Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a serious crime in Kansas City. There is a zero-tolerance policy for people convicted of DWI charges. You must keep in mind: if you are caught driving while intoxicated, a DWI conviction can negatively affect every facet of your life.
First, a DWI conviction can result in jail time. If you contest the DWI charges, you have to be prepared for putting in a lot of time and money into that process. And that is just the beginning. Once you are released from jail, you will have this conviction on your record which can making finding employment very difficult.
If you are facing DWI charges, the first thing you need to do is seek legal counsel. Your goal should be to use their assistance to build some kind of defense that would minimize your penalties. In any case, DWI is a serious charge and is associated with serious penalties.
Penalties for First-Time DWI Charges in Missouri
If this is your first conviction for a DWI in Kansas City, then you will be charged with a class B misdemeanor. This means you will have 8 points added to your Missouri driving record. You may face a fine of $500 and/or be incarcerated for up to 6 months. In addition, your driver’s license could also be suspended for 30 days, followed by restricted driving privileges for another 60 days. These penalties apply only for adults over the age of 21. For all individuals under the age of 21 who are convicted of DWI, their driver’s license will automatically be suspended for 90 days following a first-time conviction.
Penalties for Second-Time Conviction for DWI
For a second time DUI conviction in Kansas City, the penalties are much harsher. This time around everything is upgraded. You will be labeled as a prior offender, and the charge will be upgraded to a Class A Misdemeanor. This time, 12 points will be added to your driving record, and at a minimum, you will be incarcerated for at least five days in prison. You may be required to complete a minimum of 30 days community service instead of being incarcerated, but that will depend on your defense, the circumstances, and the judge. Most judges are not sympathetic with repeat offenders. Depending on the circumstance of the second DWI, you may even end up in jail for 12 months and have your driving privileges suspended indefinitely. A second DWI is also associated with a fine of $1,000.
If your second DWI was within the last five years, you will not be able to get a driver’s license for one year. You may be required to complete four weeks of community service to be eligible for probation. To get your driving privileges reinstated, you may be required to take the Missouri driving test, both written and practical. In many cases of a second DWI, the judge may mandate that you have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle for at least four weeks to ensure you do not drink and drive.
Subsequent Convictions for DWI Charges in Missouri
For a third or fourth DWI charge, the penalties escalate to the status of a class D felony, which means that you will be declared a persistent or subsequent offender. You will have 12 points added to your Missouri driving record. At a minimum, you will need to serve ten days in prison unless the judge permits you to perform community service for a minimum of 8 weeks instead of incarceration. If any pedestrian or another driver was injured, you could spend four years in jail and be fined a maximum of $5,000. Depending on your blood alcohol level and the seriousness of your offense, you may not be allowed to drive for ten years. At the end of that period, you will be eligible for probation and must complete mandatory community service for eight weeks. Again you will have to retake both the written and driving tests and pass them before your license is reinstated.
Other Repercussions for Kansas City DWI Charges
The repercussions of DWI charges in Kansas city are lifelong. You can lose your license, have a criminal record, and face significant monetary penalties and jail time. You will also have to complete the substance abuse traffic offender program before your license is reinstated. If your blood alcohol level was very high, the judge would make sure that you complete an intervention program that will educate you on alcohol-related driving. This program aims to make sure that you are fully aware of the consequences of driving while intoxicated.
Remember without a car license, you will not be able to work, and with a felony record you will not get a job. Your car insurance will be exorbitant, and if you killed or injured someone, you can face a civil lawsuit that could potentially damage your financial status for life.
Speak with a Kansas City Attorney About Your DWI Charges
DWI is a serious offense with zero tolerance in Kansas City. If you are facing DWI charges in Kansas City, you should seek legal counsel immediately. As already discussed, a DWI conviction can have an impact on all aspects of your life. It will affect your personal life, your financial stability, your job prospects, your credit rating and your driving privileges.
Instead of facing the challenges of DWI charges on your own, you should call one of our DWI lawyers at Cornerstone Law Firm. Our DWI attorneys include a former prosecutor and an attorney who have been in the DWI practice for 20 years. Our lawyers are committed to providing personalized service to all our clients so that we are able to meet the needs of each and every one. Call Cornerstone Law today, and one of our experienced DWI lawyers will be happy to assist you with all your DWI charges.