Columbia DWI Lawyer

Finding an attorney willing to fight for the best possible outcome for your DWI case is the first step to getting on the right path after your arrest. Frankly, an intoxicated driving arrest can be very disconcerting, and you’ll want someone on your side fighting for you.

An experienced Columbia DWI lawyer could apply his knowledge and expertise to help you navigate the daunting legal path ahead of you. Your financial stability, ability to get and maintain a job, and reputation are all at stake following a DUI arrest—contact an experienced criminal defense attorney today to start fighting for your favorable outcome.

Misdemeanor Driving While Intoxicated Offense

Your first and second DWI offense will typically be charged as misdemeanors. You can be arrested for a misdemeanor DUI offense if you are pulled over with the following conditions:

  • A blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or more
  • A blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .02 percent or more if you are under 21 years of age
  • A law enforcement officer determines your ability to drive is impaired due to drugs and/or alcohol

Your first offense is charged as a Class B Misdemeanor, which carries a maximum penalty of up to six months in jail, a fine up to $500, a 90-day license suspension, and may require you to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in order for you to operate your vehicle.

Your second offense is generally charged as a Class A Misdemeanor—a more severe charge than a Class B Misdemeanor—and can result in up to a year in jail, a fine up to $1,000, a license suspension ranging from one to five years, and an ignition interlock device (IID) for a hardship license or license reinstatement.

A misdemeanor charge still has the potential to show up on a background check. You will want a well-trained local DUI attorney defending your case.

Felony DWI Charges in Columbia

Each case varies depending on the facts and circumstances of the case, but your third DWI offense is usually considered a Class E Felony. Upon your third offense, you are categorized as a “persistent offender,” and instead of being charged with a misdemeanor, you will be charged with a felony. Subsequent intoxicated driving arrests will result in more severe felony charges.

Additionally, an individual can be charged with Felony DUI before their third offense if they are found to be criminally negligent or caused the injury or death of another individual while operating a vehicle under the influence. A Class E Felony can be punishable by:

  • Up to four years of incarceration
  • A maximum fine of $10,000
  • Community service
  • A 10-year license denial

Facing a felony DWI charge is a very serious matter. Your freedom, financial stability, ability to get and maintain a job, and reputation are all at stake following a felony intoxicated driving arrest. Getting the right legal help is imperative for exploring all the legal options of your case. Contact a lawyer in the area to have access to the legal knowledge and skills you need to advance your interests after a felony DWI charge.

What Are the Consequences of My DUI Arrest?

Drivers in Columbia exercise their driving privileges under an “Implied Consent” law. Under State law, implied consent means that all drivers have automatically agreed to submit a blood, breath, urine, or saliva test if pulled over for a DWI offense. These tests are used by law enforcement officers to determine an individual’s ability to drive and, if refused, will result in an automatic one-year license revocation. If you do not refuse the blood, breath, urine, or saliva test and are subsequently charged with intoxicated driving, here is what you might expect:

  • First Offense: six months of jail time, a maximum fine of $500, and a 90-day license suspension. Cases vary depending on different circumstances, but generally speaking, a first DUI offense is charged as a misdemeanor. After successfully completing the 90-day license suspension, the Missouri Department of Revenue may require you to install an ignition interlock device (IID) to start your car. An IID works as a self-administered breathalyzer test that is required to start your car. An attorney could work to ensure you achieve a favorable outcome on your case.
  • Second Offense: up to one year in jail, a maximum fine of $1,000, a license suspension ranging from one to five years, and an IID for a hardship license and to get reinstated. A hardship license restores limited driving privileges for qualifying individuals who have had their license suspended. As one can see, the penalties intensify for second-time offenders. You do not want to face such severe penalties alone without the help of a skilled DWI lawyer.
  • Third Offense: up to four years in prison, a maximum fine of $5,000, a 10-year license suspension, and an IID for a hardship license and license reinstatement. After your third arrest, you are known in the state of Missouri as a repeat offender. If you find yourself in this situation, you will surely want an experienced attorney capable of fighting for the most favorable outcome on your side.

How Might an Experienced Columbia DWI Attorney Help You?

Missouri has harsh penalties for all DUI offenders. You do not want to face these consequences without the help from a knowledgeable attorney with a background in intoxicated driving defense. If you are facing these consequences, get in touch with a Columbia DWI lawyer as soon as possible.

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