Drinking and driving is a common problem throughout the country. The problem is especially severe during weekends and holidays as people tend to drink more than usual at parties and social gatherings. While you cannot prevent somebody from drinking, there can be negative consequences, especially if the party in question decides to drive while intoxicated. Most people do not realize the risk they are putting themselves into as well as the risk they pose to others on the road.
People don’t think that driving while intoxicated is a big deal. That may be due to the fact that they don’t realize that a DWI is not like any other crime. You won’t simply get a ticket and be allowed to go home. A DWI charge is something serious and can have a long-term impact on your life.
DWI is a serious offense in Kansas City, MO. If you are ever stopped by a police officer and arrested for a DWI, your life will change, and it will not be pleasant.
DWI Arrests and Charges in Kansas City, Missouri
When you are stopped by a police officer and suspected of DWI, you will be asked the usual questions related to your license and registration. Police officers are trained to determine if a driver is drunk or intoxicated by observing your behavior and your mental state. You may be asked to perform some balance maneuvers on the side of the road and take a breathalyzer test.
If you refuse to blow into a breathalyzer, you will still be arrested. Whenever a driver is charged with DWI, they are arrested on the spot. Your car will be towed and you will be handcuffed and taken to the local police station. Your photo and fingerprints will be obtained, and you will be placed in a cell.
You may wonder why there is such little tolerance for driving while intoxicated. The fact is that over the years, drunk drivers have injured and killed thousands of pedestrians and other drivers. There is no surprise that the legal system has very little sympathy for such offenders.
What Happens After a DWI Arrest in Kansas City, Missouri?
If you are in jail, you have the following options. You can get someone to bail you out or you can get a bondsman. A bond simply means that you will promise to come to court on the appointed date. If you do arrive at court and everything goes as planned, you will get your money back. But if you do not show up, not only will you lose your money, but every cop in the state will be looking for you. When you do get caught, there will be additional punishment for skipping the court date. Your best bet is to retain an experienced Kansas City DWI Lawyer as soon as you are released from jail.
The amount of money you pay the bondsman is variable. It may range from $1,000 to $10,000, and you have to pay up to 10% upfront. Of course, the bondsman will charge you interest, also. The bondsman will take your contact information and other details, and if you do not show up in court, they will come looking for you. When your case is over, they will keep your money.
Another option is to get an experienced DWI attorney who may get you out on a signature bond. This simply means that the attorney will act on your behalf and will assure the court that you will return to court.
At the time of your arrest, your driver’s license is usually taken away from you. Depending on the charge, you may lose the privilege to drive anywhere from 30 -365 days. You may get a DWI attorney to file a motion to help you keep your license.
What is an Arraignment and How Does it Affect My Kansas City DWI Case?
In most cases, at your first court date (known as an arraignment), you will be informed of the charges against you and the penalties. You will have the option of getting an attorney. Remember, this is not the trial, but the legal system is informing you of the status of your situation.
You will be given a trial date. Whatever you do, do not say that you are guilty unless and until you have spoken to your attorney. Once you plead guilty, the situation will be irreversible, and no deals can be made. Before making any claims or statements, consult an attorney and let them advise you on how you should proceed and what you should say.
At the arraignment, the judge will give you two options: take a plea deal or go to trial. If you plea bargain, then for a first time DWI in Kansas City, you will have a suspended execution of sentence (SES) meaning that once you successfully complete your probation the additional jail time you were sentenced to will be discharged. During this time, it is vital that you stay out of any legal trouble. You will also have to pay a monetary fine anywhere from $200-$500, and you will be asked to take a class in substance abuse, for which you pay out of pocket. In addition, you will be asked to take a class on Victims of drunk driving (VIP), and you will have to be alcohol-free when driving. If any of these terms are violated, you will be arrested on the spot and sent to jail. An SES counts as a criminal conviction on your record.
Seek Legal Counsel from a Skilled Kansas City DWI Attorney
An average layman does not have the skill or the expertise to defend a DWI charge. You will need legal counsel, and you need it before you make any statements or accept any plea bargain. Contact our experienced DWI lawyers at Cornerstone Law Firm to discuss the specifics of your case. Keep in mind that DWI is a serious offense and these are serious charges. You will not walk away with a simple ticket or a minimum fine. Talk to our skilled DWI lawyers today, and they will ensure you have the best possible defense and the best possible legal representation by a Kansas City DWI attorney.