Why It’s Worth It To Fight Your DUI Charge
Feb. 1, 2022
If you have been arrested for a DUI, you may feel like there’s nothing you can do about it. However, just because you have been charged with a crime doesn’t mean you’ll be convicted, and there are many things you can do to try to fight it. You must consult with an experienced DUI defense attorney for the possibility of reducing your penalties or perhaps having the charges eliminated. So if you find yourself asking, “should I fight my DUI?” the answer is almost always yes.
If you would like to discuss your options regarding your DUI charge, call me today. I started my firm, Walker Law LLC, to positively impact those most in need. I am proud to help clients in the Chesterfield, Missouri area or Town and Country, Cottleville, and throughout Louis County and Charles County.
Possible Penalties for DUI in Missouri
Any criminal charge should be taken seriously, but DUI charges especially can have lasting impacts that affect all areas of your life. Because of this, if you’re facing a DUI charge in Missouri, you should do everything you can to fight it.
The criminal penalties for a DUI (also called a DWI, Driving While Intoxicated) will vary depending on your circumstances. The first and second offenses are misdemeanors, which you will face fines, up to a year of jail time, license suspension from 90 days to five years, required substance abuse programs, and may have to have an ignition interlock system installed in your car.
Anything over a third offense within five years is a felony charge, and the penalties are even more severe. With a third charge, you can face fines of up to $5,000, jail time of up to five years, license suspension of 10 years, mandatory attendance of a substance abuse program as well as installing an ignition interlock system in your vehicle.
Other Consequences of a DUI
There are many consequences associated with criminal penalties for DUI convictions. Because DUIs often come with a license suspension (which can last years), it is challenging to get to and from work or to look for work if you need to. Plus, you will now have a criminal record, and employers can use the information they find when deciding whether or not to hire you. Lastly, most people see their insurance premiums rise after a DUI conviction. Missouri drivers can expect to see their premiums rise 42% after a DUI.
Because of the number of consequences that come with a conviction, it is almost always in your best interest to fight a DUI charge, and a skilled attorney can help you do it.
Defenses for a DUI Charge
There are a few common defenses used when fighting a DUI charge, though your specific situation will dictate what will work best for you. I may be able to prove that you weren’t intoxicated when you were pulled over, that your driving wasn’t impaired, or that the arresting officer somehow made a mistake.
It’s possible that the officer falsely assumed you were under the influence when, in fact, you were driving under the legal limit. Sometimes a police officer will pull a motorist over for reckless driving and assume it is because they have been drinking, but this is not always the case. Just because you were driving poorly does not mean you were intoxicated.
I could also seek to prove that the officer didn’t follow the proper protocols when administering a field sobriety test or giving a breathalyzer. Both strategies are commonly used during DUI arrests and can give incorrect results. If the officer has not been properly trained in how to administer these tests, how to give instructions on compliance, or how to read the results it can falsely give them the impression that you were intoxicated.
Blood alcohol content (BAC) tests can be misused, are not always accurate, and there are extenuating circumstances that can cause your test to read out at higher numbers. Things such as medications, mints, or mouth sprays can affect the readout of BAC tests. Missouri law also requires an officer to wait at least 15 minutes before administering a breathalyzer test to ensure you haven’t put anything in your mouth that could affect the results. If it can be proven the waiting period wasn’t honored, the results of the test could be inadmissible.
Getting the Experienced Legal Guidance You Need
Each DUI case is unique and deserves the critical eye of a seasoned DUI defense lawyer to mount your defense. If you have recently been arrested under a DUI charge, I can help you understand your options for fighting it. Contact me at Walker Law LLC today if you are in Chesterfield, Missouri, or anywhere in Town and Country, Cottleville, and throughout Louis County and Charles County, Missouri.