Missouri Court Records

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What is a DWI in Missouri?

Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) is a criminal traffic offense in Missouri. If an individual is operating a vehicle or in control of it, the state’s DWI laws prohibit them from taking alcohol and other forms of intoxicants. Individuals issued a traffic ticket will appear before a state court. The Missouri Department of Revenue (DOR) also penalizes DWI violations.

What happens When You Get a DWI for the First Time in Missouri?

In Missouri, getting a DWI for the first time is a Class B misdemeanor. Law officers use the blood alcohol content (BAC) of drivers to determine if they violate DWI laws. Upon a first DWI conviction, offenders can pay a $1000 fine and face an incarceration sentence of six months. The court notifies the DOR of DWI convictions, and penalties, including the withdrawal of driving privileges and points assessment, are passed. Driving privileges are usually suspended for up to a month and restricted for a subsequent period of two months. Drivers can challenge DWI criminal charges in court if they feel unfairly booked. Individuals can also request an administrative hearing for sanctions by the DOR within fifteen days of the suspension of their driving privileges.

How Likely is Jail Time After a First DWI in Missouri?

DWI convictions in Missouri are very likely to result in jail time for the offending drivers. First DWI conviction is a Class B misdemeanor crime. If found guilty in court, defendants face up to half a year in jail.

What are the Typical Penalties for a DWI Conviction in Missouri?

Penalties that drivers who violate the Missouri DWI laws may face include:

Incarceration: Since DWI is a criminal violation, the court sentences offenders to jail. However, jail time could be longer for drivers with multiple DWI convictions. A first DWI warrant a jail sentence of up to half a year, while another violation within five years results in jail time of a year. The court can sentence persons with a third DWI conviction for a maximum of four years.

Payment of Fines: The court can order drivers guilty of DWI violations to pay fines. The amount paid usually increases with subsequent convictions. A first offense may result in the payment of $1000. The second offense attracts a $2000 fine while a third DWI conviction attracts payment of up to $10000.

Suspension/Revocation of License: The Department of Revenue can withdraw or restrict the driving privileges of persons that commit DWI. The DOR suspends a license for thirty days for first-time offenders then issues them with a restricted license for the following sixty days. However, subsequent offenses result in revocation. The DOR revokes license for five years after a second DWI. A third DWI will warrant a ten-year license revocation.

Ignition Interlock Device (IID): The court usually orders the installation of IID in the vehicle of persons that violate DWI laws. The device prevents offenders from operating the car if their BAC is above the state limit. This penalty is usually a condition of restricted license for a first offense. Drivers with multiple DWI convictions will have the IID installed in their car for at least six months.

Points Assessment: Each traffic violation has a point value assigned to it. The points reflect on an offender’s driving record. The first conviction of driving while intoxicated warrants eight points, while repeat offenses are penalized with twelve points.

How Long Does a DWI Stay on Your Record in Missouri?

In Missouri, DWI convictions stay on an offender’s record for ten years. After ten years, Drivers can expunge DWI from their records. However, both the court and the Department of Revenue may manage such records but make them unavailable to the general public. To be eligible for expungement, the DWI conviction must be over ten years, and it must be a misdemeanor violation. Eligible individuals must also have no other alcohol-related convictions.

Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching simpler, as they are not limited by geographic location, and search engines on these sites may help when starting a search for a specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must provide:

  • The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile
  • The location or assumed location of the record or person involved. This includes information such as the city, county, or state that person resides in or was accused in.

Third-party sites are independent from government sources, and are not sponsored by these government agencies. Because of this, record availability on third-party sites may vary.

How do I Find DWI Checkpoints in Missouri?

DWI checkpoints are legal in the State of Missouri. Law enforcement officers can set up random roadblocks to subject drivers to a sobriety test and arrest those that violate the DWI laws. There is implied consent to the sobriety tests, and all drivers are mandated to participate. Failure to test will result in apprehension by the law enforcement officer.

What is an Aggravated DWI in Missouri?

An aggravated DWI in Missouri is a class D felony. Some factors can result in harsher penalties and change a regular DWI violation to an aggravated DWI. Following RSMO §577.023, such aggravating factors are:

  • Having three or more alcohol-related traffic violations
  • Having an excessive BAC more than the regular limit
  • If the DWI incident involves an accident that caused serious bodily injuries or death
  • Reckless driving
  • Carrying of a minor commuter at the time of the incident

What Happens When You Get a DWI in Missouri?

In the State of Missouri, the court penalizes DWI convictions with incarceration and fines. The state’s Department of Revenue also administers punishments that affect an offender’s driving privileges. Upon an arrest and the issuance of a DWI ticket by a law officer, an appearance before a court ensues. Typically, DWI can either be a misdemeanor or felony depending on aggravating factors like multiple convictions and reckless driving. Defendants can also contest DWI tickets by pleading not guilty to the allegations. To oppose sanctions by the DOR, alleged offenders must request a review hearing within fifteen days.