Felony drunk driving charges in Missouri

In an instant, a drunk driving conviction can change a person’s life, making it difficult to get or hold down a job, to gain an education and to be approved for certain things, such as a rental application. Missouri residents with DUI charges can also face shame and embarrassment, as well as financial troubles from being required to pay fines and associated fees from the conviction, maintaining an ignition interlock device or enrolling in alcohol counseling sessions. These complications get even worse when a driver finds himself or herself with felony DUI charges.

As FindLaw explains, a first drunk driving offense in Missouri is usually a misdemeanor charge. However, some situations can result in felony charges, including the following:

  • Being involved in a drunk driving accident that results in someone’s bodily harm or death
  • Driving while intoxicated with children in the vehicle
  • Having an excessive blood alcohol content while driving
  • Getting a DUI while driving on a suspended or revoked license
  • Having multiple drunk driving convictions within a certain time frame

The Missouri Department of Revenue points out that those who have multiple DUIs face significantly increased penalties, including the loss of one’s license for 10 years for having three or more drunk driving convictions. Prison time, fines and other penalties may also increase and can include felony charges.

Those who are facing charges for drunk driving, whether they are misdemeanors or felonies, need a strong defense to protect their rights. It is necessary to speak with a criminal defense attorney after an arrest.

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