So, for whatever reason, you’ve had the bad luck of being convicted with a DWI in Missouri. Depending on whether it was your first offense or third, you will be facing a set amount of fines, potential jail time, and probation. If this is your first time dealing with probation, it can be confusing.
Today on the blog, we want to help you understand exactly what it is that you have been dealt with. From what kinds of fines and fees you will be actually paying and what you can really expect on probation.
If you are currently being charged with a DUI or need help expunging charges from your record, our legal team is ready to help you. Please contact us today with any questions. We are here to help.
Fines & Fees
Many people who have never been convicted of a DUI charge may believe that the fines and fees you are required to pay are all upfront costs that can be taken care of all at once. This is not the case. If you do a quick google search of DUI fines in Missouri, you’ll get basically the same search results ranging from $350 to $500. However, these fines usually don’t include the extra fees associated with a DUI conviction. Here’s where and what you can expect to pay for as a penalty for a DWI:
- Probation Supervision & Testing Fees: If you end up with probation (which in most cases you will), you’ll have to pay for probation services every month, which can cost upwards of $60. Additionally, you’ll be required to pay for any alcohol/drug tests. Most testing is random, and some people on probation will end up taking more tests than others, which means the cost of paying for testing varies greatly.
- Ignition Interlock Device: If the court requires you to have an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in your vehicle, you have to pay for it. The initial installation of an IID can cost anywhere from $70 to $150. After the installation fee, you’ll be required to pay a monthly calibration and leasing cost which can cost between $40-$100. Sometimes, even when a person’s probation is over, the court may order the ignition interlock device to stay in the vehicle for longer, even up to two or more years!
- Driving Improvement Program/Alcohol Rehabilitation: Whether you’re court-ordered, or voluntarily apply and complete the driver improvement program or any alcohol/drug rehabilitation program, you’ll be expected to pay for this out of pocket. Not all rehab programs cost money, but most do. Missouri’s Driving Improvement Program is relatively inexpensive, but an alcohol rehabilitation program can end up costing you thousands of dollars.
- Auto Insurance Rates: A commonly known fee associated with a DUI conviction is increased insurance rates. If you receive a DUI conviction, expect to see your insurance rates raised by up to 30% to 50%. Furthermore, depending on the type of auto insurance you have, you may be dropped completely. There are inexpensive options available. Talk to your Missouri DWI lawyer to see what is available in your area.
How Probation Really Works
Along with fines and fees, increased insurance rates, and a DUI conviction on your record, you’re going to end up with at least some time on probation if you are found guilty of a DUI in Missouri.
Probation is a court’s ruling that allows a person to remain in the community without going to jail (though sometimes a person will have to serve both jail time and probation). Probation requires a person to comply with court-ordered rules and be under the supervision of a probation officer for a designated period of time. Sometimes, if a person shows good behavior during probation, their probationary period is cut short.
What Are The Conditions of Probation?
Probation usually requires that a person meet monthly or weekly with their probation supervisor and community service. It also requires that the person on probation refrain from using alcohol and illegal drugs. Additionally, there may be limitations on where a person can travel (often a person on probation cannot leave the state without permission from their probation officer), and he or she must appear at court at the appointed times.
- Community Service: Community service is a common condition of probation. The specific amount of hours that need to be served and how much time the person has to complete the hours is up to the judge. Once your hours and time frame are submitted, your case is given to a community service program coordinator. The coordinator will place you with a “job” that will allow you to get the number of hours you need within your specified time frame.
- Reporting To Your Probation Officer: When you are placed on probation for a DWI in Missouri, you will be assigned to a probation officer by the court. You will be required to meet with your supervisor regularly, usually once a month. Your probation officer may meet you at your house and go through your things, to make sure that there is no alcohol or illegal drugs on your property, especially if you are a high-risk offender.
- Submit to Mandatory & Random Drug & Alcohol Testing: In addition to reporting to your probation officer and completing your community service hours, you will be subject to random, mandatory drug and alcohol testing. Every morning you will be required to call either your probation officer or the testing center to see if you need to be tested that day.
- Attend Meetings & Court Hearings: Many people who are charged and convicted with a DWI in Missouri will be required to attend court-ordered classes or programs like the driver improvement program. In addition to attending these meetings, you are required to go to all of your court hearings, failure to do so may result in a warrant, and/or arrest.
- Pay Fines & Fees: Failure to do so, will prolong your probation period.
Failure to comply with any of the conditions of probation could result in additional fines, revocation of probation, and possible jail time.
Contact DWI Springfield today if you are facing DWI charges in Missouri or would like legal advice regarding your current situation.