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Call Us Today!
(636) 256-7300
Call Us Today!
(636) 256-7300

St. Louis DWI Defense Attorney

DWI DEFENSE LAWYER -  DUI DEFENSE LAWYER

You were stopped by the police and were arrested for DWI - Driving While Intoxicated or DUI - Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and/or Drugs.

What do you do now? You can't have your driver license suspended. You need to be able to drive your car! You need to be able to drive to work! You need to be able to drive to the store, the gym, to be able to go to all the places you normally have to go, to do the things you have to do!  Who do you call for the legal help you need? Which DWI Lawyer - DWI Attorney will fight hard for you to keep your drivers license from being suspended? Which DWI Lawyer - DWI Attorney will give your case the personal attention it deserves?

When you need the best DWI Defense Lawyer - DWI Defense Attorney for your case, you need to call:

DOUGLAS RICHARDS

ATTORNEY AT LAW
9666 OLIVE BLVD., STE. 365
ST. LOUIS, MO 63132
314-517-5756
or
636-256-7300

DOUGLAS RICHARDS, is a St. Louis County DWI Defense Lawyer - DWI Defense Attorney - DUI Defense Lawyer - DUI Defense Attorney, who has over 27 years of experience defending people who have been charged with DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED or DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE in the State of Missouri, and in the areas of St. Louis County, St. Louis City, St. Charles County, Jefferson County and Jefferson County.

Cities include:  Arnold, Ballwin, Breckenridge Hills, Brentwood, Bridgeton, Chesterfield, Clarkson Valley, Clayton, Cottleville, Crestwood, Creve Coeur, Des Peres, Ellisville, Eureka, Fenton, Florissant, Frontenac, Glendale, Hazelwood, Hillsboro, Jennings, Kirkwood, Ladue, Lake St. Louis, Manchester, Maplewood, Maryland Heights, O'Fallon, Olivette, Overland, Pacific, Richmond Heights, Rock Hill, Shrewsbury, St. Ann, St. John, St. Peters, St. Charles City, St. Charles County, Sunset Hills, Town and Country, Union, University City, Valley Park, Webster Groves, Wentzville and Wildwood.

Douglas Richards regularly attends the following DUI DWI Legal Seminars to stay on top of all the recent developments in the law and the best legal defense tactics:

The Bernard Edelman DWI Law & Science Seminar put on by the MACDL, and The NACDL DWI DUI Legal Seminar Las Vegas, and Douglas Richards is also a member of "The Missouri Society for Justice"


Douglas N. Richards
Douglas N. Richards
Douglas N. Richards
Attorney at Law

MACDL Missouri Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

NACDL National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers


My NEW address is as of 3/1/14:
9666 Olive Blvd., Ste. 365
St. Louis, MO 63132
Phone: 314-517-5756 | 636-256-7300
Fax: 314-666-9850



THE DWI ARREST
You were out with your friends having a good time. You had a couple of drinks and were in the process of driving home. All of a sudden you saw police lights in your rear view mirror, or, you drove into a DWI or DUI Sobriety Checkpoint Area. You had to pull over! The police officer walked up to your car, asked you a few questions, and then told you to step out of the car to do some Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFST).

You may have done these Field Sobriety Tests, such as the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test (HGN), Walk and Turn Test (WAT) and the One Leg Stand Test (OLS).  The police officer may also have asked you to blow into a Preliminary Breath Test (PBT).

The next thing you know you were being arrested for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) or Driving Under the Influence (DUI). You were taken down to the police station and then the police officer read to you the Implied Consent Law and asked you if you would submit to a chemical test of your breath or blood. You were told that if you refused to take the test, your drivers license would be immediately revoked for a period of one year. You may have agreed to this chemical test of your breath or blood or you refused to blow.  If you agreed to the chemical test of your breath, after about 15 minutes the police officer had you blow into a breath test machine. The police officer may have told you that your Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) was above the legal limit of .08%.

At some point in time the police officer read to you your Miranda Rights (The right to remain silent; that anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law; that you have the right to talk to a lawyer).  If you agreed to talk to the police, the officer asked you several questions, such as do you know what time it is? What is the date? When did you last eat? Were you operating the vehicle at the time of the stop? Have you been drinking? How much? Are you under the influence of an alcoholic beverage?

After these questions, the police officer gave you some tickets and told you that your drivers license will be suspended. What do you do now? You do not want your drivers license suspended. You can't have your drivers license suspended! How can you get to work if you can't drive? Who do you call for help? The legal help you need is just a phone call away!

Douglas Richards

Attorney at Law
314-517-5756 or 636-256-7300

After you call we will set up an appointment to go over all the facts of your case. We will go over whether the police had probable cause to even pull your vehicle over in the first place;
Whether the police officer used the proper procedures to investigate whether there were the proper "clues" present to even ask you to do the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFST);

Whether the police properly conducted the different Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFST), such as the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test (HGN), Walk and Turn Test (WAT) and the One Leg Stand Test (OLS) in the specific manner as set forth by the NHTSA DWI Detection and Standardized Field Sobriety Testing Manual:

  • Whether the police officer followed the correct procedures when they asked you to blow into the Preliminary Breath Test (PBT);
  • Whether the police observed the proper procedures when they took you down to the station and asked you to submit to the chemical test of your breath or blood;
  • Whether the police officer gave you the required time period in which to contact a lawyer before you submitted to these tests;
  • Whether the police officer observed you for the proper 15 minute time period before the chemical test of your breath or blood was conducted;
  • Whether the police officer who administered the test was even properly qualified to perform the test; and whether the chemical breath or blood tests were valid.

Lastly, I will then file the proper paperwork to request an Administrative Hearing and/or file a Petition for Review so I can get a Stay Order to stop the suspension of your drivers license!

Remember, help is just a phone call away. So If you have been arrested for DWI or DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED or DUI or DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL AND/OR DRUGS and if you want a St. Louis County DWI Attorney - DUI Attorney who will give you the Best DUI Defense - Best DWI Defense available, and will give your case the personal attention you deserve, then give me a call. With over 27 years of experience, I can and will make a difference in your case.

The Improper Administration of Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFST).

Many times, police officers have inadequate training, and the standardized field sobriety tests are not properly administered. The average police officer learned about the exercises/tests at the police academy, and has had no training since that time. The result is that the required testing conditions and scoring procedures are never learned, or they are forgotten or modified.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) established a standardized set of field sobriety "tests" or exercises to assist the police in determining whether or not you are driving under the influence of alcohol (DWI). The three standardized tests which are usually administered in Missouri are the Horizontal Gaze  Nystagmus (HGN), One Leg Stand (OLS) and Walk And Turn (WAT) tests.




Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test - (HGN)

The officer is first supposed to check your eyes for possible medical impairment. At the beginning of the test, the officer must check to make sure your pupils are of equal size and look for resting nystagmus (jerking of the eyes when the eyes are stationary). Finally, your eyes must be checked to make sure they track (move) equally together. The officer must then check for three (3) clues in each eye: lack of smooth pursuit, distinct and sustained nystagmus at maximum deviation, and onset of nystagmus prior to 45 degrees. These clues are used to score the test. Finally, the officer may check for vertical nystagmus (jerking of the eyes up and down) when your eyes are looking up.

The NHTSA DWI Detection and Standardized Field Sobriety Testing Manual sets forth specific directions and specific time requirements for moving and holding the stimulus during this test. Most police officers do NOT perform this test correctly! The NHTSA Manual indicates that if the police officer does not administer the tests in the prescribed, standardized manner, then the validity of the test is compromised!


One Leg Stand Test (OLS)

A second test used to help the police determine if you have been driving while intoxicated is the One Leg Stand exercise. For the One Leg Stand exercise, the police officer first must PROPERLY INSTRUCT you and PROPERLY DEMONSTRATE this test to you in order for the results to be valid. The officer MUST tell and demonstrate to you the following instructions: Please stand with your feet together and your arms down at your sides, like this; Do not start to perform the test until I tell you to do so; Do you understand the instructions so far?

Next, the officer MUST then tell and demonstrate to you the following instructions: When I tell you to start, raise one leg, either leg, with the foot approximately six inches off the ground, keeping your raised foot parallel to the ground; You must keep both legs straight, arms at your sides; While holding that position, count our loud in the following manner: "One thousand and one, one thousand and two, one thousand and three, until told to stop; Keep your arms at your sides at all times and keep watching the raised foot; Do you understand? Go ahead and perform the test.

If during the test, you put your foot down, the police officer must tell you to pick the foot up again and continue counting from the point at which the foot touched the ground. The officer must terminate the test after 30 seconds.

 This is called the instructional stage. Most police officers say these instructions so fast most people do not understand what they are supposed to do.

In the performance stage of the test, the police officer looks for the following mistakes or "Clues":
  1. That you sway while balancing - side to  side or back and forth motion
  2. That you use your arms for balance - move your arms 6 inches or from the side of your body
  3. That you hop to maintain balance
  4. That you put your foot down - one or more times
The NHTSA DWI Detection and Standardized Field Sobriety Testing Manual sets forth these specific directions as to how a police officer is supposed to instruct, demonstrate and to grade this test.  Most police officers do NOT perform this test correctly! The NHTSA Manual indicates that if the police officer does not administer the tests in the prescribed, standardized manner, then the validity of the test is compromised!


Walk and Turn Test (WAT)

The third standardized field sobriety test is the Walk and Turn exercise. For the Walk and Turn exercise, the police officer first must PROPERLY INSTRUCT you and PROPERLY DEMONSTRATE this test to you in order for the results to be valid. The officer MUST tell and demonstrate to you the following instructions: Place your left foot on the line (real or imaginary); Place your right foot on the line ahead of the left foot, with the heel or the right foot against the toe of the left foot; Place your arms at your sides; maintain this position until I have completed the instructions. Do not start to walk until told to do so; Do you understand the instructions so far?

The officer MUST then tell and demonstrate to you the following instructions: When I tell you to start, take nine heel-to-toe steps, turn, and take nine heel-to-toe steps back; When you turn, keep the front foot on the line, and turn by taking a series of small steps with the other foot, like this; While you are walking, keep your arms at your sides, watch your feet at all times, and count your steps out loud; Once you start walking, don't stop until you have completed the test; Do you understand the instructions?; Begin, and count your first step from the heel-to-toe position as "One".

This is called the instructional stage. Most police officers say these instructions so fast most people do not understand what they are supposed to do.
In the performance stage of the test, the police officer looks for the following mistakes or "Clues":
  1. That you are unable to maintain your balance while listening to the instructions
  2. That you start the test before the instructions are completed
  3. That you stop while walking - pauses for several seconds
  4. That you don't touch heel-to-toe - leaving a space of more than a 1/2 inch
  5. That you step off the line (real or imaginary) - where a foot is entirely off the line
  6. That you use your arms for balance - raising one or both arms more than 6 inches from the sides of your body
  7. That you do an improper turn - removes front foot while turning, or spins or pivots, and
  8. That you do not take the correct number of steps - takes more or less than 9 steps.


RANGE OF PUNISHMENT FOR
DWI AND/OR DUI CHARGES

First Time DWI or DUI - Class B Misdemeanor
Range of Punishment:
  • Up to 6 months in jail and/or a fine up to $500.00
  • 8 points assessed against Driving Record.

Second Time DWI or DUI - "Prior Offender" - Class A Misdemeanor
Range of Punishment:
  • Up to 1 year in jail and/or a fine up to $1,000.00
  • 12 points assessed against Driving Record
  • Ignition Interlock.

Third Time DWI Charge - "Persistent Offender" - Class D Felony -
Range of Punishment:
  • Up to 4 years in Prison and/or a fine up to $5,000.00
  • 12 points assessed at Driving Record.

Fourth Time DWI Charge - "Aggravated Offender" - Class C Felony
Range of Punishment:
  • Up to 7 years in Prison and/or a fine up to $5,000.00.

Breath Test Refusal DWI Defense Lawyer
Breath Test Refusal DWI Defense Attorney

Breath Test Refusal Cases - A driver who refuses to provide a blood, breath or urine test may have his or her license revoked for one year. To challenge the revocation, a driver or his attorney must file a Petition for Review in the county where the arrest took place within 30 days of the receipt of the notice of revocation.

The Circuit Court can and normally will grant a stay order pending a trial before a traffic court commissioner or judge in a refusal case, depending on your driving history.

Administrative Hearing DWI Lawyer
Administrative Hearing DWI Attorney

Missouri DOR - Administrative Hearings - If you take a breath test and your test result is . 08% or above (.02 if you are under 21), the police officer will take your driver's license and give you a temporary license and a hearing request form. The hearing request form must be completed, by the driver or his attorney, and then mailed and postmarked within 15 days of your arrest.

After your hearing request is received, you and your attorney will then be notified of the date, time and location of your hearing. The sole issues at the hearing will be whether there was probable cause to believe you were driving while intoxicated and whether your blood alcohol content exceeded the legal limit. If you are a minor, and your blood alcohol content was below .08%, the lawfulness of your initial stop will be an issue in the case as well.

At the administrative hearing, the case will initially be heard by a hearing officer employed by the Department of Revenue. If the hearing officer decides that there was not probable cause to arrest the driver for driving while intoxicated or the chemical test did not show that you had a BAC of .08 of higher at the time the vehicle was being operated, the driver will receive his or her license back, and no further action is necessary. If, on the other hand, the hearing officer decides to uphold the license suspension, the driver or his attorney may file a Petition for "Trial De Novo" in front of a state court judge in the county of arrest. It will then be up to the traffic court commissioner or judge to decide if the license suspension should be upheld.



Underage Drinking and Driving Defense Lawyer
Underage Drinking and Driving Defense Attorney

Underage Drinking and Driving Charges - ZERO TOLERANCE - If you are under the age of 21, you can be charged if your Blood Alcohol Content is over the Legal Limit of  .020%  (Over 21 Years IS .08%)


Motorcycle DWI Defense Lawyer
Motorcycle DWI Defense Attorney

Alcohol or Drug Related Motorcycle Charges - Defending Motorcycle Riders who have been charged with:
  • MOTORCYCLE DWI
    • Operating a Motorcycle While Intoxicated
    • Driving a Motorcycle While Intoxicated
  • MOTORCYCLE DUI
    • Operating a Motorcycle Under the Influence of Alcohol
    • Operating a Motorcycle While Under the Influence of Drugs
    • Driving a Motorcycle While Under the Influence of Alcohol
    • Driving a Motorcycle While Under the Influence of Drugs

douglas richards

ATTORNEY AT LAW
9666 OLIVE BLVD
STE. 365
SAINT LOUIS, MO 63132

314-517-5756
or
636-256-7300

Douglas Richards serves clients throughout the State of Missouri and in the areas of St. Louis, St. Louis County, St. Charles City, St. Charles County, Jefferson County, Franklin County, and cities such as Arnold, Ballwin, Breckenridge Hills, Brentwood, Bridgeton, Chesterfield, Clarkson Valley, Clayton, Cottleville, Crestwood, Creve Coeur, Des Peres, Ellisville, Eureka, Fenton, Florissant, Frontenac, Glendale, Hazelwood, Hillsboro, Jennings, Kirkwood, Ladue, Lake St. Louis, Manchester, Maplewood, Maryland Heights, O'Fallon, Olivette, Overland, Pacific, Richmond Heights, Rock Hill, Shrewsbury, St. Ann, St. John, St. Peters, St. Charles City, St. Charles County, Sunset Hills, Town and Country, Union, University City, Valley Park, Webster Groves, Wentzville and Wildwood.


The choice of an attorney is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertisements. This disclosure is required by rule of the Supreme Court of Missouri