You didn’t think you had that much to drink. You certainly didn’t feel drunk. Or maybe you knew you should not have been driving. Either way, you were arrested for Driving While Intoxicated after being stopped by the police. The officer had you do some tests that you have never heard of before. Then he asked you to blow into a machine that you have never seen before. So you did. Or maybe you refused. Now what? The officer gave you a sheet of paper to use as your driver’s license. What is the next step? Can I drive to work tomorrow? Am I going to go back to jail even though I already went to jail when I was arrested? These questions are connected to every DWI case. You don’t know the answers and that is when you need to call us. The DWI defense attorneys at Grafe & Batchelor have the answers you are looking for when it comes to defending your DWI case in Jefferson County.
The first step is to make sure your driving privilege is preserved. Every DWI case in Jefferson County has two parts – one involving your driver’s license and the other involving the criminal case against you. Success in your license case will often mean the difference between you keeping your job and looking for a new one. Before you hire a lawyer to defend your DWI case in Jefferson County, ask two questions: first, do you subpoena the arresting officer for the administrative or refusal hearing, and second, are you trained in field sobriety test administration according to the NHTSA standards. If the answer to either or both questions is no, you need to call the DWI defense attorneys at Grafe & Batchelor. At Grafe & Batchelor the answer to both of these questions will always be yes – officers are always subpoenaed to administrative or refusal hearings and we have been trained in field sobriety test administration according to the NHTSA standards – this is the same training police officers receive in the detection of suspected impaired drivers. The number of attorneys practicing DWI defense in Jefferson County who have received this training is very small. Put the attorneys to work for you who have the same training as the police officers!
Breath Sample Cases
Time is of the essence when it comes to your license case after you have been arrested for DWI in Jefferson County. If you provided a breath sample you have 15 days from the arrest to request an administrative hearing before a hearing officer employed by the Director of Revenue. If this request is not made there is no way to contest the pending loss of your license. The issues at this administrative hearing are (1) did the officer have probable cause to arrest you for DWI and (2) was your blood alcohol content was over the legal limit.
The officer’s decision to arrest for DWI is almost always based on the results of field sobriety tests. That is why the administration and scoring of these tests is key to defending your DWI case, as well as the ability of the attorney to challenge those tests.
Whether your blood alcohol content was over the legal limit often depends on whether or not the testing officer followed the regulations set forth by the Department of Health and Senior Services. These regulations cover officer permitting, maintenance of the breath test machines, a visual inspection of the subject' mouth and an observation period that must be conducted by the officer. These issues can be complicated but the DWI defense attorneys at Grafe & Batchelor have the experience needed to find the issue and capitalize on mistakes made by officers. We have handled hundreds of administrative hearings over the last thirteen years and our success rate speaks for itself.
If you refused to provide a breath sample you have 30 days to file a Petition for Review to challenge the revocation of your license. The issues at this hearing are (1) were you were stopped or arrested; (2) did the officer have probable cause to arrest you for DWI and (3) did you refuse to provide a breath sample. As in a breath sample case the officer’s decision to arrest for DWI is almost always based on the results of the field sobriety tests, and the administration and scoring of these tests is critical to defending your refusal case.
In a refusal case the decision to not provide a breath sample is often a source of confusion. Under the statutes in Missouri a driver has 20 minutes to contact an attorney after a request for a breath, blood or urine test is made by the officer. However, the officer does not have to inform the driver of this right to contact an attorney. This opportunity to contact an attorney if you request one is different that the right to an attorney under the Miranda decision. If you request an attorney after being read the Implied Consent law and you are not afforded the opportunity to do so the refusal is not valid and your license cannot be revoked for one year for refusing to provide a sample. However, if you are not successful in your lawsuit against the Director your license will be revoked for one year. With so much on the line you need a DWI defense attorney who is trained in field sobriety test administration and scoring, as well as one who is well versed in refusal issues. You also need an attorney who has the experience to handle this type of case. The DWI defense attorneys at Grafe & Batchelor have tried hundreds of refusal cases over the last thirteen years. Put that experience to work for you.
The State of Missouri, County of Jefferson or one of the many municipalities located in Jefferson County will try to prosecute you for DWI. The DWI defense attorneys at Grafe & Batchelor have handled almost one thousand criminal DWI cases in our combined 25 years of experience. If you have prior DWI offenses the stakes are higher for you because the penalties are different than if you are a first time offender. If you are a first time offender, preventing a DWI from negatively impacting your future is of the utmost importance. Just like the clients we represent, each DWI case is different, depending on the goals of our client. We will always communicate with you each step of the way to make sure your goals are being met. For some clients this means a plea bargain agreement. For other clients this means a jury trial. Do not let a general practice attorney handle your DWI case. Would you let a general practitioner handle your heart surgery? The DWI defense attorneys at Grafe & Batchelor have the experience, expertise and professional reputation to accomplish your goals with your case.
If you have one prior plea of guilty to DWI or excessive BAC within the last five years you can be charged as a prior offender, a class A misdemeanor. If you have two prior pleas of guilty you can be charged as a persistent offender, a class E felony. If you have three pleas of guilty you can be charged as an aggravated offender, a class D felony, and one with four or more pleas of guilty can be charged as a chronic offender, a class B felony. Each of these classes of offenses carries mandatory jail or prison time by statute.
Contact us today for a consultation.
If you have been arrested for DWI, you need a defense attorney who has the knowledge and experience to help you win. Call Grafe & Batchelor, P.C. today at 636.933.9151 or contact us online to set up a consultation.