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WHAT HAPPENS IN A LICENSE CASE | There Are Two Types of License Cases
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How your license case is handled depends on whether you submitted to the testing (ie-blew or consented to a blood draw) or not. It’s important to hire an attorney quickly after receiving a DWI, because you only have 15 days to request a hearing to stop the suspension of your license. Here’s what happens in Blow and Refusal cases.

I Took the Breath Test       I Refused the Breath Test


When you took the test willingly
If you took the blood or breath test at the officer’s request and your blood alcohol content (BAC) was .08% or higher for regular drivers, .02% or higher for drivers under the age of 21, or .04% or higher for people driving a commercial vehicle, the officer should have given you a 15 day driving permit form with information on how to request a hearing.

YOU OR YOUR ATTORNEY MUST REQUEST A HEARING WITHIN 15 DAYS OR YOU LOSE YOUR CHANCE TO FIGHT THE SUSPENSION. If you request a hearing in the 15 day period, you will be sent another driving permit that will last until your hearing is held and the administrative hearing officer issues her/his ruling. This is separate from the court date listed on the ticket given to you by the officer.

Administrative hearings are an uphill battle. Somewhere around 88% of administrative license hearings in Missouri result in a suspension; however, it’s a battle well worth fighting, even if you think the evidence is stacked against you. This is why it's so important to hire a good DWI lawyer.

There are very specific rules about how officers must administer breath or blood tests, and a deviation from those rules can result in an administrative hearing win for you. It is unlikely that you will know if the officer followed those rules exactly or not, and that is why a knowledgeable DWI attorney is so important.


IF YOU LOSE, your license will be suspended.

If it’s a first time DWI for regular drivers, the suspension is for 90 days. You can choose to immediately get a Restricted Driving Privilege (RDP) by having an ignition interlock device (IID) installed on your car. Alternatively, you can choose not to get an IID and be eligible for a Restricted Driving Privilege after 30 days if you file an SR-22. In order to get your license fully reinstated you must file an SR-22 proof of insurance through an insurance agency, complete SATOP, and pay a $45 reinstatement fee.

If you have prior DWIs on your record, you may be ineligible for RDP, your suspension may be longer, and/or you may be required to install an IID prior to reinstatement.

We cannot plea bargain on Administrative Hearing cases. They are always a win or lose outcome, but a good DWI attorney will know all the ways to attack an Administrative hearing for the best chances of winning.

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If you refuse to submit to a chemical test of your breath or blood, the arresting officer should give you a 15 day driving permit. If you do not file a Petition for Review in the Circuit Court within 15 days, 1 one year revocation will begin on the 16th day. You can still file your petition for review anytime within 30 days of your arrest, but your revocation will have started. If you miss the 30 day window, you lose your right to appeal the revocation of your license. This case is separate and different from the court date listed on the ticket you were given.

Frequently when we file a Petition for Review, we are able to get a Stay Order from the judge allowing you to drive while your case is pending. However, if you have priors or were involved in an accident, you may not be eligible for a stay order. A good DWI attorney will be able to review this with you at your initial consultation.

In Petition for Review cases, there are occasionally times when we can plea bargain with the attorney handling the case for the state. THIS IS NOT AVAILABLE IN EVERY COUNTY and is almost never possible if you have priors or were involved in an accident. A good DWI lawyer will be able to tell you at your initial consultation if you will be eligible for such an outcome. IF the attorney handling the case for the state will consider working out a deal to let you keep your license, it almost always requires that you enter a guilty plea on the accompanying criminal DWI charge . This is something we can discuss in more detail when you hire us, as each county that allows these types of deals has different requirements.

If for some reason we are not able to work out a deal, after receiving discovery in the case we will have a hearing. Hearings on Petitions for Review are not the same as criminal court cases. They are considered civil cases so not all of the constitutional protections, such as bans on unlawful searches and seizures, don’t always apply.

The hearings are also limited in scope. If the state is able to prove that 1) the officer had probable cause to think that you were drinking and driving and 2) that you refused to blow, the court will rule in their favor and your license will be revoked. However, we are extremely knowledgeable in proper SFST (field sobriety test) administration and the indicia of intoxication officers should and shouldn’t be looking for. We can walk through the tests the officer administered prior to arrest to look for weaknesses in their case. We are also well versed in the laws regarding what does and does not constitute a refusal. With, we take every advantage available to us in fighting refusal cases.

Even if your license hearing is lost and your license is revoked for a year, you may be immediately eligible for limited driving privilege by submitting an Application for Limited Driving Privilege to the DOR and filing an SR-22 proof of insurance through your insurance agent. If you have prior alcohol contact you may also be required to install an Ignition Interlock (IID) device. When the year is over, you will have additional requirements in order to get fully reinstates such as SATOP , a reinstatement fee and in some cases you may be required to retest.

IF YOU WIN --your license will be fully reinstated and the Chemical Action will be removed from your driving record.

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