What Is a Class B Misdemeanor DWI in Missouri?
Curious on what is a Class B Misdemeanor DWI in Missouri? Turn to Ozarks DWI Law Clinic as they will answer on all the questions and legal advice. Contact us today!
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DWI Class B Misdemeanors in Missouri
In Missouri, a first offense of driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a Class B misdemeanor under criminal law. It is an alcohol-related traffic offense.
Under MO DWI laws, Class B misdemeanors attract a maximum county jail sentence of up to 6 months and a maximum fine of $500 or both. This is a significantly lighter maximum sentence than for a Class A misdemeanor.
The chances of doing jail time for a Class B misdemeanor are not high, even if you plead guilty. Since it is a DWI first offense, avoiding a conviction or having the charge reduced without going to trial is possible.
It is often possible to secure probation to avoid trial. The benefit of probation is that the DWI is not recorded against your driver’s license.
In the case of a Class B misdemeanor, you are unlikely to receive a jail sentence since it is your first offense. In any case, it may be prudent to seek the help of a qualified and experienced DWI lawyer. This could increase your chances of escaping with a light penalty or even none at all. Your case’s outcome will, however, depend on your attorney’s skill level and the facts of your case.
Let’s consider more closely what a Class B DWI misdemeanor is and how it should be handled.
Missouri DWI Laws 101
Missouri does not take kindly to driving in an intoxicated or drugged condition. Hence, drunk or drugged drivers are strictly punished in Missouri.
If a Missouri law enforcement officer suspects you are driving while intoxicated, they can pull you over. They can ask you to take a breathalyzer to measure your blood alcohol concentration (BAC). If you have excessive blood alcohol content higher than the prescribed legal limit, you can be arrested and charged with DWI.
Missouri has an implied consent law that deems all drivers on Missouri roads to have implicitly consented to these tests. In terms of the law, drivers have implicitly consented to tests being conducted on their blood, breath, saliva, or urine to determine the alcohol or drug content of the person’s blood. If you refuse a blood or breath test, your driving license will be automatically revoked for a year.
Class B Misdemeanor DWI Penalties
The penalty for DWI can be severe.
Class B misdemeanors attract a maximum jail sentence of up to 6 months. The jail period increases with prior DWI convictions for any subsequent offense.
The DWI court can levy fines of up to $500. Additionally, you will be required to pay court costs, which must be paid after your court case.
Probation is typically the most likely outcome for most first-time DWI cases. However, it is imposed at the discretion of the judge. You can be given 2 years of probation, or a court may order an alternative substance abuse treatment program.
The offender’s vehicle can also be ordered to have an ignition interlock device installed. When this happens, the driver blows into the device before the engine can be started. If alcohol is detected, it will not start.
Administrative Penalties and Drivers License Suspension
In Missouri, a person’s driving privileges are automatically suspended for 90 days when they commit a first DWI offense. You can request a restricted driving privilege by agreeing to have an IID installed on your vehicle.
This is separate from the criminal charge and is a civil matter.
Opportunity Costs of DWI Convictions
A DWI is an embarrassing event. It can have consequences in your life. You will be asked to disclose your DWI:
On joining the military
On obtaining a professional license
When applying for a gun license
On applying to become a law enforcement officer
When applying for college
Your DWI conviction could result in a denial of all those opportunities. In addition, your DWI conviction may prevent you from traveling internationally and even prevent you from applying for loans.
BAC Limits and Zero Tolerance Laws in Missouri
In the case of 0.08% BAC, no further evidence of impairment is required for your conviction of DWI. This is known as a “per se” BAC limit.
If your BAC is between 0.08 and 0.15%, there is a more severe penalty.
An aggravated DWI is applied when the BAC is 0.15% or higher. Such an offender is referred to as an aggravated offender.
You may be charged with DWI if your BAC reading is less than 0.02% if you’re under 21. This type of policy is known as a “zero tolerance law.”
Can You Get a Class B Misdemeanor Removed From Your Record?
A Class B misdemeanor stays on your Missouri driver record for ten years after your first offense. After this period, it is possible to have it removed.
To be eligible for removal, you must not have been convicted of any other alcohol-related driving offense since the first offense in Missouri or any other State.
Expungement restores your legal status to what it was before the event. As a result, you will be treated as if you had never committed the offense in the first place. If your DWI is deleted, you will not be required to report it, and it will not appear on criminal background checks.
How Ozarks DWI Law Clinic Can Assist You
People often believe they will never need the services of a DWI lawyer, but accidents happen. Many clients have accidentally had too many drinks or driven while slightly impaired due to taking cold or flu medication.
Although you may feel as if you have done nothing wrong, DWI charges must always be taken seriously. A conviction for DWI in Missouri can result in a fine, the loss of your license, probation, and even prison time. In addition, having a DWI on your criminal record could affect your career and housing prospects.
You will likely see a better outcome if you hire a DWI lawyer from the Ozarks DWI Law Clinic.
Our team of DWI lawyers has made the DWI court their home. DWI defense is what we do, and we are alive to all the nuances of DWI laws in Missouri. We will always protect your rights in a DWI case and for the best possible outcome.
We can help you with Missouri first-offense DWI charges or any other common traffic violations. We believe in tireless advocacy for our clients. Schedule a consultation with an experienced DWI attorney today!