Missouri has strict laws regarding DWI charges. If you are stopped because officers have probable reason to believe that you are driving a vehicle while intoxicated. There are two different sections of Missouri laws that oversee the arrest and driving privileges of drivers when they are driving with their blood alcohol content (BAC) level over the legal limit. These two different sections involve criminal law and administrative law.
Criminal law involves the issuance of the ticket involved in the matter. If you are convicted of an offense involving
alcohol, the court will send the conviction to the criminal law department. At that point, the proper points will be applied to your driver’s license. The points assessment might result in your driving privileges being revoked or suspended.
The administrative law department imposes separate penalties. As an example, if your BAC level was proven to be over the legal limit or you refuse to take the BAC test, you will face automatic revocation or suspension of your license. Even if the ticket gets disposed of by the court or the charges were reduced, you will face automatic suspension or revocation of driving privileges. You need an experienced Kansas City DWI trial lawyer fighting for you and working to help you keep your license and keep you out of jail.
What is a Kansas City Administrative Alcohol Arrest?
If you have been charged with a crime for driving with a BAC of .08 or higher, your alcohol offense will be processed both criminally and administratively. Minors who are arrested or pulled over for having a BAC of .020% or higher will also be subjected to administrative sanctions.
The following information will be completed by the arresting officer, who will send it to the Missouri Department of Revenue:
- Alcohol Influence Report (AIR)
- Missouri Uniform Complaint and Summons
- If applicable, a warrant
- Notice of Suspension/Revocation of Driving Privileges
- Temporary 15-Day Driving Permit if the license is taken
- Missouri Driver License if taken
How Does the Administrative Hearing Process Work in Missouri for DWI Charges?
According to Missouri law, you have 15 days from the Notice of Suspension/Revocation of Driving Privilege being issued to ask for an administrative hearing. If you request a hearing, the Department of Revenue will schedule it. This hearing might be done in person or by telephone. Usually, the administrative records are adequate to act as the testimony of the officer who made the arrest during the hearing. However, there might be instances where the arresting officer is served with a subpoena and asked to appear.
If necessary, you can ask for a continuance of a scheduled hearing. This continuance can be requested by calling the Administrative Hearings staff at (573) 751-2580. Your DWI attorney from Hollingshead and Dudley can handle these requests for you and will represent you at any hearings.
How is License Suspension or Revocation Handled in Kansas City?
Based on your previous five-year driving record, your driving privileges in Missouri are either revoked or suspended. If you have been convicted during the last five years or had your license suspended during that time for any traffic offense that is drug or alcohol related, you will have driving privileges revoked for a year. If you haven’t had a previous conviction or suspension you will have a 90-day suspension of driving privileges.
In the event that your license is suspended, you might be eligible to receive Restricted Driving Privileges (RDP). Your license suspension or revocation has an effective date either within 15 days following the arrest or 15 days following the mailing of the hearing decision from the Department of Revenue. If the administrative hearing upholds the suspension or revocation, you do have the right to petition the court for additional review. Your license is still revoked or suspended despite a circuit court review pending.
If during the review your arrest is upheld, any remaining time set for the original suspension or revocation must be served and you must still meet the requirements for reinstatement of your license. If the arrest is overturned, the revocation or suspension is canceled and the license is returned right away. To fight these charges, call on the DWI lawyers at Hollingshead and Dudley who have successfully helped hundreds of Kansas City drivers fight DWI charges in the local courts of law.
What if You Refuse to Take an Alcohol Test in Kansas City, Missouri?
Missouri has an implied consent law, which requires that you submit to an alcohol or drug testing if asked to do so by a law enforcement officer to do so. If you refuse to take the test, you will have driving privileges revoked for a year. The arresting officer typically serves the initial notice of refusal when you are arrested for declining the test. If you aren’t given notice by the arresting officer, the Department of Revenue will serve you with notice of the refusal by mail.
The arresting officer must complete and send the information to the Department of Revenue using what is called an Alcohol Influence Report. The officer will then take possession of any valid Missouri driver license possessed by the driver at the time of the infraction. If applicable, a 15-day permit will be issued. If you wish, you can file a petition for review in the circuit court of the county where you were arrested.
The court can issue a stay order, which allows you to continue driving until the case gets settled. If your arrest is upheld by the court, any remaining revocation time must be served, and you must meet the requirements to have your license reinstated. If your arrest is overturned, you will have your license returned, and the revocation will be canceled.
Dealing with Missouri DWI charges is a serious matter. You should not try to defend yourself. Instead, this complicated situation you need experienced legal counsel who can build an aggressive defense for you and help you fight the charges you are facing. If you are facing Kansas City DWI charges, call on the experienced team at Hollingshead and Dudley Trial Lawyers. Call our Kansas City office at (816) 224-9500 today to schedule your free case evaluation. We are ready to help you get back on track and back on the road.