Sansone Law, LLC
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Lawyer Benjamin Sansone represents hundreds of clients every year who are charged with DWI or DUI in Missouri and Illinois. Our focus is exhausting every defense available to our clients and not just getting a standard plea deal, this sets us apart from most lawyers who take DWI cases ( I say "take DWI cases" because most lawyers who take DWI cases are not DWI lawyers in my eyes.) Years of this practice has resulted in good results for our clients while protecting their record and driving privileges.
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The remainder of this page is directed to help you understand Missouri and Illinois DWI and DUI Laws: Drunk driving cases are commonly referred to as either a DWI or a DUI. These terms are used interchangeably and the charges are the same under the law. We have represented hundreds of clients in Missouri and Illinois and been very successful in the following respects:
- Preventing the criminal charges from appearing on your record;
- Preventing or minimizing license suspension or revocation periods;
- Preventing jail time (99% of our cases result in ZERO jail time);
In Missouri and Illinois it is illegal to drive with a BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) of 0.08% or greater. This is commonly measured by a breathalyzer test. However, often people refuse to take a breathalyzer test and then the intoxication must be proven based upon the arresting officer's observations and the Field Sobriety Tests.
If you took the Breathalyzer Test:
Warning! Your license is at risk of being suspended or revoked if you do not take appropriate action within 15 days (45 in Illinois) of your arrest and your BAC was over the legal limit (.08%, age 21 or over; .02%, under age 21). It is vital that you contact us immediately for your FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION so we can protect your license to drive.
If you refused to take the Breathalyzer Test:
If you refuse to take a breathalyzer test you may be subject to a 1 year revocation of your license. This revocation can be prevented; however, we must act quickly to file a stay order preventing the revocation or summary suspension of your license.
In Missouri failure to submit to a breathalyzer test violates the Missouri Implied Consent Law, Missouri Statute § 577.020 and a presumptive 1 year revocation will take affect after 15 days. This presumptive revocation can be stopped and in most cases our clients do not lose their right to drive for a single day.
1st OFFENSE DWI:
A first offense DWI is a class B Misdemeanor and if you are convicted the penalties are:
JAIL: Up to a maximum of six (6) month jail.
FINE: Up to $500.00. Court costs may also be between $10.00 and $100.00.
We prevent jail time in 99% of our cases and either have the case dismissed or arrange probation to keep the charges off your record and PREVENT A CONVICTION. PROBATION: Commonly the terms of probation are no drinking, do not break the law, and go to SATOP (Substance Abuse Traffic Offenders Program) and a VIP (Victims Impact Panel). Probation usually lasts 1 to 2 years and successful completion prevents a conviction.
2nd OFFENSE DWI:
Conviction of a second DWI within a five year period is a Class A misdemeanor.
JAIL: Up to one (1) year in jail.
FINE: Up to $1,000.00, plus court costs of between $10.00 and $100.00.
2 DWI offenses in 5 years classify you as a PRIOR OFFENDER and minimum jail time of 5 days is required under Missouri law. However, we can still prevent you from serving jail time despite this mandatory minimum requirement by substituting community service in place of jail.
We prevent jail time in 99% of PRIOR OFFENDER cases and either have the case dismissed or arrange probation to keep the charges off your record and PREVENT A CONVICTION for DWI.
PROBATION: Commonly the terms of probation are no drinking, do not break the law, and go to SATOP (Substance Abuse Traffic Offenders Program) and a VIP (Victims Impact Panel). Probation usually lasts 1 to 2 years and successful completion prevents a conviction. For PRIOR OFFENDERS courts will add various special conditions of probation that we can discuss in our initial case evaluation.
3rd OFFENSE DWI:
Conviction of three or more DWIs within 10 years results may mean that the driver is deemed to be a PERSISTENT OFFENDER or CHRONIC OFFENDER and guilty of a Class D Felony. There will also be a 10 year denial of driving privileges if convicted.
JAIL: Up to 5 years.
FINE: Up to $5,000.00, plus court costs of between $10.00 to $100.00.
PROBATION: Missouri law prohibits a SIS (Suspended Imposition of Sentence) for a felony DWI. The court may grant a SES (Suspended Execution of Sentence)
REVOCATION OF DRIVING PRIVILEGES: Upon a third or subsequent criminal conviction for DWI, the defendant's driver's license is revoked for 10 years regardless of how old the two prior convictions are. These suspensions go on the person's driving record. If convicted of a felony DWI, no hardship license is available. If the DWI is a third, but not a felony, a hardship license may be applied for after 3 years. The court must also require that a person be restricted to driving a motor vehicle which has an ignition interlock device while on probation. The device costs $50.00-100.00 to install and $50.00-$75.00 per month to maintain.