Good people make mistakes. At Holder Susan Slusher LLC, we believe everyone deserves a second chance. That is why we are committed to helping you avoid or reduce the penalties for your DWI. If you believe you have been wrongfully charged, we will do everything in our power to clear your name. With experience in all levels of local, state, federal, and appellate courts, we stand ready to fight for your case, no matter how complex it may seem.
If you are facing a DWI charge, you need a proven law firm you can trust to defend your rights and protect your best interests. Contact Holder Susan Slusher LLC today online or at 573-499-1700 to discuss your case for free with our experienced DWI defense attorney. We welcome clients from across Missouri, including Columbia, Moberly, Fulton and Boonville.
Department of Revenue Hearing for DWI
Cases involving charges of driving while intoxicated (DWI) are particularly complex because they typically require two separate court hearings: an administrative hearing with the Department of Revenue and a criminal court hearing. Your Department of Revenue hearing will serve the primary function of determining whether there is substantial proof that you were operating a motor vehicle while your ability to do so was impaired. If there is enough evidence, your license can be revoked or suspended, and the length of your suspension will depend on the severity of your case.
Our lawyers are skilled in handling administrative hearings and know of common defense strategies that can be used to discredit, challenge, or question the evidence against you.
We have helped our past clients keep their driving privileges by using the following defenses:
- Improper Breathalyzer calibration
- Contaminated or tampered test results
- Improper test administration
- Inexperienced officer did not read or interpret the test results correctly
- Unlawful police stop
- Violation of search and seizure laws
Administrative Revocation or Suspension
If you have a blood alcohol content of at least .08, you will be administratively and criminally processed. Drivers under the age of 21 may also face penalties pertaining to Abuse and Lose laws .
As part of the DWI arrest, the officer will:
- Write and send a report about the arrest to the Department of Revenue
- Take away your driver's license
- Give you a Notice of Suspension/Revocation of Driving Privileges
- Provide you with a temporary 15-Day Driving Permit, if the driver's license is confiscated
By operating an automobile along Missouri’s public highways, you are automatically considered to have given consent to urine, saliva blood or breath testing to determine your blood’s drug or alcohol content. This implied consent is purulent to the following circumstances:
- The police officer has reasonable grounds to believe you are driving while intoxicated.
- You are under twenty-one-years-old and stopped on reasonable grounds
- You are involved in a motor vehicle collision which resulted in a serious physical injury. or fatality.
Breath and Blood Tests
If a police officer has reason to believe that you may be operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, you may be asked to submit to a blood or breath test.
If you refuse a blood and breath test, you could face serious penalties. Even if you were not under the influence of alcohol and simply refused the test for your own reasons, an officer may assume that you are refusing to take the test out of fear of being found guilty. Additionally, an officer may still place you under arrest for violating Missouri's implied consent laws.
Refusal of Breath and Blood Tests
If you refuse a breath or blood test, penalties may include:
- Permanent criminal record indicating your alcohol-related arrest
- Court and legal fees for license reinstatement
- Increase in insurance premiums
- Excessive fines
- Mandatory jail time
- Driver's license suspension or revocation for up to one year
Driver’s License Reinstatement
Driving in Missouri is considered a privilege and not a right. If you were convicted of a first DWI, Missouri law requires that your driver's license be revoked for 30 days, then suspended for an additional 60 days. A second offense DWI conviction will result in a year’s revocation of your license.
Following the suspension period, you can file for your driving privileges to be reinstated after completing the Department of Revenue’s reinstatement requirements. It is important to note that your driver's license will not automatically be returned; it is your responsibility to file for reinstatement.
Our experienced attorneys will explain all of the requirements and timelines involved in your case and help you get back behind the wheel as quickly as possible.
The purpose of an expungement is to completely clear your criminal record and restore your legal status to what it was prior to the arrest or conviction. If you have been arrested for or convicted of an offense such as driving while intoxicated (DWI), this process can be extremely beneficial. Once your expungement has been finalized, it will be as if your arrest never occurred.
Expungement can offer you a fresh start. For many people, life after an expungement results in more opportunities for professional goals, educational dreams, and other pursuits that may have been hindered because of a criminal record.
Field Sobriety Testing
At Holder Susan Slusher LLC, we believe that at best, the accuracy of field sobriety tests is questionable; at worst, these standardized field sobriety tests were created for failure.
Even if you were arrested for failing a field sobriety test, you could still have several defenses available to you. Never assume that you will automatically be convicted of a crime for which you were arrested. Our experienced DWI lawyer will take every b that you are not unreasonably punished and do not have to live the rest of your life as a convicted criminal
Common Types of Standardized Field Sobriety Tests include:
- The One-Leg-Stand Test
- The Walk-and-Turn Test
- The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) Test
An officer may ask you to submit to other types of field sobriety tests in order to determine whether you are drunk or intoxicated. These tests are not recognized as acceptable forms of standardized testing that have been created by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Like the standardized tests, however, these non-standardized field sobriety tests are designed for failure and have led to countless wrongful and unlawful police arrests in Missouri.
Common types of non-standardized field sobriety tests include
- Reciting the alphabet forward or in reverse
- Counting numbers forward or in reverse
- Counting the number of fingers an officer raises
- Finger-to-nose test
- Hand-pat test
Abuse and Lose
Under Missouri's "Abuse and Lose" laws, the driver’s license of any person under the age of 21 who is found guilty of a certain driving infractions will be automatically suspended or revoked. These driving infractions can include:
- Altering, modifying or misinterpreting a government issued driver's license
- A traffic offense pertaining to possessing or using a controlled or illicit substance (ex. marijuana)
- Any traffic offense involving alcohol, including possessing or using an alcoholic substance while driving
- If a driver is under 18 years old: multiple infractions for driving under the influence
Minors in Possession
It is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to possess, buy, or consume alcohol. If you were taken into custody or are facing sanctions from your school because of an alcohol- or drug-related offense such as driving while intoxicated (DWI), Holder Susan Slusher LLC will work diligently to protect your rights.
Our experienced DWI lawyers can fight your charges if you have been accused of:
- Underage drinking
- Possession of alcohol as a minor, known as minor in possession
- Possession by consumption
- Displaying, owning, or purchasing false identification, also known as identification forgery
- Possession of forgery instruments
Expunging A Minor in Possession Charge
If you are granted an expungement, you will have a court-ordered removal of all official criminal records of your arrest, plea, trial, or any type of conviction associated with your minor-in-possession charge. In the state of Missouri, you will only be granted an expungement if you meet specific criteria.
- It is the first time you have pleaded or were found guilty of the minor-in-possession offense
- A year has passed from the time you were found guilty
- You have reached the age of 21
- You have had no other alcohol-related convictions or arrests
DWI laws don't stop just because you are on vacation. The interstate Driver's License Compact is an agreement between several states in the U.S. It was made to promote greater highway safety and ensure traffic law obedience, particularly among out-of-state drivers. The compact requires that specific penalties be issued, including having the state where the offense occurred forward the driver's arrest record to his or her home state.
Unlawful Police Stops
Law enforcement officials must have probable cause before pulling you over, before subjecting you to a blood or breath test or before interrogating you. Most importantly, police officers are required to have probable cause before placing you under arrest.
They must also follow strict laws and guidelines when performing searches at sobriety checkpoints. Any deviation from proper procedure could mean that a serious breach of your rights has occurred.
Examples of sobriety checkpoint violations include:
- Violation in search and seizure procedure
- Illegal or wrongful arrest
- Discriminatory screening of impaired motorists
- Violation of civil rights
- Failure to execute a search or test professionally or consistently
- Inadequate or improper officer supervision of the checkpoint
- Failure to notify public of a sobriety checkpoint
- Failure to comply with a written plan
Why Choose Holder Susan Slusher LLC?
We understand how confusing, frustrating, and scary this time may be. DWI offenses carry serious penalties and consequences. Your future, reputation, and freedom may be on the line. This is why it is crucial that you work with a seasoned criminal defense attorney who can guide you through this challenging time.
Decades of legal experience
Comprehensive team approach
Regardless of the factors surrounding your DWI charges, our firm is here to help. We have experience handling cases that involve everything from DWI involving car wrecks and injury victims to minors driving while under the influence.
Schedule Your Free DWI Consultation Today
Don’t face a DWI charge alone. Call Contact Holder Susan Slusher LLC today online or at 573-499-1700 to discuss your case for free with our experienced DWI defense attorney. We welcome clients from across Missouri, including Columbia, Moberly, Fulton and Boonville.