A Missouri man may face serious ramifications after he was found guilty of drunk driving for the seventh time in his life. The man, age 43, was accused of driving drunk even though he was subject to a license suspension at the time of his arrest, according to reports from state authorities. In addition, the man is accused of failing to maintain his driving lane. Since the man was already convicted of six other DWIs, he could face up to 15 years’ prison time for the most recent violation.
DWI defendants who are facing repeat charges will have significantly different criminal defense strategies from those who are only accused with a first-time offense. Multiple-time offenders are more likely to face significant penalties such as the application of an ignition interlock, which requires drivers to submit to a breath test before starting their vehicles.
Further, in Missouri, offenders are more likely to face increasingly heavy penalties after their fifth conviction. Any DWI conviction after number five is labeled as a class B felony, and it can land an offender in prison for up to 15 years. Those convictions often carry minimum sentencing requirements that could require the defendants to spent two years in prison.
In this most recent situation, the man is accused of driving drunk in December 2011. A jury trial was called for in the case, and it included evidence such as the arresting officer’s dashboard camera video. Additional evidence was presented from the man’s arrest and confinement at the Greene County Jail. The man had been out on bond through the trial, but that bond has since been revoked.
In this case, the man chose to go to a jury trial, designed to determine whether he was guilty of drunk driving. This is not always the best option for DWI defendants, however; a variety of other actions can maximize the outcome of a criminal case. Criminal defense attorneys can help DWI defendants determine the best course of action based on their individual circumstances.
Source: www.news-leader.com, “Springfield man convicted of DWI, his 7th” No author given, Nov. 15, 2013