Driving While Intoxicated or DWI is the charge in Missouri that compares to DUI (Driving Under the Influence). There is also a charge for Blood Alcohol Content or BAC. In Kansas City, the decision to get into your car and put the keys in the ignition is enough to put you at risk for DWI. It is possible to get a DWI if you are sitting still with the engine running or if you are in control of your vehicle when the engine is not running – like steering the vehicle downhill.
How Long Will I Have to Spend in Jail?
The mandatory length of time you will spend in jail depends on the number of times that you have faced a DWI charge before now. It also depends on the judge’s discretion. For a first offense, it is mandatory to spend two days in jail before probation is an option. Meanwhile, the sentence can be up to six months in jail.
The following are the guidelines for jail time as related to offenses after the first:
- Second Offense: For the second offense, mandatory jail time is 10 days. Following that period, if the individual agrees to participate in a court ordered program or perform community service, probation may be an option. Otherwise, jail time can be as long as one year in county jail.
- Third Offense: For the third offense, one year in county jail or up to four years in prison is the possible sentence. A court-order program or community service is still an option, and an individual who opts for one of these alternatives must only spend 30 days in prison before probation can be discussed.
- Fourth Offense: With the fourth offense, court-ordered programs and community service are not available to help cut down on time spent in jail. Instead, the individual must spend a minimum of 60 days in jail before becoming eligible for probation or parole. If you have three previous charges where you opted to plead guilty or were found guilty in court, then you are labeled an “Aggravated Offender.” The maximum sentence is seven years in prison, although one year in county jail is still an option at this point as well.
- Fifth Offense and beyond: At this stage, jail time is a mandatory two years before parole is an option. The full sentence for a fifth offense and beyond that is five to 15 years in prison.
What Fines Will I Have to Pay for my Kansas City DUI?
There are fines associated with DWI or DUI charges. As with most legal proceedings, court costs may be included in the fine or other required payments to the court in relation to the DWI charge that you face. These charges are broken down based on how many DUI offenses you have on your record.
First Offense: An individual with a first offense may face a fine of $500. However, court costs could be added, making the total owed up to $1,200 even for a first-time offense.
Second Offense: A second offense leads to as much as a $1,000 fine. There can be further costs added on in relation to court fees.
Third Offense: For a third offense, the potential fine jumps steeply, with the total possible at the $5,000 mark.
Fourth Offense: For a fourth offense, individuals may be saddled with up to a $5,000 fine.
Fifth Offense: There is no set amount of fine for a fifth offense and beyond. Instead, the prison time increases significantly. There will be costs and fines that are part of sentencing in cases at this level.
Can I Lose My License for DUI in Kansas City?
Driving with alcohol in your system and being charged for this law-breaking activity is enough to lose your license. According to Missouri Department of Motor Vehicle laws, the license suspension associated with the first offense of DWI is 90 days. As a first offense, the situation involves a mandatory 30-day suspension, with the possibility of limited driving privileges for the remaining 60 days.
For a second offense, you get one year’s suspension. Further offenses mean more time without a license. A third DWI leads to as long as five years without a license – if that conviction is within five years of the second DWI charge. Meanwhile, any offense beyond the third can lead to a license suspension of up to 10 years.
When a license is revoked, there are certain criteria to meet in order to have that license reinstated as well. That is in addition to all of the requirements that need to be met as part of court rulings on the DUI charge. The process must be started once the required period of suspension has ended, and it can take some time.
What If I’m Not 21 Years Old and Face DWI Charges?
There are specific charges for people who are not 21 and are found with any trace of alcohol in their system. These are called a Minor in Possession, or MIP, charge. Individuals can be charged if they are attempting to purchase alcohol, possess alcohol, are visibly intoxicated or if they are tested and found to have a BAC of .20 or higher. These charges would lead to two points on the individual’s license if the person was operating a vehicle. It also means a 30-day license suspension. Second charge results in a 90-day license suspension and third results in a license revocation of one year.
Each DUI situation provides some basic commonalities and some major differences. This is why it is important to consult a lawyer who is familiar with the process of handling a DWI case and the related evidence and witness procedures. This can make a big difference in how your case is handled and the sentence that you end up with as a result.
Consult with a DUI Defense Attorney in Kansas City
Call 816-224-9500 to schedule a consultation with the experienced lawyers at Hollingshead and Dudley. The proper handling of your DUI defense can be organized in no time.