Each state has different laws related to DWI and what happens when you refuse to submit to various tests requested by law enforcement. These penalties are typically pretty rough. However, Missouri provides for a unique opportunity if specific factors have been met.
Missouri follows an implied consent law. Under this law, a driver has impliedly consented to submit to a breath or other chemical test in order for a law enforcement officer to determine whether the operator of the vehicle was driving while under the influence. If a driver's BAC (blood alcohol content) is found to be .08% or greater, he will likely be charged with DWI.
Keep in mind that the driver does have the right to refuse these types of tests. However, refusing to submit to the test will lead to stiff penalties. In Missouri, a driver will typically receive a license suspension for one full year after refusing to submit to the test. In addition to the suspension, a driver may also face fines and increased insurance rates after the conviction.
This is a pretty harsh penalty, but an experienced DWI defense attorney may be able to help! In certain, limited circumstances, you may be able to challenge the one-year suspension. In order to challenge the suspension, you will need to file a Petition for Review (PFR) in circuit court. In simple terms, a PFR is something that gets submitted when you disagree with a decision.
Your attorney may be able to successfully challenge the one-year suspension if these factors are met:
- You have had no priors in the last ten years;
- There was no accident involved with the current incident; and
- The PFR has been filed within 30 days of your arrest.
If you meet these three conditions, the suspension may be dismissed if you complete the SATOP class and plead to the DWI charge in court.
The Substance Abuse Traffic Offender Program (SATOP) serves more than 300,000 DWI offenders annually who are referred based on administrative suspension or revocation of their driver's licenses.
Different agencies throughout the state are certified by the state's Department of Mental Health, Division of Behavioral Health. These agencies provide various services to drivers who have alcohol and/or drug related traffic offenses. The SATOP program is a required element in driver's license reinstatement by the Department of Revenue.
The opportunity to challenge the one-year suspension in Missouri is unique and not available in Kansas. There are specific details and nuances associated with these types of challenges. Time is of the essence! That is why it is so important to work with an experienced DWI attorney who understands the differences between the laws in each state.
I have worked in both Kansas and Missouri for a number of years and have helped many clients who have been faced with DUI/DWI charges. I understand that this is often a difficult time for my clients. DWI penalties can be burdensome and expensive. Work with a lawyer you can trust. If you are facing DUI/DWI charges in Kansas or Missouri, do not hesitate to call my office. We can schedule a consultation in order to review the specific facts of your case.