How Bail is Determined For DWI Offenders

How Bail is Determined For DWI OffendersBail is money that DWI offenders must pay to the court in exchange for their release from custody. The amount that DWI offenders must pay for their release varies on a case-by-case basis. Here’s how bail is determined after an arrest:

What Factors Does the Judge Consider When Setting Bail?

The judge presiding over the case will consider a number of factors when setting bail for a DWI defendant. The first is the severity of the crime. For example, a defendant who crashed into a vehicle and injured someone while drunk will typically pay a higher bail than a DWI offender who did not injure anyone.

The defendant’s criminal history can also affect the bail amount. Defendants with prior arrests or convictions on their record should expect to pay more bail than first-time offenders. Sometimes, the judge will even deny bail for defendants with multiple DWI convictions and force them to stay behind bars until their trial.

The judge will also consider the defendant’s ties to the local community. Where does the defendant currently live? Does the defendant work nearby? Does he have close friends or family members in the area? If the defendant does not have ties to the community, he is considered a flight risk. Therefore, the judge may set a higher bail amount to ensure he sticks around and makes an appearance in court when required to do so.

After considering these factors, the judge will officially set the defendant’s bail. DWI offenders must then either pay the full bail amount or work with a bail bonds agency to post a bond that guarantees payment in the event they fail to show up for court.

Will You Be Released On Your Own Recognizance?

It’s important to note that some DWI offenders will not need to pay bail in order to secure their release from custody. Instead, these DWI offenders will be released on their own recognizance, which means they can avoid paying bail if they agree to appear in court when required in the future. The judge will consider the same factors listed above when determining whether or not a defendant should be released on his own recognizance.

Have you been charged with DWI? Let the experienced attorneys at The Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center at the Benjamin Law Firm, LLC represent you from the start to the finish of your case. Call our office at 816-322-8008, email us at info@benjaminlawkc.com or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation today.

Are DWI Checkpoints Legal in Missouri?

Are DWI Checkpoints Legal in Missouri?DWI checkpoints are areas where law enforcement officers are stationed and ready to randomly stop drivers in order to check for signs of intoxication. The laws regarding DWI checkpoints vary from state-to-state. In fact, some states have outlawed the use of DWI checkpoints altogether. Is Missouri one of these states? Here’s what you need to know:

DWI Checkpoints in Missouri

It is not illegal to conduct a DWI checkpoint in the state of Missouri. But, the state drastically reduced funding for DWI checkpoints last year. Although law enforcement officers are allowed to conduct DWI checkpoints, they do not exercise this right very often due to lack of funding.

Saturation Patrols in Missouri

The state chose to shift millions of dollars in funding away from DWI checkpoints and into saturation patrols. A saturation patrol involves a large number of law enforcement officers patrolling an area at a specific time. The officers will closely watch drivers in the area to look for signs of intoxication, such as speeding, reckless driving, or making wide turns. If an officer spots a driver that is showing signs of intoxication, he will pull the driver over. This differs from a checkpoint, where officers pull over drivers at random to look for signs of intoxication.

What to Expect During A DWI Checkpoint or Saturation Patrol

Law enforcement officers can conduct both DWI checkpoints and saturation patrols in Missouri, so drivers should be prepared for both. Do not tell the police officer who pulls you over if you have been drinking alcohol—even if it was not enough to impair your driving. The officer may ask you to step out of the car and perform a series of field sobriety tests. The results of these tests are not reliable. Since you are under no obligation to perform field sobriety tests, it’s best to refuse. However, there are consequences for refusing to take a chemical test, so keep this in mind if you are asked to take a blood or breath test.

Above all else, it’s important to remain calm at all times during a DWI stop. If you are arrested, exercise your right to an attorney as soon as possible.

Are you facing DWI charges? Don’t face these criminal charges without an attorney from The Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center at the Benjamin Law Firm, LLC by your side. Our criminal defense attorneys are committed to protecting your rights and fighting for your freedom. Call our office at 816-322-8008, email us at info@benjaminlawkc.com or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation today.

The Importance of Invoking Your Right to Remain Silent

The Importance of Invoking Your Right to Remain Silent Anyone who has ever watched a TV show about crimes or police investigations has probably heard the saying “You have the right to remain silent.” Many people may know this expression, but very few understand what it means or the importance of invoking it.

What is the Right to Remain Silent?

Law enforcement officers must read your Miranda rights if they take you into custody and plan on interrogating you. The right to remain silent is one of your Miranda rights—and an important one, too. Invoking this right tells law enforcement that you will not answer any of their questions. If you fail to invoke this right when taken into custody for questioning, you may accidentally make an incriminating statement or say something that you do not mean. Anything you say in questioning can unfortunately be used against you in court. Therefore, it is vital to invoke this right in order to reach the best possible outcome in your criminal case.

How to Invoke the Right to Remain Silent

It’s best to let law enforcement officers know that you are invoking your right to remain silent instead of simply staying quiet. If you stay quiet, the police officers can continue to question you to see if you start talking. However, if you make it clear that you are invoking your right to remain silent, the questioning must stop immediately.

If you are taken into custody, make it clear from the very beginning that you plan on taking advantage of your constitutional right to stay silent. You should invoke this right as soon as possible when taken in for questioning—do not make the mistake of answering a few questions first.

Be polite yet firm when telling law enforcement that you are invoking your right to remain silent. You can say something along the lines of “I am invoking my right to remain silent” or “I am choosing to remain silent.” Make sure you are speaking loud and clear so the police officers cannot claim that they did not hear you invoke your right to remain silent. No matter what the police officers say, it’s important to stand by your decision to remain silent.

Have you been accused of committing a crime? If so, invoke your right to remain silent—and your right to an attorney. The experienced criminal defense attorneys at The Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center at the Benjamin Law Firm, LLC will work tirelessly to reach the best possible outcome in your case. Call our office at 816-322-8008, email us at info@benjaminlawkc.com or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation today.