A DUI arrest can affect every aspect of your life, including your family, your job, your finances and your freedom. Law enforcement officials may lead you to believe your case is open-and-shut and that you have no possible defense. This is not true. Every case is different, but DUI stops involve many opportunities for mistakes. A successful defense is possible.
If you have been arrested for drunk driving, call me, defense lawyer Andrew T. Christie, at 816-533-3456 for a free consultation. Payment plans are available.
Tell Me Your Side Of The Story
I am attorney Andrew T. Christie, and I understand how stressful DUI charges can be. You may feel painfully embarrassed or worry that a driver’s license suspension will prevent you from working. When you call me, I will listen to your concerns and explain the legal process.
My clients appreciate the effort I devote to their cases, whether they are dealing with a first-time drunk driving charge or a felony DUI charge. Drawing on my experience as a criminal defense attorney, I will analyze the facts of your case, paying particular attention to any search and seizure issues with your traffic stop. I will determine whether the field sobriety tests were properly performed and whether there were any problems with your breath test.
Taking DUI Cases To Trial When Necessary
I also fight felony DUI charges. In Missouri, the third DUI is a felony and these cases often go to trial because they carry serious penalties, including jail time. If you are in this situation, you need an attorney with the litigation skills necessary to present a compelling defense. I have developed a strong reputation as a felony trial attorney, and I am prepared to fight for you in court. I will explain each step of the process in an effort to minimize the stress of the situation.
Answers To Common Questions About DUI Charges In Missouri
Below, I’ve provided answers to some of questions clients most often ask. After reading, I invite you to contact me with your own questions.
How long does a DUI stay on your record?
Your conviction will be part of your criminal record indefinitely, which can make it harder to pass a background check needed for employment, housing or higher education. This is one reason why you need to contest the charges with help of an attorney, if possible.
A separate consideration is Missouri’s lookback period, which is five years. If you are convicted of a subsequent DUI within five years of your first, you face increased penalties. If more than five years has elapsed, it is essentially treated the same as a first offense.
Can you refuse a DUI checkpoint in Kansas City?
DUI checkpoints have been deemed legal in Missouri, though they remain controversial. If you are approaching a DUI checkpoint and have the opportunity to avoid it, you can do so as long as you are not violating traffic laws in the process. An officer may try to follow you if they see you, however.
Once at the checkpoint, an officer can ask you to submit to a chemical test. Although you can refuse to be tested, you will lose your license for a year (with some possibility of appealing that decision later).
Police may also ask whether you’ve been drinking. You don’t need to answer an incriminating question. If they ask to search your vehicle, you can and should say no. They may search it anyway, but refusing to allow the search preserves the possibility that you could challenge it later in court.
Do you lose your license for a first-time DUI?
In most cases, a first-time DUI conviction will result in a 90-day suspension of your license. Because you have no prior DUI convictions, however, you would likely be eligible to apply for a Restricted Driving Privilege (RDP), which would take effect after the first 30 days of your suspension. An RDP would allow you to drive only for certain activities like work, school or medical/alcohol treatment.
You can obtain an RDP without going through a 30-day suspension, but doing so will require the installation of an ignition interlock device. It’s important to discuss your needs with your attorney early on in the process to ensure you don’t miss any deadlines or restrictions related to the suspension or the RDP.