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Felony DWI Defense

Felony DWI Case Types & Penalties in Missouri

DWI – Alcohol – Persistent Offender {Felony E RSMo: 577.010}

Why Is My Case Charged as DWI – Persistent Offender? – A person can only be charged with DWI – Alcohol – Persistent Offender if that person has two priors for either Driving While Intoxicated or Excessive Blood Alcohol Content. After two priors, then the third Driving While Intoxicated can be charged as a Class E Felony, which has a range of punishment of up to four years in the Missouri Department of Corrections.

No Suspended Imposition of Sentence Available – It is also important to note that a person cannot receive a Suspended Imposition of Sentence if he pleads guilty to DWI – Persistent Offender. The same Missouri statute that makes a third offense a felony also expressly forbids judges and prosecutors from disposing of the case with a Suspended Imposition of Sentence. This means any plea of guilt to the charge will result in the dire consequence of a felony conviction.

Is There Any Way to Avoid a Felony? – Yes, a felony can be avoided in three ways:

  • Establish problems with the prosecutor’s case so the prosecutor is willing to amend the charge to a misdemeanor DWI instead of the felony;
  • Some counties have DWI Courts that allow a felony to be reduced to a misdemeanor upon successful completion of the DWI Court program; or
  • Win at trial

 

DWI – Alcohol – Aggravated Offender {Felony D RSMo: 577.010}

Why Is My Case Charged as DWI – Aggravated Offender? – A person can only be charged with DWI – Alcohol – Aggravated Offender if that person has three priors for either Driving While Intoxicated or Excessive Blood Alcohol Content.

 

After three priors, then the fourth Driving While Intoxicated offense can be charged as a Class D Felony, which has a range of punishment of up to seven years in the Missouri Department of Corrections.

 

No Suspended Imposition of Sentence Available – It is also important to note that a person cannot receive a Suspended Imposition of Sentence if he pleads guilty to DWI – Aggravated Offender.

The same Missouri statute that makes a fourth offense a felony also expressly forbids judges and prosecutors from disposing of the case with a Suspended Imposition of Sentence. This means any plea of guilt to the charge will result in the dire consequence of a felony conviction.

 

60 Days of Mandatory Jail Time – The most important thing to know about Driving While Intoxicated – Aggravated Offender is that if you plead guilty or are found guilty of this offense then you must serve at least 60 days of jail time. Even if the judge decides to grant you probation, you still must serve 60 days of jail time as a condition of your probation.

 

Is There Any Way to Avoid this Mandatory Jail Time? – Yes, a the jail time can be avoided in three ways:

  • Establish problems with the prosecutor’s case so the prosecutor is willing to amend the charge to a lower level of DWI that does not include mandatory jail time;
  • Some counties have DWI Courts that allow a felony to be reduced to a lower level of DWI upon successful completion of the DWI Court program; or
  • Win at trial

 

How Can I Get One of These Dispositions? – the only way to achieve a result that does not include 60 days of mandatory jail time is to hire a lawyer who specializes in DWI defense. Far too many lawyers think they can handle DWI cases and that these cases are easy money.

 

Neither of these things is true. The proper defense of a DWI case is an involved, cumbersome, and lengthy process. There are very few DWI defense lawyers that have displayed the knowledge and skill in the courtroom to command the respect of prosecutors and judges in felony DWI cases.

 

DWI – Alcohol – Chronic Offender {Felony C RSMo: 577.010}

Why Is My Case Charged as DWI – Chronic Offender? – A person can only be charged with DWI – Alcohol – Chronic Offender if that person has at least four priors for either Driving While Intoxicated or Excessive Blood Alcohol Content.

 

After at least four priors, then the fifth or subsequent Driving While Intoxicated offense can be charged as a Class C Felony, which has a range of punishment of three to ten years in the Missouri Department of Corrections.

 

No Suspended Imposition of Sentence Available – It is also important to note that a person cannot receive a Suspended Imposition of Sentence if he pleads guilty to DWI – Chronic Offender. The same Missouri statute that makes a fifth or subsequent offense a felony also expressly forbids judges and prosecutors from disposing of the case with a Suspended Imposition of Sentence.

 

This means any plea of guilt to the charge will result in the dire consequence of a felony conviction.

 

Two Years of Mandatory Prison Time – The most important thing to know about Driving While Intoxicated – Chronic Offender is that if you plead guilty or are found guilty of this offense then you must serve at least two years in prison.

 

Due to the range of punishment, the sentence cannot be less than five years, but no one with a DWI – Chronic Offender can be released on parole before serving two full years in prison.

 

Is There Any Way to Avoid this Mandatory Prison Time? – Yes, a the prison time can be avoided in three ways:

  • Establish problems with the prosecutor’s case so the prosecutor is willing to amend the charge to a lower level of DWI that does not include mandatory prison time;
  • Some counties have DWI Courts that allow a felony to be reduced to a lower level of DWI upon successful completion of the DWI Court program; or
  • Win at trial

 

How Can I Get One of These Dispositions? – the only way to achieve a result that does not include two years of mandatory prison time is to hire a lawyer who specializes in DWI defense.

 

Far too many lawyers think they can handle DWI cases and that these cases are easy money. Neither of these things is true. The proper defense of a DWI case is an involved, cumbersome, and lengthy process. There are very few DWI defense lawyers that have displayed the knowledge and skill in the courtroom to command the respect of prosecutors and judges in felony DWI cases.

 

DWI Defense Lawyer Jason Korner

Fortunately for his clients, Jason Korner has tried and won many felony DWI cases. This includes cases that have been referred to him by other lawyers once those lawyers knew the case was going to trial. If you have been arrested for a Felony DWI, call Jason Korner today at 314-409-2659 or click here to fill out the contact form and our office will contact you.