What Are The Penalties Associated With A DUI Conviction?
A first-time offender can be imprisoned for no more than six months. A second-time offender can be imprisoned for up to one year; and a third-time offender can be sentenced under the felony laws of Missouri. As mentioned above if the offense carries and enhanced category then the penalty is more severe.
Can You Provide A Brief Timeline Of What Transpires After A DUI Stop?
Sure, let’s take these one at a time.
The Stop: The Constitution guarantees that no arrest or seizure can be made without probable cause. Police officers often make “pre-textual stops” (phony reasons) just to investigate. This is against the law. You must have a good reason under the totality of the circumstances to stop a vehicle. But in any event, this starts the process.
Field Sobriety Test: The field sobriety test is nothing more than physical functions the police officers request that you perform and subjectively state whether you sufficiently passed them. Often time they will say you didn’t to support their arrest. These tests consist of walking heel/toe, reciting the alphabet or some form of it; eye gaze (follow my finger); balancing on one foot, etc.
The portable breath test: Officers are equipped with an alcohol intoximeter. They will ask a suspect to blow into the intoximeter while in the field. If it registers a certain level, then that will be probable cause to arrest you. When arrested there will be another machine that is larger and purportedly properly calibrated and operated by a trained officer. This will purportedly measure the level of alcohol intake. After you take this second test, you will be charged.
The Blood test: This is normally taken when there has been an accident and the accused is unable to comply with field testing or an official breathalyzer. Blood test is given when there is a suspicion of drug use.
The driver has always has his Constitutional rights and protections during these critical moments. Calling your attorney may not be immediately available but recognizing the right to be silent is the mechanism necessary to preserve them.
What Happens If They’ve Refused A Breath Or Blood Test?
A refusal on a breath test and blood test will cause an immediate suspension of the license for one year. Even if refused the Court can order a blood test taken against the will of the driver. This normally occurs when there is a suspicion of more serious activity or an accident with injuries.
What Is An Ignition Interlock Device?
An ignition interlock is a device that hooks up to your vehicle’s ignition and requires you to take a breath blood alcohol content test before starting your car. An interlock device is ordered by the court, and everyone is not required to have one. The risk of being ordered to install one is greater if there are repeat offenses.
What Factors Enhance Or Aggravate A DUI Charge?
The enhanced penalties come with recidivism. Penalties can be severe when the cause of injury or death is associated with a DWI. Missouri characterized these as “persistent, aggravated, chronic habitual and criminally negligent offenders.” All carry an enhance punishment aspect.
Are Any Alternative Programs Available For First Time DUI Offenders In Missouri?
Sure, not all courts are willing to throw away the key when it comes to making a mistake. Some circuits in Missouri have established special divisions called DWI/DUI Courts. These courts specialize on the need for treatment as opposed to incarceration alternatives. These alternatives are available and should be diligently sought by your attorney.
What Sets Your Firm Apart In Handling DUI Cases?
We know the law. We’re willing to fight for the rights of our clients. The old ways of dealing with DWI & DUI cases are a thing of the past and not considered, a simple traffic matter. These are serious charges with potential life changing consequence. Seek out the experience you can trust. Give the Jimerson Law Firm a call.
For more information on DUI Penalties In Missouri, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (314) 786-3536 today.
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