Getting arrested for an alleged drunk driving offense in Missouri can mean a lot of challenges. Depending on your driving record, the consequences involved could include jail time, fines and the suspension of your driver’s license.
The criminal penalties for a driving while intoxicated (DWI) offense in Missouri are certainly not something you want to ignore. However, pleading guilty right away just to minimize those consequences isn’t the right strategy either.
Many of the most significant consequences associated with a DWI will not come directly from the courts but rather from the secondary consequences of a conviction.
A DWI offense will impact your career
If you have any driving required as part of your job, then obviously losing your license over a DWI will affect your work. Your employer will need to know about the charge right away, especially if driving is a major part of your daily work.
Even if you never have to drive while on the clock, you could still suffer negative consequences from losing your license. It may be cost-prohibitive to use rideshare services or taxis, and public transportation may not be reliable enough for you to make it to work on time every day.
Even if you don’t have transportation issues, your profession could be at risk. There are 42 different professional licensing boards in Missouri. They oversee industries including real estate, medicine and insurance. Someone could make a complaint to the regulatory board that governs your profession and potentially initiate an investigation that costs you your professional license because of your criminal charges. The charge could also come up when you try to renew your license, causing issues.
A criminal record limits your life in numerous ways
When you plead guilty or get convicted in court, a criminal record will affect every part of your life for many years to come. Your conviction might affect what jobs you can get in the future. It might prevent you from continuing your education or qualifying for a scholarship. Your criminal record might also affect whether you can get a good job or where you can live.
Fighting back against a DWI charge can help you avoid those devastating secondary consequences.