When to Hire a DWI Defense Attorney
Most residents of major metropolitan areas only need to worry about knowing one state’s laws. However, the lucky residents of Kansas City must be familiar with the laws of two different states: Missouri and Kansas. To make matters more complicated, the most common form of transportation in the Kansas City area is the automobile. That means drivers need to know two separate driving codes each time they get behind the wheel.
It also means that lawyers need to be familiar with each state’s DUI and DWI laws. While Kansas uses the term DUI (driving under the influence) to describe drunk driving, Missouri refers to these crimes as DWIs (driving while intoxicated). There are some similarities between these crimes in each state. For example, both states set the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit at .08 percent. However, each state prescribes different punishments to offenders who commit these crimes.
While this page outlines some of the key differences between how each state handles drunk driving charges, the only way to get answers for your individual situation is to call a lawyer. They will be able to properly analyze your circumstances and walk you through your options. Additionally, hiring a lawyer to represent you in a DUI or DWI case can significantly increase your chances of clearing your name. However, it’s important to act quickly if the state accuses you of driving drunk. If you drag your feet and miss any mandatory deadlines, the court may find you guilty by default. If you would like to speak directly to a lawyer familiar with your local laws, get in touch with attorney Jeff Jarrett today.
How to Fight Drunk Driving Charges
In Missouri, if the state finds you guilty of even a single DWI, the state may assess 12 points to your license. That means that the DMV can revoke your driving privileges if it finds you guilty of just one DWI. Additionally, if you fail or refuse a breathalyzer test, the state may revoke your license if you don’t reply to your charges in a timely manner.
The court may also charge you with additional penalties. These include:
- First offense: six months in jail and fines up to $500, license suspension for 30 days.
- Second offense: one year in jail, $1,000 in fines, license suspension up to five years. You’ll also need a mandatory ignition interlock device (IID) to prevent a driver from starting their car while drunk.
- Third offense: up to four years in jail, $5,000 in fines, license suspension up to 10 years, and mandatory IID installation.
While penalties are similar in Kansas, they are not the same. In Kansas, a DUI will earn a driver even more severe penalties than one in Missouri. These include:
- First offense: up to six months in jail or 100 hours of community service, $1,000 in fines, and suspended driving privileges for up to 12 months.
- Second offense: up to a year in jail and $1750 in fines. One year of license suspension, followed by one year of driving with a mandatory IID.
- Third offense: depending on your prior criminal record, you could receive up to a year in jail. Additional penalties include $2,500 in fines and driving privileges revoked for a year with a mandatory year of IID.
If you’re facing a DUI or DWI charge in either of these states, it’s time to lawyer up. Getting arrested for a DUI is frightening, no one wants to face jail time and license penalties. Convictions can lead to long-term consequences, which is why it is important to reach out to a trusted attorney. Attorney Jeff Jarrett will help you act fast and smart for your case. After evaluating your situation, he will help you determine the best course of action.
If you need a traffic lawyer to help you fight for your rights in a DUI or DWI case, call Jeff. He’s helped clients in the Kansas City, MO, area and its surroundings fight against drunk driving charges since 1985. That background has given him the experience you’ll need to defend your rights in court. Put your trust in him and his solid reputation in the community. If you need help, don’t wait – call attorney Jeff Jarrett today for a free consultation. He will answer your questions, guide you through this difficult situation and build a strong defense.