Do they have diversion programs for DWIs in Missouri? 1 Answers as of February 22, 2011

I recently received my first DWI, blowing .127. The officer told me to not worry about hiring an attorney, because I said I didn't have money for that. I also got a ticket for no proof of insurance. First, I was only borrowing the vehicle and do not have it anymore, and the girl that owns it refuses to give me proof of ins. My question is, what is going to happen to me, and how do I get a court appointed attorney? I am completely embarrassed by the whole situation. Also, could I get diversion being my first time ever in trouble?

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Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC
Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC | Lacy Fields
Whether "diversion" is available will depend on the area in which you live and what type of programs the local prosecutor offers. In the St. Louis area, we do not have diversion programs. However, Missouri law allows for a specific type of probation ("SIS") that does not count as a conviction and is removed from the public records after your probation is completed.

Nonetheless, you really, really, really need an attorney for this. These first DWI charges are critical. You need an attorney because 1) an attorney can review the evidence and police report to see if any of the evidence was improperly obtained and can be thrown out; and 2) an attorney can make sure you handle this first charge in a way that it can be expunged later; and 3) an attorney can explain the various types of probation to you so that you can understand the risks involved with taking one type of probation over another.

If you cannot afford an attorney, you may ask for a public defender. If you have any other questions in the meantime, feel free to contact my office. Good luck!
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 2/22/2011
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