St Charles county DWI attorney Mike Watkins defends clients charged with Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) throughout St Charles county. Located in O'Fallon, Missouri, our criminal defense law firm has helped people through both the criminal charge and the administrative hearing associated with a charge of drunk driving.
Many people think of a DWI charge as a traffic violation, but it is, in fact, a criminal charge and can have severe fines and penalties. A DWI charge actually consists of two separate and distinct cases:
- Criminal charge of operating a vehicle while intoxicated
- Administrative hearing pertaining to your driving privileges
A DWI Charge consists of demonstrating a person's Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) at the time the vehicle was operated and/or the driver's level of impairment while operating the vehicle.
In Missouri, the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) threshold for DWI is 0.08 for drivers 21 years of age or older. For drivers under 21 years old, the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is just 0.02.
In rare cases, a driver may be convicted of DWI despite his/her BAC being under the 0.08 threshold. In these cases, driver impairment determined the outcome of the case.
DWI Administrative Hearing
When charged with DWI, you are entitled to an administrative hearing before the Department of Revenue. This is your opportunity to defend yourself against the civil aspects of the DWI charge. At the administrative hearing, a Hearing Officer will determine if your driver's license should be suspended, revoked, or charges dismissed.
The decisions made at your administrative hearing relate to that hearing only, and do not impact the criminal DWI charge against you.
DWI Criminal Charge
The criminal court process of DWI proceeds the same way as other cases involving criminal charges. There will be an arraignment which requires a plea of guilty or not guilty. Conditions of your release, amount of bail, and other decisions will be determined by the Judge during the arraignment.
After the arraignment you may need to appear at a number of pre-trial court appearances. An experienced criminal defense attorney who has handled previous DWI cases will be able to guide you through this stressful and often confusing court process.
DWI charges should not be taken lightly. If you or a loved one have been charged with DWI, it is imperative that you contact DWI attorney Mike Watkins immediately as you only have 15 days to file for an administrative hearing or else you will lose your driving privileges.
Contact DWI attorney Mike Watkins now to schedule a FREE Consultation and learn how our experience can help you achieve the best possible outcome for your specific situation.