Driver’s license hearings in a Kansas City DWI case
Written by: Christopher Yotz
If you are charged with Driving While Intoxicated in Kansas City or any of the jurisdictions in Missouri and Kansas your driving privileges could be automatically suspended. You should hire an experienced DWI lawyer quickly after being arrested in order to properly contest this suspension. In Missouri you have 15 days to request a hearing on the suspension if you voluntarily gave a breath or blood sample. You have 30 days to file for a hearing if the officer claims that you refused to give a valid sample after it being requested. In either case, you only have a 15 day temporary permit to drive from the date of the arrest (assuming you are otherwise eligible to drive). You should hire an attorney well within that 15 day period regardless whether the state claims you gave a valid sample or not.
When contesting the automatic suspension of your driving privileges the state only has to prove that there was a reasonable basis for your arrest (similar to probable cause) and that either you tested over .08% BAC (unless you were under age or had a CDL at the time) or that you refused to give a valid sample.
The state has to show that there was probable cause for your arrest. They may not have to show that there was a valid reason for the initial traffic stop or that you were specifically arrested for DWI. If the initial traffic stop is determined to have been invalid in the criminal court this does not in itself invalidate your ultimate arrest. Also, if the officer has a valid reason to arrest you for another charge such as Driving While Suspended they can determine probable cause for Driving While Intoxicated later and it can still be used in the administrative suspension.
If the state claims that you tested over .08% BAC then you have the chance to fight the level and maybe the timing of the sample. The allegedly scientific ways used to determine blood alcohol content are not perfect. An experienced DWI lawyer can accurately assess the evidence against you and properly counsel you on whether the BAC result can be effectively defended and how that may occur.
The state may claim that you refused to give a valid breath or blood sample. If this is the case you must make every attempt to defend this claim or your driver’s license could be suspended for a year in Missouri.
Regardless whether the state claims you gave a valid sample over .08% BAC or refused, you should hire an experienced DWI attorney quickly. Only an experienced attorney can provide you with the best possible defense to help protect your ability to drive. Contact attorney Chris Yotz to help protect your ability to drive.