Facing DWI charges for the first time in Missouri can be a daunting and scary experience. For example, it brings potentially significant legal, financial and personal consequences.
It is important to navigate this situation carefully and avoid common mistakes that could worsen what is happening.
1. Admitting guilt unprompted
You have the right to remain silent and not self-incriminate. Talking to law enforcement or admitting fault during the initial encounter can go against you eventually. Instead, politely decline to answer any questions.
2. Neglecting to understand the legal process
Failing to understand the legal procedures, timelines and potential consequences can lead to poor decision-making. Educate yourself about the process and the potential outcomes, including penalties, license suspension and potential jail time.
3. Skipping the administrative hearing
In Missouri, a DWI arrest often leads to an administrative license suspension. Failing to request an administrative hearing within 15 days of your arrest can result in an automatic suspension of your driving privileges. Skipping this step can severely impact your ability to travel, work and fulfill daily responsibilities. Be sure to request this hearing promptly to contest the suspension.
4. Ignoring the importance of evidence and documentation
This includes failing to document the circumstances leading up to your arrest, potential witnesses and any discrepancies in police reports. Without proper documentation, it becomes challenging to build a strong defense or contest the prosecution’s case effectively.
Facing DWI charges for the first time in Missouri can be stressful. Make prudent decisions and avoid common mistakes to improve your chances of a favorable outcome in your DWI case.