Cass County DUI Lawyer
Driving while intoxicated (DWI), sometimes referred to as DUI, is illegal behavior in the state of Missouri, and you could face some serious penalties if convicted. For instance, you could lose your license, spend time in jail, be placed on probation, or be ordered to pay expensive fines.
Being charged with a DWI is frightening, but help is out there. A DWI attorney can help you face down your charge and guide you through the criminal court system. We can help you understand your rights, understand the penalties of a conviction, and represent you in court hearings.
If you are worried about a DWI charge going on your record, a drunk driving lawyer can help.
What Can a DWI Lawyer Do?
After you’ve been charged with a DWI, you should contact a DWI defense attorney right away. They can help you avoid saying or doing something that could jeopardize your case. You have rights, and your lawyer can educate you about what those rights are. For starters, you have the right to a fair defense. You may be able to avoid a conviction, and defenses are out there. You don’t have to sign the first plea agreement that comes your way, and you should talk to a lawyer before signing one.
Here are some defenses that could be used when you’ve been charged with a DWI:
- Illegal stop
- Police procedural errors
- Your rights were violated during the arrest
- Mistaken identity
- Mistake of fact
- Not enough evidence to convict
- Chain of custody issues involving specimens
Penalties You Could Face if Convicted of a DWI in Missouri
DUI charges should be taken seriously because they come with some pretty severe penalties (Missouri Department of Revenue).
- A first-time DWI offense conviction will result in a 90-day license suspension. You could also be placed on probation, be ordered to pay fines and complete community service, and be ordered to complete a substance abuse treatment class.
- Subsequent DWI convictions come with harsher penalties, which could include jail time, prison time, loss of your driver’s license or revocation of your driving privileges, and more.
Don’t make the mistake of failing to take your charge seriously because you could face severe consequences.
A DWI Conviction’s Impact on Your Life
In addition to the legal penalties you will face if convicted, a DUI conviction has other effects on your life.
- You could lose your job or have difficulty securing a job due to your criminal record.
- You could be forced to install an ignition interlock device in your car, and your driving record could be negatively impacted.
- Friends may look at you differently, and your family could go through hardships.
- You could also be financially impacted due to hefty fines and the loss of a job.
- Your mental health could suffer, and your quality of life could decline.
- Other legal problems could follow if you don’t fulfill court obligations or pay off your court fines.
What Is the Process Like After Being Charged With a DWI?
Criminal charges are followed by what can be a lengthy legal process. The process begins after an arrest and formal charges are filed by the prosecution. You will either be taken into custody or issued a subpoena to attend court at a specific date and time. If you have a lawyer, they can represent you during these hearings to help you achieve the best possible outcome.
Hearings could be followed by either:
- A dismissal of charges
- Additional hearings
- Plea agreement negotiations
- A trial
If you and your lawyer decide it’s in your best interest to sign a plea agreement, your attorney will work to get you the best possible deal. If taking your case to trial is a better option, your attorney will prepare you and your case for trial.
The trial process includes various steps, such as opening statements, witness statements, presentation of evidence, cross-examination, closing statements, verdict, and sentencing if applicable.
Going to court can be scary, but it is the right step in some cases. For other DUI cases, the right step could be a plea agreement. Your lawyer will examine every aspect of your case to help you determine the best course of action for you. Talk to a DUI lawyer now for help with a Missouri DUI case.
A Criminal Defense Lawyer in Cass County Can Help
Don’t despair if you have been charged with a DUI/DWI in Cass County. A criminal defense attorney at our firm can build a DUI defense case on your behalf, working to get you a positive case outcome. Clayton A. Jones is a DUI attorney who has handled countless DWI cases and is happy to fight for you. A public defender doesn’t have the time or resources to do justice to your case and will not likely be able to fight as hard to keep a DUI conviction off your record.
Our law firm offers a free case consultation to those who reach out, so learn more about how we can help you with your legal problems by giving us a call now.