform a number of field sobriety tests. These tests can include reciting a portion of the alphabet, walking an imaginary line, or standing on one leg. The problem is that there are many things that may affect a person’s ability to properly perform these tests. Also, the officer’s observations of your performance will later be used in court to establish the fact that you were intoxicated.
“I’M GUILTY IF I FAIL THE BREATH TEST”
It’s easy to assume that once you submit to chemical test of your blood or breath and the result is over .08 that it is a foregone conclusion that the State has “proven” that you have been driving while intoxicated and you are therefore guilty of that charge. This is simply not the case. Your guilt is never a foregone conclusion. This is also true in cases where a person is accused of driving while under the influence of marijuana or drugs. Remember, you are innocent until proven guilty. A failed chemical test does not guarantee a conviction. It’s critical that your defense lawyer understands this and is well acquainted with the breath test devices used in Missouri and who understands the procedures that the person administering the tests has to follow in order to obtain a valid sample.
“I WILL ONLY RECEIVE A SLAP ON THE WRIST FOR A DWI”
Chances are that you probably know somebody who has been arrested for a DWI in the past. Unfortunately, drunk driving is fairly common across all walks of life but it should never be thought of as a simple traffic violation. It is important to understand that DWI is a criminal offense and it can haunt you for the rest of your life. Even a first-time DWI charge can result in lengthy driver’s license suspensions, fines, SATOP classes and sometimes even jail time. That is why it is critical to immediately contact an experienced DWI lawyer who can immediately begin taking the necessary steps to protect your rights and develop an effective defense.
“I HAVE TO ACCEPT MY LICENSE SUSPENSION”
Once you receive your license suspension paperwork from your arresting officer, you have as few as 15 days to request an administrative hearing appealing the department of revenue’s suspension of your Missouri driver’s license. Time is of the essence during this narrow window a time, which is why it is critical that you immediately consult with an experienced DWI attorney who is familiar with this administrative consequences of a DWI arrest and who knows the necessary steps to prevent the suspension/revocation of your driver’s license.
“IT DOESN’T MATTER WHO MY DWI DEFENSE ATTORNEY IS”
If you have been arrested and/or charged with DWI/DUI are interested in exploring your defense options and fighting your charge, then it absolutely matters who you choose to represent you on both the criminal charges and the license suspension case. It might be a good idea to inquire whether your prospective attorney has a record of favorable case results, has accumulated any industry recognition or certifications, and/or has taken part in any drunk driving seminars and training. DWI is a nuanced area of law with many technicalities and your lawyer should understand them and how they will impact you and your case. Many firms claim to be able to handle these cases, but few attorneys have the knowledge and experience required to successfully challenge the state’s allegations in these matters and secure a positive outcome that you need.
If this is the kind of skilled legal representation you want for your DWI case, then we invite you to contact The Lampin Law Firm today. Our dedicated St. Charles Missouri DWI defense lawyers are committed to helping those charged with alcohol-related driving offenses navigate the process and secure the results that they need.