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Repeat offender DWI defense

On Behalf of | Apr 3, 2024 | DUI

Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a serious offense, and the consequences of such charges are increasingly severe for repeat offenders. If you’re facing a second or subsequent DWI charge, it’s crucial to understand your defense options, accordingly.

An overview of repeat DWI defense in Missouri, including penalties and potential defenses, can help you to better understand the importance of securing legal representation under such circumstances.

Repeat DWI penalties

The state takes a harsh stance against repeat DWI offenders. The penalties for subsequent offenses are significantly steeper compared to a first-time DWI:

  • Second offense: Up to a $1,000 fine, up to one year in jail, a one-year license revocation and a minimum of one-month mandatory ignition interlock device (IID) installation.
  • Third offense: Up to a $5,000 fine, up to four years in jail, a ten-year license cancellation, a minimum of one-month mandatory IID installation. A third offense is also classified as a felony, which carries lasting consequences beyond the immediate penalties.
  • Fourth or subsequent offense: These offenses are treated even more harshly, with potential sentences including significant prison time, lengthy license revocation and hefty fines.

In addition to these criminal penalties, repeat DWI offenders may also face a number of collateral consequences, such as increased insurance rates, difficulty obtaining employment and limitations on professional licensing.

Potential defenses for repeat DWI charges

Even with a repeat offense, viable defenses may be available depending on your case’s circumstances. You may challenge the integrity of your arrest if the police officers who stopped you didn’t have reasonable suspicion to do so. For this defense, it’s crucial to identify flaws in the initial stop that could suppress evidence, potentially getting the charges dismissed.

You can also question the field sobriety tests you took before your arrest. FSTs are not 100% foolproof and can be influenced by factors like fatigue, medication or uneven surfaces. Raising doubts about the validity of these tests is a viable defense strategy against a repeat DWI charge.

By understanding potential penalties, potential defenses and the importance of legal representation, you can take steps to protect your rights and minimize the consequences of your situation if you’re facing a repeat DWI charge. Consulting with a reliable legal team in Missouri as soon as possible to discuss your case and explore your options is going to be a wise move forward.