Being charged with a DUI/DWI in Arkansas or Missouri can have life-changing and long-lasting consequences. Critically, even a first offense can result in jail time, a monetary fine, and suspension of your license. Not only can a DUI/DWI conviction affect your livelihood and employment opportunities, but it can also cause damage to your reputation in the community. DUI lawyer Lauren Graham offers proficient counsel for clients facing DUI/DWI charges and provides aggressive advocacy to protect their legal rights — as well as minimize the financial and social repercussions that can come with a conviction.
DUIs/DWIs are very different from other types of criminal allegations. Not only do these types of charges apply nuanced laws, but they can also involve complex science and highly technical equipment. If you've been arrested for a DUI/DWI, it's vital to have an advocate on your side who has the depth of knowledge required to skillfully fight the charges that have been brought against you.
The Graham Law Firm PLLC has the acumen necessary to secure the best possible outcome for a variety of DUI/DWI charges, including:
A former public defender, Attorney Lauren Graham has vast experience handling DUI/DWIs and providing dependable representation for those facing criminal prosecution. She knows the strategies that the prosecution will pursue to secure a conviction — and how to assert an effective defense to reduce the impact a DUI/DWI can have on your life.
In Arkansas and Missouri, it is illegal to drive with a BAC of .08% or higher. Additionally, if you are under 21, driving with a BAC of .02% is against the law. In both jurisdictions, a DUI/DWI can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances surrounding the offense.
A first DUI/DWI offense in Arkansas can result in a penalty of 24 hours to one year in prison, a fine of $150 to $1,000, and community service at the judge's discretion. For a second offense, you might be sentenced to seven days up to one year in jail, a fine of $400 to $3,000, and community service. A third offense can mean 90 days up to one year in prison, a fine of $900 to $5,000, and community service. If you've had three DUI/DWI convictions within a certain amount of time, the fourth can be charged as a felony.
You may also lose your driving privileges if you are convicted of a DUI/DWI. Generally, the length of suspension depends upon how many prior convictions you had within the previous five years. For a first DUI/DWI offense in Arkansas, you may incur a six-month license suspension. If it's your second conviction, your driving privileges may be revoked for 24 months. With a third offense, you can expect to lose your license for 30 months.
Similarly, under Missouri law, the penalties for a DUI/DWI are just as severe. For a first offense, you may be sentenced up to six months in prison, a $1,000 fine, and a license suspension lasting 30 days. A second conviction can mean one year in jail, a $2,000 fine, and your driving privileges may be taken away for five years. Being found guilty of a DUI/DWI a third time can result in up to four years in prison, a $10,000 fine, and a 10-year license revocation. A fourth DUI/DWI carries felony charges.
There are also circumstances under which DUI/DWI sentences can be enhanced in Arkansas and Missouri. If you were driving under the influence with a minor in the vehicle, injured another — or your BAC was substantially higher than the legal limit — a judge might impose a much harsher penalty. With such steep consequences, it's essential to ensure you have a reliable DUI attorney on your side to safeguard your rights. The Graham Law Firm provides zealous representation and tenacious defense to clients who have been charged with driving while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs.
There is a distinction between the criminal penalties that the court can impose for a DUI/DWI, and the administrative penalties to which you may be subjected. Importantly, Arkansas and Missouri have implied consent laws. This means that by operating a vehicle, you are giving your consent to submit to a chemical test if you have been lawfully arrested for a DUI/DWI. If you refuse a breathalyzer test, your license can still be administratively suspended — just as it would if a chemical test established your BAC was higher than .08%.
During the time your license is suspended following a DUI/DWI arrest, you may be able to request a restricted license. If you are granted one, you may be required to pay for and install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle. The amount of time the interlock ignition device must remain in your vehicle depends upon how many previous convictions you've had.
You may be entitled to request an administrative hearing to contest your license suspension, as well as appeal the hearing officer's decision if you have grounds to do so. The Graham Law Firm offers diligent counsel at every stage of a DUI/DWI case and will fight for your right to retain your driving privileges.
Being arrested for a DUI/DWI can be an overwhelming experience — and the ramifications can be severe. But it's important to understand that an arrest is not the same thing as a conviction. Regardless of the weight of the evidence that stands against you, it's crucial to be aware that you are guaranteed the right to a vigorous defense under the Constitution.
With a DUI/DWI, there are a number of defenses you can raise to challenge the prosecution's case. For example, you might object to the accuracy of the chemical or field sobriety test used by the police officer or question the credibility of their testimony. You may also bring in a witness to testify who can challenge the officer's observations. Additionally, if the police failed to follow proper procedure, had no probable cause for the arrest, or did not provide a Miranda warning, the prosecution's case may be significantly flawed.
However, even if the evidence in your case makes dismissal unlikely, there may still be alternatives available to you that can result in a better outcome. For instance, you may be able to negotiate a favorable plea deal. Or, you might be eligible to participate in a diversion program administered through the court. The Graham Law Firm will carefully evaluate every option in your case and work to pursue the best course of action on your behalf.
If you've been arrested for a DUI/DWI, it's critical to have a DWI lawyer on your side who can ensure you are provided with a comprehensive, strategic, and untiring defense. Attorney Lauren Graham has the insight and skill to handle even the most complex DUI/DWI cases. Located in Paragould, The Graham Law Firm offers committed counsel to clients in Arkansas and Missouri facing charges for DUI/DWIs and various drug and alcohol-related offenses. Contact The Graham Law Firm today to schedule a consultation with a DUI lawyer who is dedicated to protecting your rights.