While Missouri law takes all driving while intoxicated charges seriously, the penalties for first-time offenders are more lenient than those for second offenses and above. Once you receive a second, or further, charge, the law may impose steeper penalties that come with additional consequences.
Multiple charges can lead to high fines and jail time, which can seriously impact your future.
Penalties of a second DWI in Missouri
Driving while intoxicated falls under two different sections of Missouri law: criminal law and administrative law. Therefore, you are subject to both criminal charges and administrative charges. One example of an administrative penalty is suspension of your driver’s license. For a first DWI offense, this can be for up to 90 days, but once you receive a second DWI, the suspension can go up to one year. If the second charge was within five years of the first charge, the DMW may cancel your driver’s license for up to five years.
Criminal penalties are also harsher when it comes to your second DWI in Missouri. If you already have a prior DWI conviction on your record, you must serve a minimum of 10 days in jail for your second DWI. Penalties are also dependent on how high your blood alcohol content was at the time of arrest. Higher BAC levels bring higher penalties.
Penalties of third and more DWIs in Missouri
As the number of DWIs increase, the penalties subsequently increase. In Missouri, you may face felony charges for DWI if you have multiple convictions. If the courts convict you of a DWI three or more times, you will receive a 10-year license denial. Without being able to drive for an entire decade, you can face severe hardship in terms of maintaining steady employment.
If you are facing multiple DWI offenses in Missouri, ensure you understand your rights under the law and the potential consequences you face. A strategic DWI defense can help you to mitigate the penalties from your DWI charges and give you the best possible chance for a better future.