DWI During the 4th of July? The Clock is Ticking!
Police officers were on alert for drivers who may have had a little too much fun before getting behind their wheel over the weekend and early in the week. Were you one of those unlucky individuals pulled over during the long holiday weekend? If so, you need to act fast!
In the State of Missouri, DWI’s have two completely separate processes; a criminal process and a civil process. We all have some sort of an idea about the criminal process. You get arrested, get arraigned, get an attorney and go to trial or settle the case. But what most people don’t know is there is a civil process with the Missouri Department of Revenue which focuses solely on the status of your driver’s license.
After you have been pulled over and the officer determines you are driving while intoxicated, he will fill out a series of forms and send them directly to the Department of Revenue. He will fill out the Alcohol Influence Report. This report identifies you, describes the officer’s observations prior to arrest (bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, odors etc.), describes how you did on your Field Sobriety Test (spoiler alert: he’s probably going to say you failed) and the results of your Breathalyzer. Next the officer will fill out a Missouri Uniform Complaint. This is your criminal charge.
Now for the administrative part, the officer will physically take your license (yes, they can do that) and they will issue you a Notice of Suspension/Revocation of Driving Privilege. This is a form which allows you to drive for the next 15 days. You also have 15 days to either request an administrative hearing or allow the State of Missouri to suspend your license.
The back of the Notice of Suspension/Revocation of Driving Privilege form will explain how to get your license reinstated. You have two options; and interlock device or a license suspension followed by restricted privileges.
Once you request a hearing you will be able to drive while the hearing process in still in progress. You may have the opportunity to examine the arresting officer on the witness stand. While these cases are hard to win, they are not impossible to win. In addition, while having the officer on the witness stand and questioning the arresting officer, you will be able to gather more detailed information before the criminal case begins. All information found during these administrative hearings can be used in the defense of your criminal case.
This is an extremely broad overview of the administrative process for a Missouri DWI. If you received a DWI over the 4th of July holiday weekend, you need to contact an attorney as soon as possible and request a hearing to save your license. Contact Howard Law at (314) 325-9868, 24 hours a day 7 days a week, for more information.
About The Author
Evan M. Howard is the managing attorney for Howard Law, a St. Louis business law and criminal defense law firm based in Clayton, Missouri. Howard Law is focused on giving honest, quick and effective representation to all its clients. With a background in business and experience dealing with tough criminal cases, Howard Law is ready to help guide you through your legal matter.