The difference between felony and misdemeanor DWIs

On Behalf of | Aug 2, 2019 | drunk driving charges

Missouri handles DWI cases very seriously. The charges are often divided into misdemeanors and felonies. Depending on whether or not a person is convicted, they could end up facing severe and long-lasting repercussions.

According to FindLaw, the number of prior convictions and blood alcohol content (BAC) level both impact the type of charge a person will be facing. For example, first time offenses are considered a Class B misdemeanor. If the BAC level is over .2 percent, they face up to 5 days in jail. If it is below that, they face a minimum of 48 hours.

Multiple convictions will raise the jail time. One prior conviction will result in a minimum of 10 days in jail. Two or more prior convictions equates to 30 days. Three or more carries a minimum of 60 days, and four or more has a minimum of 2 years.

The Missouri Department of Revenue takes a look at DWI felonies, which is a more severe category than misdemeanors. Generally speaking, a person will have to commit more severe crimes in order to be charged with a felony. This can include property damage, aggressive driving, and causing bodily harm to passengers, other drivers, or pedestrians. Misdemeanor charges can be upped to felonies if multiple laws were broken as well, such as if there are minors in the vehicle while a driver is under the influence.

Whether a person is facing misdemeanor or felony charges, the consequences of any DWI conviction can be quite great. Those facing such charges may find it beneficial to contact an attorney for more information.