SHOULD I GET A LAWYER IF I GET A DWI/DUI?
There are times when you are out in the bars at night and you have probably had too much to drink. In that circumstance, you may make a mistake and get stopped by one of our city's finest for a DUI. In a prior article, I gave you some tips that you might find helpful if you are stopped for a DUI. You should read that article if you haven't already. These tips apply throughout the year, but you may find them helpful this holiday season if this unfortunate circumstance happens to you. This article will show you why you should hire an attorney for your DUI charge.
The Most Common Misconception about DUI/DWI Charges
Many people think that a DUI or DWI isn't any big deal. They procrastinate and put off dealing with it. That is a big mistake. It is a big deal and you need to act quickly to protect your rights.
In most DUI cases, you will be met with two issues.
First, you will receive a traffic ticket for DUI and perhaps other companion tickets for a court appearance in state or municipal court. Keep the ticket or tickets. Write down your court date or put it in your phone. Hire an attorney as quickly as possible so the attorney can begin to work on our case and get all of the police reports and videos regarding the case. Most police departments now have in-car videos and in-station videos regarding your case. But they don't keep these videos forever. You should act quickly so your attorney can get all police reports and videos on your case before the videos are destroyed.
Second, if you take the breath test and you test .08% or more or if you refuse to take the breath test, you will be met with an administrative action taken by the Missouri Department of Revenue against your Missouri driver's license or your privilege to drive in Missouri.
If you take the breath test and you test .08% or more, your Missouri driver's license and privilege to drive will be administratively suspended. The suspension will be for 30 days outright with no ability to drive and then for 60 days where you will receive a limited privilege to drive under certain limited circumstances. You can challenge this suspension by requesting a hearing, but you must do so within 15 days of your arrest.
You must request your hearing before the Department of Revenue. It is an administrative hearing. You will receive a permit to drive on when you get arrested, but it is a 15-day permit. If you request your hearing in a timely manner, you will get another permit to drive on. You must act within this 15-day period to request your hearing. This time period cannot be extended under any circumstances.
There is absolutely no exception to this 15-day time period to request your hearing. If you aren't timely in requesting the administrative hearing, you are out of luck and will need to eat the suspension of your driver's license and driving privilege as I discussed above.
Refusing To Test
If you refuse to take the breath test or to have your blood drawn, your Missouri driver's license and driving privilege will be revoked for a period of one year. Of that one year, 90 days of that time period will be a period where you can't drive under any circumstances. After that 90-day period, you can apply for and obtain a limited privilege to drive on under limited circumstances for the last nine months of that one year revocation period.
You have 30 days after your arrest to challenge the refusal to test. During that time period, you will receive a permit to drive on. You must request your hearing by filing the right paperwork in a court. It is a hearing held in court and not in front of the Department of Revenue.
If you ask for a hearing in a timely manner on your refusal, you can ask the court for and receive a court order to drive on without restriction, so long as this is your first DUI case and you don't have a CDL. If you aren't timely in asking for your hearing, again, like above with the administrative alcohol suspensions for testing .08% or more, you are out of luck. There are no exceptions here. Again, you must be timely in requesting your hearing or you are out of luck.
Advice from a Raytown DWI/DUI Defense Attorney
You absolutely need an attorney if you are charged with DUI. Don't put off hiring an attorney, or you may live to regret it.