Being cited for driving under the influence in Missouri is a serious criminal charge that can result in harsh penalties under the wrong circumstances. The court system is intent on strong prosecution, and the legislature has mandated penalties when a conviction is obtained. Even a first DUI conviction can result in incarceration when material evidence dictates, such as a DUI charge associated with an accident. Regardless of the situation, all defendants need strong legal representation.
Avoid answering questions
Some DUI charges are not always associated with alcohol. There are many known substances that can render a driver intoxicated. Depending on what substance is claimed as the basis for the impaired driving charge, officers often will attempt to get more information after the arrest is completed. Always remember that the obtained information will be used if needed, and that defendants are under no obligation to discuss the case with the arresting officer.
While all states implement the implied consent rule for licensed drivers, some suspects may actually want to refuse a breath analysis or blood test because it provides the necessary evidence to prosecute in many instances. These suspects are typically those facing a multiple offenders charge. The refusal alone carries an automatic driving privileges ban, but may be a good decision for some individuals.
Use the phone call wisely
Suspects are allowed one phone call after being arrested. This is more often made to family than an attorney, but calling an attorney may be the more prudent choice in some cases when bond is significant. An experienced DUI attorney can often negotiate a bond reduction or an own recognizance release when the evidence warrants. The primary objective while still be held is being released, and having someone helping on the outside can be vital.