The potential penalties for a DUI conviction in Missouri are always harsh. State law classifies a drunk driving offense as a class B misdemeanor. This means that a conviction can result in a jail sentence. However, another question people often ask is how much are DUI fines in Missouri? In many cases, convictions can come with mandatory fines in excess of $1,000.
It is important to remember that these are the penalties that apply to situations where a driver has no prior DWI convictions. Previous convictions will increase the severity of the criminal charge and mean that subsequent convictions will bring more severe punishments. Understanding the potential consequences of a DUI conviction in Missouri can be a crucial part of a person’s decision to accept a plea deal or seek out legal help. The team at Wegmann Law Firm is ready to provide more information about the state’s DWI laws and how they can impact your finances.
Minimum Fines that Accompany Basic Missouri DUI Cases
The most important thing to remember about a drunk driving allegation is that state law considers these incidents to be criminal acts. According to Missouri Revised Statute § 577.010, core DWI convictions are class B misdemeanors. This means that a conviction can bring a jail sentence of as long as six months. It also means that a court may order a responsible person to pay a fine of up to $1,000. Finally, the court must suspend a person’s driver’s license for at least 30 days.
In addition to these direct penalties, the court also has the power to require a person to:
- Attend a Victim Impact Panel
- Complete a substance abuse education program
- Install an ignition interlock device
While these are not direct fines that appear under Missouri’s DWI laws, they all take place at the expense of the driver. This means that a conviction for even a first-time DUI case will bring financial penalties in the amount of thousands of dollars.
Situations where a Missouri DUI Case Can Bring Enhanced Penalties
The fines listed above apply to core DUI convictions. These occur when a driver has no DUI convictions on their criminal record within the past five years. A second conviction that occurs within this time upgrades the severity of the charge to a class A misdemeanor. Class A misdemeanors increase the potential jail sentence to as long as one year and heighten the maximum fine to $2,000. Further convictions transform the allegation into a felony where fines may be as severe as $10,000.
Other factors may play a role in making a DUI fine in Missouri more severe, even if it is an individual’s first DUI case. These include:
- Being under the age of 21
- Having a child in the vehicle that is under the age of 17
- When the incident results in physical injury or the death of another person
An attorney could help people better understand the potential consequences of their specific cases and develop defenses that help them avoid the penalties that accompany conviction.
Reach Out to the Wegmann Law Firm Now to Learn More About the DUI Fines in Missouri
Allegations of drunk driving in Missouri are serious matters. All convictions can force a person to pay thousands of dollars in direct fines, required education course fees, and purchase ignition interlock devices. If you are wondering how much the DUI fines in Missouri are, reach out to the Wegmann Law Firm today. They are ready to listen to your story and provide the information you need to protect your present and future.