DWI/DUI Process

picture of car keys and glass of alcohol

The Missouri DWI/DUI Process

If you have been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or the influence of drugs, you need representation by an experienced defense attorney—one who is familiar with the Missouri DWI/DUI process and can aggressively fight your drunk driving or driving under the influence of drugs charges to avoid a Missouri DWI/DUI conviction on your record.

The Missouri DWI/DUI process starts before you are pulled over. The officer may pull you over if he/she has reasonable suspicion that you have committed or are in the process of committing a crime or traffic violation. Such examples of this include driving erratically or dangerously, crossing the center line, failure to use your blinker or failure to yield because the officer believes that you are under the influence.

Once You Have Been Pulled Over On Suspicion of DWI/DUI

Once the officer turns on his flashing lights and pulls you over, you are now in the initial stop phase of the process.

  • During this time, the officer will attempt to collect evidence through several field sobriety test that you have committed a crime, such as you are driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.
  • At this time, you should not answer any questions until you have had the chance to speak with an attorney, as you have the right to remain silent.
  • If the officer determines that he/she has probable cause to arrest you for a DWI/DUI, the officer will detain you, most likely in his patrol car. You will then be transported to the police station to be booked and given a breathalyzer test after an observation period. While at the police station your mugshot and finger prints will be taken and entered into a criminal records database.
  • If your breathalyzer test indicates that you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the officer will usually write you a ticket and your bond will be determined. This bond could range from an ROR (return on recognizance), which is often referred to as a signature bond, up to a cash only bond.
  • Once you are bonded out of jail, you will be given your first court date, which is called an initial arraignment. At this court date, the judge will read you the list of charges that have been filed against you. Then, you have the option to enter a plea of guilty, not guilty or no contest. Most judges will enter a plea of not guilty on your behalf. You will then be given your next court date. During these court dates/appearances, it is important that you are represented by an attorney or at least have consulted with one so you understand and are aware of the consequences.

Blue Springs Attorney Legal Representation for a DWI/DUI

Representation by an attorney becomes even more important as the process continues. How the process continues after your initial appearance varies significantly by jurisdiction. The next general step is the pre-trial phase where the prosecutor will begin to develop their case against you. It is during this time that a defense attorney can discuss with the prosecutor the issues and the evidence in the case. Such evidence may include the police report, the dash camera or body camera tapes of the initial stop, your driving record and whether you have any prior convictions. It is also during this time that a defense attorney may negotiate a plea deal for you in an attempt to avoid a conviction on your record.

Will A DWI/DUI Charge Result In A Trial?

If the prosecutor is unwilling to offer a plea deal that is satisfactory to you, you may choose to proceed to trial either in front of a judge or a jury. During this time, the prosecutor and you the defendant (it is highly recommended that you be represented by an attorney at this time) will present their version of the case. During the trial, each party can call witnesses and present evidence. Once the evidence is presented, each side will be given the opportunity to give closing arguments and present the case to the judge or jury for a decision or verdict.

If you or someone you know is facing criminal charges, contact Blue Springs Attorney James A Witteman, Jr, LLC for a DWI/DUI defense you deserve at (816) 944-9946 today to schedule a free initial consultation.  We can help you answer your questions regarding dwi/dui’s and explain your legal options.