In Missouri, it is against the law to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DWI). If you have been charged with a DWI because you made a careless mistake, you should take appropriate measures to make sure the charges against you don’t become a criminal conviction.
Read on to learn more about the top 3 things you should do after being arrested and charged for an DWI in St. Louis.
1. Contact a St. Louis DWI Attorney
If you are charged with a DWI in St. Louis, you should contact a drunk driving attorney for a case review before subjecting yourself to a criminal investigation conducted by law enforcement officials. A DWI attorney, such as myself, will provide you with legal counsel and guidance on how you can defend the charges asserted against you.
Warning – you should never talk to the police without your attorney being present. You do not want any of your statements to be used against you in the court of law.
2. Contact the Missouri Department of Revenue
You will need to contact the Missouri Department of Revenue immediately following your drunk driving arrest or conviction. You will have 15 days from your receipt of Notice of Suspension/Revocation to request an administrative hearing under the Administrative Alcohol Law.
Under Missouri law, there are two separate sections that govern the suspension or revocation of a person’s driver’s license if he or she is arrested for driving while under the influence of alcohol.
1. Criminal Alcohol Law
Under the criminal alcohol law, a person’s driving record will receive points if convicted of an alcohol offense. Additionally, a driver’s license may be suspended or revoked if a person obtains an accumulation of points.
There is no hearing process under the criminal alcohol law. A first time DWI conviction will result in a 90-day suspension.
2. Administrative Alcohol Law
Your driver’s license will be automatically suspended or revoked if you are convicted of a DWI and your blood alcohol content level is over the legal limit.
There is a formal hearing process under the administrative alcohol law. The arresting officer will send the following information to the Department of Revenue:
- Alcohol Influence Report Form;
- Missouri Uniform Complaint and Summons ;
- Notice of Suspension/Revocation of Driving Privilege and Temporary 13-Day Driving Permit ; and
- Missouri Driver License, if secured.
You should obtain legal counsel to attend the hearing. The evidence against you will be reviewed by the administrative law judge. A DWI attorney, such as myself, will contest the evidence and present facts that support your defense.
3. Do Not Discuss the Case
Do not discuss your case with anyone except your attorney. It is best to not discuss the pending charges asserted against you with family members and friends. The prosecutor may compel such individuals to testify against you if they obtain incriminating information.
Contact St. Louis DWI attorney Raphael Morris for a case evaluation if you have been arrested and charged for a DWI in Missouri.