Breath tests used as probable cause for DWI arrests are far
from foolproof. The alcohol level in your bloodstream can change rapidly in a
fairly short amount of time. As a result, breath test results could differ
wildly from a person who takes the test just a few minutes after consuming an
alcoholic drink and a person who takes the test 30 minutes later or one hour
Why does this make a difference? Well, a DWI conviction
requires that the person charged with the offense have a blood alcohol content (BAC)
of 0.08% or more at the time of operating a vehicle. If a police officer
doesn’t perform a breath test until after arresting and transporting a person
to the station, then the breath test results may vary substantially from the
time when the person was driving.
Furthermore, there is a required observation period during
which the police officer must monitor the driver’s actions prior to
administering a breath test. This is a mandatory process that officers must
follow in order to make any breath test results admissible in court. The
required waiting period also may alter the breath test results, simply due to
the passage of time.
Police officers who administer breath testing machines in the
state of Missouri must be licensed to do so. If they are not licensed or
properly trained, they may improperly administer the breath test. If there is
evidence of an officer’s failure to follow standard procedures or to receive
adequate training on administering a breath test, a court could rule the breath
test results to be inadmissible.
Finally, medical conditions or certain medications can
interfere with breath test results, which may make them inaccurate. Evidence of
these conditions can invalidate or cast significant doubt on breath test
results at trial.
alcohol-related driving offenses can result in serious consequences. At Missouri
DWI & Criminal Law Center, we pride ourselves on helping our
clients through their legal difficulties related to general criminal offenses,
including drug offenses, traffic violations, DWI, and expungement of criminal
records. Call our office today at (816)
322-8008 and learn what we can do to help.
Rev. Stat. §
provides the circumstances under which you may request for a hardship license,
or limited driving privilege (LDP), when your driver’s license is suspended,
revoked, or denied, and your license is not currently eligible for
reinstatement. An LDP allows you to drive in certain predetermined situations
while you do not have a valid driver’s license.
There are some
situations in which you are ineligible for an LDP, as follows:
license is eligible for reinstatement, but you have not met all the
have been convicted of a felony offense involving a motor vehicle within the
last five years.
commercial driving privileges are suspended, revoked, cancelled or
license has been revoked for failing to pass a driving or medical exam as
required by DOR.
suspension is for an unpaid motor vehicle accident judgment.
suspension is for an unpaid ticket in Missouri or any other state.
court-ordered suspension is for a DWI or driving with excessive BAC conviction,
or you have an administrative suspension for driving with a BAC over the legal
are not a Missouri resident and you do not currently work or attend school in
If your suspension is
related to DWI, you may be eligible for a restricted driving permit (RDP) in
some situations, which is another form of a hardship license. However,
obtaining an LDP in that situation is not an option.
Additionally, if you
do not already have an SR-22 insurance form on file with DOR when you are
granted an LDP, then you must have your insurance company provide proof of
insurance to DOR. If you have more than one alcohol-related driving offense on
your record, or an active chemical revocation, or in some cases, only one
alcohol offense, then you must submit proof of installation of an Ignition
Interlock Device (IID) on your vehicle. You must maintain the IID on your
vehicle for as long as you have the LDP.
you are charged with any type of DWI or alcohol-related offense, you will need
an experienced DWI
defense attorney to represent your interests from the very beginning
of your case. Obtaining a hardship license may be a possibility if your license
is suspended for this type of criminal offense, and we will fully explore this
option with you. We are here to look at the facts of your case, explore your
options, and build the strongest defense possible on your behalf. Contact
the Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center at
Benjamin Law Firm, LLC, at (816)
322-8008 and set up an appointment to speak with us today.
Rev. Stat. §
forth Missouri’s comprehensive expungement law that went into effect in 2018.
Once you have filed a petition for expungement, the court holds a hearing to
consider evidence in support of the petition. The court may accept evidence and
hear testimony on the following factors related to each offense listed in the
petition for expungement:
required amount of time has elapsed since you completed the disposition imposed
for each offense, which generally is seven years for felonies and three years
for misdemeanors, municipal offenses, or infractions.
have not been found guilty of anything other than traffic violations during
that same time period.
have satisfied all obligations related to the disposition for the offense,
including the payment of any fines or restitution.
have no charges pending.
habits and conduct demonstrate that you are not a threat to the public safety
of the state.
expungement is consistent with the public welfare.
interests of justice warrant the expungement.
In other words, you
generally must how that you have not been engaged in any criminal activity
during the seven or three years since you completed the sentence for the
criminal offense that you are seeking to expunge. You also can provide evidence
that you are a good and productive member of society. To that end, you may
offer evidence to show that you are gainfully employed or are attending school
and that you have developed a stable home and family life. If your past
offenses involved drugs or alcohol, you might offer evidence of completion of
rehabilitation, counseling, educational courses, or any ongoing efforts that
you regularly engage in to maintain sobriety.
If you provide
evidence that meets the objective criteria listed above, i.e., that the correct
timeframe has elapsed since you completed the sentences for your offense, you
have accrued no additional criminal convictions or pending criminal charges,
and you have satisfied all of your obligations required by your sentence, then
there is a presumption that you should receive an expungement of the offense.
If the prosecuting attorney’s office objects to the proposed expungement, they
can provide evidence that rebuts the presumption that you should be granted an
expungement. Any victim of the offense also can provide testimony at the
hearing regarding your petition for expungement.
The Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center of Benjamin Law Firm, LLC, is
a law firm focusing on DWI
and traffic violations, as well as expungements. When you need results, contact us at (816) 322-8008 or fill out the online information form located here.