We are dedicated to protecting the rights of drivers in Jefferson, St. Louis, St. Genevieve, St. Francois, and surrounding counties.
DWI, DUI, AND DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF DRUGS
An arrest and prosecution for Driving While Intoxicated, or Driving Under the Influence of Drugs, can affect both your ability to drive and your freedom.
What to do if you get a DUI/DWI?
DWI laws are confusing, complex, and constantly changing. If you’ve been charged with Driving While Intoxicated, you need an experienced DWI attorney immediately.
The Lowry Law Firm is committed to defending and winning DWI cases. When people are arrested for DWI, not only are they likely to have criminal charges, where jail time is a potential consequence, but also, the Department of Revenue is likely to attempt to suspend or revoke their driving privileges. When we defend DWI cases, we are dedicated to protecting clients’ rights in court against the criminal charges and preserving our clients’ driving privileges by taking action against the Department of Revenue.
Penalties for DWI can be harsh, but an arrest for DWI does not have to result in a conviction.
Contacting us immediately following an arrest is crucial. Time is of the essence. We work quickly and aggressively to protect your rights, and we take the necessary steps to begin preparing a strong defense to maintain your driving privilege after a DWI arrest.
We know the procedures that the police officers are required to follow when making a stop and arrest.
We understand the science involved in breath, blood, and urine tests. We know how to analyze and attack the reliability, accuracy, and admissibility of those tests and have extensive training in Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs). In fact, Mr. Lowry was certified to administer SFSTs under National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) standards. Law enforcement officers throughout the State of Missouri are trained according to NHTSA standards. Our firm will engage in extensive pre-trial investigation and discovery to find evidence potentially favorable to the defense of your case.
Driving under the influence of drugs, particularly marijuana, is an increasingly common charged offense. Our attorneys know the weaknesses in those cases and attack them accordingly to ensure our clients are obtaining proper legal representation. If you are arrested for driving under the influence of drugs, contact us immediately. We will not only protect your rights, but also enforce them.
In addition to defending criminal charges against you, our Jefferson County DUI/DWI lawyers will fight to preserve your driving privilege, whether you refuse or supply a breath, blood, or urine sample. We will answer any questions you have concerning an appeal of a license suspension or revocation. In Missouri, timing on an appeal of a license suspension or revocation is crucial. We will file the proper documents to challenge the suspension or revocation and represent you at the hearing.
If this isn’t your first DWI…
If you have one or more prior DWI arrests or pleas of guilty, it is essential that you seek legal representation from a qualified Jefferson County DUI/DWI lawyer — an attorney who has the experience to know the law as it applies to those with prior alcohol-related contacts. In some cases, jail time is required by state statute; however, some people may qualify for special alternatives. Additionally, depending on the outcome of your case, you may lose your driver’s license for up to ten (10) years or be required to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle. To potentially avoid these consequences, it is critical that you contact our office immediately.
Arrests for driving while intoxicated do not have to ruin your life. Let a seasoned Jefferson County DUI/DWI lawyer help you.
WHAT DRIVING BEHAVIORS DO POLICE LOOK FOR THAT INDICATE INTOXICATION?
Police look for a wide variety of clues that a driver has been drinking. They include wide turns, crossing or straddling the center line, near collisions, weaving, swerving, driving too slowly, responding to traffic signals too slowly, stopping for no reason, following too closely, inconsistent turn signal use, driving without lights, and alternating speeds, among others.
WHAT SIGNS DOES AN OFFICER LOOK FOR AFTER HE STOPS ME?
Typical signs of intoxication include a flushed face; bloodshot, watery, or glassy eyes; an odor of alcohol; slurred speech; fumbling for identification and insurance documents; staggering; combative attitude; disorderly clothing; inability to understand or follow directions; and uncertainty about your location or time.
SHOULD I TELL A POLICE OFFICER I HAVE BEEN DRINKING IF HE ASKS?
Police cannot force you to answer incriminating questions. Any incriminating information you give may hurt your criminal case. You may simply say you prefer to speak with an attorney before answering any questions, although you have no right to speak with an attorney at that point. Your apparent “lack of cooperation,” however, may aggravate the police officer.
CAN I SPEAK TO AN ATTORNEY BEFORE I TAKE A FIELD SOBRIETY EXERCISE?
You have no right to speak to an attorney prior to deciding if you will submit to field sobriety tests.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I REFUSE TO TAKE A CHEMICAL TEST?
You face adverse consequences if you refuse to submit to a breath, blood, or urine test. Your driver’s license may be revoked for one year for a refusal. However, you may qualify for a hardship after the revocation begins. Additionally, in the criminal driving while intoxicated case, the fact of refusing can be introduced at trial as evidence of “consciousness of guilt.” Of course, the defense is free to offer other reasons for the refusal, such as fear of needles or inability to blow into the machine hard enough. Thus, the decision is one of weighing the likelihood of an incriminating blood-alcohol result against the consequences of refusing.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I PROVIDE A BREATH OR BLOOD SAMPLE IN EXCESS OF .08?
Your driver’s license may be suspended for ninety (90) days; however, if you have an alcohol-related enforcement contact within the prior five (5) years on your driver’s record, then your license may be revoked for one (1) year. A limited driving privilege is an option, but may require installation of an ignition interlock device.
IF THE OFFICER NEVER GAVE ME MIRANDA WARNINGS, CAN I GET MY CASE DISMISSED?
Not necessarily. If an officer fails to inform you of your 5th Amendment right to remain silent or “Miranda” warnings after he arrests you, prosecutors likely will not be permitted to use any statements you made following your arrest in a trial on the matter. That does not, however, mean you cannot be prosecuted or that a dismissal will occur. A Miranda violation potentially suppresses statements; however, it does not necessarily cause an action to be dismissed.
Of more significance in most cases is an officer’s failure to advise you of the Missouri Implied Consent Law – that is, your legal obligation to take a chemical test and the consequences if you refuse. This can affect the revocation of your license.
DO I NEED A LAWYER?
It is possible, but not advisable, for you to represent yourself if you are charged with driving while intoxicated. DWI defense is very complex, constantly changing, and a conviction or plea of guilty comes with increasingly serious consequences. Procedural, evidentiary, constitutional, sentencing, and administrative license issues can present challenges for those inexperienced in DWI defense.
A qualified DWI defense attorney can take a host of beneficial actions, including reviewing the case for defects, suppressing evidence, compelling discovery of such things as calibration and maintenance records for the breath machine, having blood samples independently analyzed, negotiating for a lesser charge or reduced sentence, obtaining expert testimony for trial, performing depositions, and contesting the administrative license suspension, among other things.
HOW MUCH WILL A LAWYER COST?
Multiple factors can impact the cost of your case – whether your charge is a misdemeanor or felony, whether you have any prior arrests, convictions, or prior pleas of guilty, whether an expert is needed, and whether the case will be resolved by plea bargain or by trial. We will provide an estimate to you upon our initial consultation and explain any pertinent issues to you.