Driving a vehicle while intoxicated is a big risk, as it has the potential to result in your arrest and eventual conviction. And if that happens, you can expect it to change your life in a variety of ways.

With this in mind, it’s imperative that you protect your legal rights. There are a variety of DWI defense strategies you can use with the goal of preventing a conviction or reducing the penalties.

Even a first conviction is serious

A first conviction may not be as serious as multiple convictions, but it will still affect you.

For example, in the state of Missouri, a first conviction automatically results in a 90-day license suspension. This is exactly what it sounds like. For a period of 90 days, you’re not permitted to operate a motor vehicle. The only exception is if you qualify for a Restricted Driving Privilege, such as if you need to drive back and forth from school.

What about multiple convictions?

As if one DWI conviction isn’t bad enough, multiple convictions will really turn your life upside down.

Regardless of the amount of time between convictions, you’ll receive a one-year license revocation, along with points on your driving record.

However, if your second conviction comes within five years of your first, you may receive a five-year license suspension.

And if you happen to receive a third conviction, you’ll be without a driver’s license for a minimum of 10 years.

Other consequences

As you can see, the state of Missouri is serious about suspending the license of anyone who is convicted of DWI. However, there are other potential penalties to concern yourself with, such as:

  • Car insurance premium increase (or cancellation)
  • Large fine and court fees
  • Jail time
  • Community service
  • Loss of student aid

Along with the above, if you drive for a living, a DWI conviction will all but ensure that you need to find a new career.

Fortunately, a DWI arrest doesn’t always result in a conviction. You have the right to defend yourself in court, hoping that you can prevent a conviction and the punishments associated with it. Don’t overlook the best way to protect your legal rights.