Proven Kansas City Lawyer Assists Motorists Accused of Drunk Driving
Missouri firm handles cases involving allegedly intoxicated vehicle operators
Before you know it, an accusation that you’ve been driving drunk can lead to a fine, put your driver’s license in jeopardy and maybe even land you in jail. I am a strong advocate for northwest Missouri clients who are being prosecuted for Driving While Intoxicated. From the first meeting through the resolution of your case, I will make sure you understand the applicable legal standards and fight to prevent an unfair outcome.
Understanding Missouri’s DWI laws
Throughout the Kansas City area, my firm offers knowledgeable guidance on the laws concerning:
- Legal intoxication — Most Missouri drivers are considered legally intoxicated if their blood-alcohol concentration is .08-percent or higher. However, drivers of commercial vehicles (.04-percent) and those under the age of 21 (.02-percent) have stricter standards.
- Felony DWI — Aggravated drunk driving offenders who have caused a serious physical injury in an accident can face a Class D felony charge even if they have never been found guilty of DWI previously.
- Driving under the influence of drugs — Though a Driving Under the Influence of Drugs count carries the same penalties as DUI, these cases can be more difficult to defend. Unlike with alcohol, you cannot drive with any detectable controlled substance in your system that causes impairment.
Even if you think the evidence weighs heavily against you, I will make every effort to minimize the sentence you face by challenging the state at trial or negotiating a favorable plea bargain.
Defending Missouri drivers against a wide range of DWI charges
Drawing on decades of litigating matters relating to drunk driving and other traffic violations, I am a skillful defender of my clients’ rights. There is tremendous pressure to prevent people from driving under the influence and that can lead to police stops that lack proper legal grounds. Failure to use best practices when administering and handling tests can also result in tainted evidence. I know where law enforcement errors frequently occur and thoroughly investigate each relevant fact to counter the allegations against my clients.
Penalties for DWI offenses in Missouri
In most cases, a first DWI offense carries several different types of punishment. You could be put in jail for up to six months and forced to pay as much as $1,000 in fines. There is also a 30-day driver’s license suspension followed by a 60-day restricted period where you might be required to use an ignition interlock device that prevents you from starting your car unless you’re sober. Understanding how important driving is to our daily routine, Missouri does grant Limited Driving Privilege orders that give individuals the chance to use their car to go to work, school, medical appointments and substance abuse treatment.
Have you been charged with a repeat DWI?
Once someone has been convicted of drunk driving, they face severe penalties if they are found guilty again on the same charge within five years. A second DWI is a Class A misdemeanor that could trigger a jail term lasting up to a year. After that, a third conviction within a five-year period is prosecuted as a felony. Every drunk-driving allegation should be taken seriously, but if you’re at risk of becoming a multiple offender, retaining a seasoned DWI defense lawyer is even more important.
Attorney outlines punishment for Breathalyzer test refusal
You cannot escape punishment by refusing to take a sobriety test once you’ve been stopped by a police officer. According to the principle of implied consent, driving on a Missouri road means you’ve agreed to take a Breathalyzer or blood test upon request. Failing to do so results in a one-year loss of driving privileges, and possibly other sanctions, even if you are not intoxicated. Furthermore, you can also be prosecuted for DWI based on other evidence.
Defending against a charge of driving while your license is suspended
Driving while your license is suspended or revoked due to a DWI or some other reason can make your existing problems much worse. If you’ve been charged for operating a vehicle without the proper authorization, I have more than 35 years of experience assisting clients in this situation and can help you break the cycle of fines and other penalties. You might even face jail time if the problem is not remedied, so it’s important to act promptly in order to avoid unnecessary punishment and get back on the road.
Contact a proven Missouri DWI defense attorney to schedule a free consultation
Howard L. Lotven, P.C. in Kansas City advocates on behalf of Missouri motorists who have been charged with Driving While Intoxicated and traffic-related offenses. For a free consultation regarding your case, please call 816-295-6822 or contact me online.