The Consequences of DWI For Underage Drivers in Missouri

The Consequences of DWI For Underage Drivers in Missouri The legal drinking age is 21 in the state of Missouri. But, many people drink alcohol well before their 21st birthday. It’s a crime to consume alcohol before reaching the legal drinking age–and it’s a far more serious crime to get behind the wheel after doing it. Here’s a look at the consequences of DWI for underage drivers in Missouri:

The Legal Limit For Underage Drivers

The legal limit for drivers that are over the age of 21 is 0.08%, however it is different for drivers that are underage. An underage driver can face legal consequences if their BAC is above 0.02%. Because this is so low, it doesn’t take much alcohol to raise an underage driver’s BAC above this level. However, it’s possible that the underage driver will be charged with being a minor in possession of alcohol instead of DWI if their BAC is below 0.08%.

Driver’s License Suspension

An underage driver who is arrested for DWI will face an immediate suspension or revocation of their driving privileges. The length of the suspension or revocation will depend on a number of circumstances, including the underage driver’s criminal record. For example, first-time underage DWI offenders may have their license suspended for a period of up to 90 days, whereas repeat offenders could face longer suspensions or revocations.

Delayed Driver’s License

Teens can obtain a driver’s permit when they turn 15 years old, and an intermediate license once they are 16 years old. But, the law states that drivers must not have been convicted of any alcohol-related offense over the last 12 months in order to obtain an intermediate license. This means if a driver with a driver’s permit is convicted of underage DWI, he cannot obtain his intermediate license until 12 months has passed since his conviction.

Incarceration

Anyone who is convicted of DWI for underage drivers in Missouri can face possible jail time. First-time underage DWI offenders face a maximum of six months behind bars, but repeat offenders can face longer sentences. It’s not common for a judge to sentence a first-time offender to six months in jail, but it is a real possibility that every defendant in this situation should prepare for just in case.

Fines

Being convicted of an underage DWI can also lead to substantial fines. The judge presiding over your case has the authority to impose fines of up to $500 for first-time offenders and more than $1,000 for repeat offenders.

Have you been charged with DWI for underage drivers? If so, contact the attorneys at The Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center at the Benjamin Law Firm, LLC at once. Our criminal defense attorneys will aggressively defend your rights and protect 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 free consultation today.

How Much is My Personal Injury Case Worth?

How Much is My Personal Injury Case Worth?One of the most pressing questions that people have after sustaining an injury is typically, “How much is my personal injury case worth?” It’s not easy to answer this question since every personal injury case is so unique. The truth is that the value of a personal injury case depends on a number of different factors. Here’s a look at some of the most important ones:

Expenses and Losses

Personal injury victims are entitled to compensation for expenses incurred and losses suffered as a result of their injuries. Two common examples of expenses and losses related to personal injuries are medical expenses and lost wages. The greater the expenses and losses, the higher the value of the case. However, the at-fault party will need to see proof of these expenses and losses. If you cannot provide documentation, this will lower the value of your case.

The Severity of the Injuries

Serious injuries typically require more extensive and expensive treatment, which increases the overall value of your case. But, that’s not the only reason why the severity of the injuries affects the value of the case. Victims are also entitled to compensation for their physical and emotional pain and suffering. It’s hard to prove that a minor injury caused significant distress, but it’s much easier to recover compensation for the pain and suffering caused by a severe injury. For this reason, cases involving severe injuries are usually valued higher than cases involving minor injuries.

Your Role in the Accident

Another factor that can significantly impact the value of your case is the role you played in the accident. For example, let’s say you were injured in a car accident. If the other driver was solely to blame for the accident, he is responsible for compensating you for your injuries. But, it’s possible that you also contributed to the cause of the accident. If you were partially to blame, this will lower the value of your injury claim.

The effect that your role in the accident has on the value of your claim will depend on the size of your role. For instance, if the court finds that you were 20% responsible and the other driver was 80% response, you will still take home 80% of the compensation awarded to you. The larger your role was in the accident, the more it reduces the amount of compensation awarded to you.

Have you been injured by the negligent acts of another person? If so, the attorneys at The Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center at the Benjamin Law Firm, LLC can help. Trained at the nationally renowned Gerry Spence Trial Lawyers College and mentored under award-winning trial attorney and firm founder Kim Benjamin, our attorneys are known for working tirelessly to recover compensation for victims. Call our office at 816-322-8008, email us at info@benjaminlawkc.com or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a free consultation today.

What to Expect During An Arraignment For DWI

What to Expect During An Arraignment For DWIAn arraignment is a hearing that takes place shortly after you are arrested for DWI. This is the first time you will need to appear before a judge in court, so it can be a nerve-wracking experience. It’s best to prepare by learning what to expect during an arraignment for DWI. Here’s what you need to know:

Formal Presentation of the Charges

At this point in the process, it’s not hard to figure out that you are being accused of drunk driving. But, the arraignment is the first time that you are formally presented with the criminal charges being filed against you. The judge will read each charge aloud and ask you to confirm that you understand the crimes that you are accused of committing.

Enter A Plea

During the arraignment, the defendant is expected to enter a plea to each criminal charge. The defendant has the option of pleading guilty, not guilty, or not guilty by reason of insanity. Pleading guilty means taking responsibility and accepting the consequences of committing the crime. If you enter this plea, the case will move straight into the sentencing phase. However, if you plead not guilty or not guilty by reason of insanity, the case will go to trial.

It’s important to seek an attorney’s advice before formally entering a plea. An attorney can clearly explain each option and how it will affect your future. An attorney can also review the details of your case and tell you if it is in your best interests to go to trial and fight for your freedom. Sometimes, an attorney can also negotiate with the prosecution to arrange a plea that allows you to avoid serious consequences in exchange for pleading guilty to DWI.

The plea that you enter during your arraignment can affect the rest of your life, so it’s best to speak to an attorney instead of making this decision alone.

Trial Dates

At the end of the arraignment, the judge will discuss the next steps that will take place in the defendant’s case. If the defendant has entered a not guilty or not guilty by reason of insanity plea, the judge will set a tentative trial date. He will work with the defense and prosecution when setting this date to ensure both sides are satisfied with the decision.

Don’t attend an arraignment hearing without an attorney from The Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center at the Benjamin Law Firm, LLC by your side. Let our experienced criminal defense attorneys advise you prior to the arraignment and protect your rights during this important hearing. Call our office at 816-322-8008, email us at info@benjaminlawkc.com or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a free consultation today.