Have you just recently been charged with “Driving While Impaired,” otherwise known as a DWI in Kansas City? If so, you might be wondering what is going to happen now. It’s a serious offense to be charged with in Missouri, or any other state. But, having some basic knowledge ahead of time will help you through the process.
In Kansas City, a DWI consists of driving while your BAC (blood alcohol content) is recorded at 0.08% or higher. At that point, you will be facing a battle. So, it would be advisable to hire an experienced Kansas City attorney who specializes in DWI offenses. And, experienced attorneys at Cornerstone Law Firm can assist you in your legal defense for any DWI charge.
The following will give you an idea of what typically happens with a DWI, from start to finish.
What Happens when I Get Pulled Over for Suspicion of a DWI in Kansas City?
Throughout the state of Missouri, the DWI laws are the same. Although, you might want to consider hiring a Kansas
City DWI attorney specifically, because they will be more familiar with the judges and the prosecution in your area. However, being informed of the possibilities before you even call, will be helpful in any DWI case. This way, you could have answers to some of the questions the DWI attorney will be asking.
When you are pulled over, and the officer suspects you might be impaired, they will put their training to use by looking for signs, such as slurred speech, open bottles, and the odor of alcohol. If they are suspicious, you will then be subject to a field sobriety test, which could consist of one or more of the following:
- Checking your eyes for horizontal gaze nystagmus
- One Leg Stand
- Walk and Turn
You will most likely be taken into custody, if you fail any of the tests, they might ask you to take a breathalyzer to determine your BAC. You have the right to refuse, but know that your license will be suspended immediately as a result.
If your BAC is 0.08 or higher, or if they believe you were impaired while driving, you will be charged with a DWI.
What’s Next AFTER the DWI Charge in Kansas City?
After being charged with a DWI in Kansas City, the arraignment comes next. The options are to either plead guilty or not guilty. Hopefully, you have chosen to speak with an experienced Kansas City DWI attorney by this point, who can guide you in making the best choice. Cornerstone Law Firm will discuss the case with you before the plea, and help you understand what plea will be in your best interest.
The next step after pleading guilty would be the sentence and penalty, which the judge imposes. However, if you plead not guilty, a court date will be scheduled where you and your attorney can prove your case by demonstrating the evidence or pointing out their lack of evidence on you.
How Can I Locate a Kansas City Attorney Who Specializes in DWI’s?
Finding an attorney is easy. But, finding the right one, perhaps not. Rather than hiring the first attorney in the phone book, you should find a Kansas City attorney specializing in DWI’s. It wouldn’t make sense to expect the same results with a tax attorney when fighting a DWI offense. You should find an attorney who has knowledge and experience in combating DWI’s, especially locally.
One way to find a good DWI attorney would be word of mouth. If you know someone who has gone through this, they could recommend the lawyer they worked with, if they were happy with the results. You could also search the Internet, by typing “Experienced DWI Attorney in Kansas City,” to see what comes up. From there, you can narrow it down to those that appeal to you, either through their message on their website, or reviews from clients.
Or, you could make a phone call to Cornerstone Law Firm, who has the experience and skill to fight this battle with you.
What are the Possible Penalties for a DWI in Kansas City?
If you have never experienced a DWI charge, or know anyone who has, the anxiety level can rise significantly just from not knowing the possible penalties. How many DWI’s you have in your history will play a role in what penalties can apply.
The following penalties are possible with your first DWI offense:
- Jail – up to 6 months
- Fine – up to $500
- License – driver’s license will be suspended for 30 days, and 60 more days of restriction
The following penalties are possible with your second DWI offense:
- Jail – up to 1 year
- Fine – up to $1,000
- License – driver’s license will be suspended for one year if no other DWI in last five years
- Longer Suspension – if you have another DWI in under five years, a 5-year suspension
- Ignition Interlock Device – installed on your vehicle, to prevent it from starting
The following penalties are possible with your third DWI offense:
- Jail – up to four years
- Fine – up to $5,000
- License – a 10-year suspension
- Ignition Interlock Device – Installed on your vehicle, to prevent it from starting
As you can see, the more DWI’s you have been charged with, the stiffer the penalty.
Are there any New Laws Regarding a Kansas City DWI?
Yes. Back in August of 2010, a new law went into effect. When it comes to DWI’s, the laws are often changing. So, it’s difficult to keep up with the current laws, which is a good reason to have someone who knows the law on your side. The relatively new law was in hopes of accomplishing the following:
- A reporting database was created, which helps to more efficiently track DWI offenses.
- Prevents a person with multiple DWI offenses from going through the municipal court to have their latest case heard.
- Treatment for repeat offenders, or offenders with an exceptionally high BAC level, are allowed through DWI Courts
- Defines the criteria for eligible offenders who graduate from a program, approved by a DWI Court, to obtain restricted driving rights.
- Bars a DWI offense from being expunged from a person’s record, if they have pending offenses relating to alcohol.
As mentioned above, the laws change and can be rather complicated to keep up with them, or fully understand their intent. If you have been charged with a DWI in Kansas City, call Cornerstone Law Firm, so they can make sure your rights are not abused.