The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. Articles Latest Changes in Missouri DWI Law - St. Louis Car Crash Lawyer

Latest Changes in Missouri DWI Law - St. Louis Car Crash Lawyer

By Christopher Hoffmann  May. 15, 2017 8:33a

Driving under the influence of any intoxicating substance is illegal. With the changes effective 2017, those charged with a DWI in the state of Missouri will face a more stringent DWI law. Offenders will get charged under the new C, D and E felony classes. Our St. Louis accident lawyer discusses these changes in detail.

Class E Felony

Offenders are charged with the E felony class for their third DWI offense. This charge is given to those considered as ‘persistent offenders’, or for those who ‘act with criminal negligence to cause physical injury to someone.’

  • A persistent offender is the one who is guilty twice or more on separate occasions for intoxication related offenses. It also applies to individuals who have been found guilty of driving a vehicle while intoxicated and have been responsible for injuring or killing another person, violating the state law, municipal or county ordinance, or any military or federal offense. Persistent offenders classified under Class E are charged with 4 years of jail time, fine up to $10,000, multiple years of driving license revocation, community service and / other types of penalties. Class E felony charges generally cannot be expunged and stay on the offenders criminal record.

  • Offenders are also charged under Class E felony if they ‘fail to be aware of an unjustifiable and substantial risk that circumstances exist or a result will follow, and such failure constitutes a serious deviation from the standard of care which a reasonable person would exercise in the situation.

The Class D Felony

Offenders committing a DWI offense for the fourth time are termed as ‘aggravated offenders’. An offender gets classified under Class D if they act with criminal negligence to cause physical injury to any emergency personnel or law enforcement officer while driving intoxicated.

  • A class D felony charge applies to any offender who commits intoxication related traffic offenses more than three times on separate occasions. It also applies if the offender commits two or more intoxication related traffic offenses on separate occasions, of which one offense is committed in violation of state law, municipal or county ordinance, or any military or federal offense while operating a vehicle under influence of any intoxicating substance and injures or kills another person.

  • A D class felony can invite charges of 7 years of jail time, fine up to $10,000, a significant loss of driving privileges and enhanced penalties.

The Class C Felony

The class C felony applies to chronic offenders who commit a DWI offense for fifth time, or for those who are responsible for the death a person while driving under the influence of any intoxicating substance.

  • The class C felony applies to those who commit intoxication related traffic offenses more than four times on separate occasions,

  • Or if the offender commits three or more intoxication related traffic offenses on separate occasions, of which one offense is committed in violation of state law, municipal or county ordinance, or any military or federal offense while operating a vehicle under influence of any intoxicating substance and injures or kills another person;

  • Or if the offender commits two or more if the offender commits two or more intoxication related traffic offenses on separate occasions, and both offenses are committed in violation of state law, municipal or county ordinance, or any military or federal offense while operating a vehicle under influence of any intoxicating substance and injures or kills another person.

  • Class C felony charges include 3 to 10 years of jail time, a fine of up to $10000, with huge loss of driving privileges and other penalties.

Considering these charges can change depending of the circumstances under which the DWI offense was committed, the amount of harm it caused, the ruling of the court, probation and parole conditions placed on the offender, it is essential to get legal help from St. Louis auto accident attorney if you have been involved in an accident with a driver who was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

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