Unlike the rest of the country, Missouri has levels of offenders as opposed to levels of offenses for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) charges. For example, in Missouri you won’t be charged with an aggravated DWI offense in Missouri, you will however, be charged as an aggravated offender. The level of DWI offenders in Missouri is based off of how many times you have been convicted of a driving related intoxication incident. There are four different levels of DWI offenders in Missouri, each of which have different penalties and repercussions associated with them—and each of which necessitate help from a DWI attorney Springfield. These include:
- Prior Missouri DWI Offenders
- Persistent Missouri DWI Offender
- Aggravated Missouri DWI Offender
- Chronic Missouri DWI Offender
These levels of offenders make it unnecessary to have an “aggravated DWI” charge in Missouri. As you’ll see, the punishments for each level are severe enough, to nullify the need for separate levels of DWI “offenses”.
Prior Missouri DWI Offenders
A prior offender is any person that has been found guilty of one other driving related intoxication crime, i.e., a DWI. If you are proven to be a prior offender, you will be charged with a a Class A Misdemeanor (first offenders are charged with a B Misdemeanor). This charge increases your jail time, as well as additional fees you may have to pay. Punishment can range up to 1 year in a county jail and/or fines up to $1,000. This type of offense also means that you are not eligible for probation until after you have served 10 days in jail or have met the 240 community service hours required by law.
Persistent Missouri DWI Offenders
A persistent offender is someone who has been charged with at least two prior convictions of intoxication related traffic crimes. It doesn’t matter when the previous DWIs occurred, if this is your third DWI you will be charged with a Class D Felony. Once convicted of a third DWI you will be required to serve up to 4 years in the Missouri Department of Corrections (DOC). You are considered eligible for parole once you have served at least 30 days of incarceration or you have completed 480 community service hours. Additionally, A Class D Felony means you will also face up to 5 years of probation subsequent to the time that you were incarcerated.
Aggravated Missouri DWI Offenders
An aggravated offender is defined as a person who has been charged and convicted of 4 intoxication related traffic incidents. If you are convicted as an aggravated offender you will charged with a Class C Felony and face 7 years in the Missouri Department of Corrections. 60 days in prison is the bare minimum required before you are given the option of parole. There is no community service or equivalent available for this conviction.
Chronic Missouri DWI Offenders
A conviction of 5 or more intoxication related traffic crimes identifies you as chronic DWI offender in the state of Missouri. The minimum punishment for this crime is two years in the Missouri Department of Corrections. You are not eligible for parole or probation until after those two years have been served. There are no exceptions to this rule.
Since Missouri’s system is based off of levels of offenders, not offenses, it is imperative that you seek legal counsel from the beginning. Even if this is your first offense, you don’t want to chance even one DWI charge on your record. If you are facing criminal DWI charges in Missouri, contact an experienced DWI attorney today. We will setup a no obligation, free consultation in which we will discuss specific components of your case, navigating potential consequences and what steps we can take in order to provide the most positive outcome for your case.