How Receiving a DWI Charge Can Change Your Life

When you are pulled over for drunk driving, it can be a terrifying experience with a lot of unknowns. If you have not been around the law, especially concerning a DWI, then you may have a lot of concern about what your future holds. This post will discuss the process from start to finish after being charged with a DWI in Springfield.


To begin, an officer will pull you over if they have any reason to establish probable cause that you, as a driver, are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The officer must have probable cause in order to pull you over for a DWI. Probable cause has to be more than a hunch. It has to be a reasonable belief that the driver is under the influence of some substance. This probable cause could come in the form of running a light, driving erratically, or seeing open alcohol bottles in the vehicle, just to name a few.

There is a legal blood alcohol limit in the state of Missouri. If you are over this limit, you can be arrested. The limit in Missouri is stated as the following by the Missouri DMV:

  • 0.08% or more for an adult.
  • 0.04% or more in a commercial vehicle.
  • 0.02% or more, if you are a minor.

Falling under any of these categories, can land you in jail and tag you with a charge on your record for a long time. The Missouri DMV also points out that in some situations you can still be charged with a DWI if you are under these limits depending on the situation. Being arrested and dragged into the police station is not a pleasant experience, it should be avoided at all costs. There are simple precautions that can be taken to avoid being charged with a DWI in Springfield.

The Court Process When You are in Springfield Charged with a DWI

Charged with a DWI in Springfield

If you are charged with a DWI in Springfield, it can bring with it two separate sections of Missouri law. Criminal law and administrative law can govern a DWI charge in Missouri. Criminal law will deal with any ticket that is issued. It will also govern the point process that is used in Missouri for receiving a DWI. Administrative law will deal with a suspension of your driver’s license that is separate from a criminal charge, if your blood alcohol content is over the legal limit.

When you are arrested you will be given a summons if you are charged with a DWI, this will tell you when and where you will have to appear in court to discuss your DWI. This can be a very difficult time of your life because your mistakes are brought before a lot of people and eventually the judge. Having experienced lawyers, like those at DWI Springfield, can make this a more tolerable experience.

An experienced lawyer is an important asset in the court system after being charged with a DWI. Often, pleading innocent in court can make a path for video evidence to come in and show you were in fact intoxicated. During these situations it would be helpful to have an attorney that can argue your case and give you the advise that you need after be charged with a DWI in Springfield.

What are the penalties after being charged with a DWI?

The penalties can be harsh and swift after being charged with a DWI in Springfield. Depending on how many times you have been charged before, the vehicle you are driving, and your age, the penalties will vary. The Missouri Department of Revenue has said, “A first-time DWI or BAC conviction results in a 90-day suspension.” The Missouri Department of Revenue also states the following:

  • If you are convicted of a second intoxication-related traffic offense, regardless of the length of time between convictions, you will normally receive a 1-year revocation for accumulation of points.
  • If you are convicted a second time for an alcohol- or drug-related offense within a five-year period, you may also receive a 5-year license denial.
  • If you are convicted three or more times of an intoxication-related traffic offense, you will receive a 10-year license denial.

So far, these are only penalties that would cause you to lose your driver’s license. There are other penalties that can be worse. Usually, if charged with a DWI in Springfield, you will have to pay a fine. The Missouri DMV states that there will be a maximum fine of $500, up to six months imprisonment, and a treatment program. These penalties are subject to change depending on how many convictions you have had.

In addition to the penalties that are spelled out in the law, there will be other consequences that follow. Usually, being charged with a DWI in Springfield will cause your insurance to increase. Monthly you will feel the effect of your DWI in your increased insurance payments. Another unforeseen consequence is having this charge attached to your record for many years.

How long does a conviction stay on a record?

Being charged with a DWI in Springfield, can bring many consequences. After being charged, you may have problems landing a job because of your record or you could have potential difficulties with anything that requires a background check. It can truly alter the rest of your life and livelihood. However, many people wonder how long these convictions stay on a record and whether or not they can be removed early.

Missouri Statute § 577.054 discusses expungement of a DWI charge in Missouri. It is possible to remove a DWI charge, but it cannot be done unless 10 years have passed from the time of the incident. This 10 year limit is for individuals who have only had one conviction and were not driving a commercial vehicle. So, if you have had more than one incident in the 10 year period, you will not be allowed to file for expungement. Thus, expungement is possible, but in limited circumstances. Even this opportunity to expunge your record, will take at least 10 years. That is a long time.

It is important to have experienced attorneys in this field that can help you in the DWI process from beginning to end. DWI Springfield has the experience to help you move on from your mistake and start a new chapter. This wisdom can calm your nerves while you are standing in front of the judge making your arguments or seeking to expunge your record. Either way it is important to have someone who wants to protect your rights and your future.

For more information Contact DWI Springfield.