Tag Archives: missouri attorneys

Des Peres Municipal Court

Des Peres Municipal Court Traffic Attorneys
Des Peres, MO Traffic Court
Des Peres Traffic Lawyers

Did you get a ticket in Des Peres, Missouri?

Des Peres issued 381 tickets in 2017.
Stop Sign, Electric Signal Violation, Driving While Suspended, Possession of Marijuana, or any other ticket, our Des Peres traffic lawyers can handle it where “no points” is the goal.
Des Peres Speeding Ticket Traffic Law Defense

This page contains Court information and links for Des Peres, Missouri.

Des Peres Municipal Court
12325 Manchester Rd
Des Peres, MO 63131

Phone: 314-835-6119

City of Des Peres, MO website. Check the website to find a list of fines.

Presiding Judge
Charles H. Billings

Court Administrator
Amie Clemonds

Court Hours
Monday-Friday
8:00am – 4:00pm

Dardenne Prairie Municipal Court

Dardenne Prairie Municipal Court Traffic Attorneys
Dardenne Prairie, MO Traffic Court
Dardenne Prairie Traffic Lawyers

Did you get a ticket in Dardenne Prairie, Missouri?

Dardenne Prairie issued 1060 tickets in 2017.
Stop Sign, Electric Signal Violation, Driving While Suspended, Possession of Marijuana, or any other ticket, our Dardenne Prairie traffic lawyers can handle it where “no points” is the goal.
Dardenne Prairie Speeding Ticket Traffic Law Defense
Did you receive a Speeding ticket in Dardenne Prairie?

This page contains Court information and links for Dardenne Prairie, Missouri.

Dardenne Prairie Municipal Court
2032 Hanley Rd
Dardenne Prairie, MO 63368

Phone: 636-755-5333
Fax: 636-625-0077

City of Dardenne Prairie, MO website. Check the website to find a list of fines.

Presiding Judge
Dennis Chassoniol II

Prosecuting Attorney
Jeff Sandcork

Court Administrator
Tammie Smith

PA Assistant
Carmen Breckenridge

Court Hours
Monday-Friday
8:00am – 5:00pm

Berkeley Municipal Court

Berkeley Municipal Court Traffic Attorneys
Berkeley, MO Traffic Court
Berkeley Traffic Lawyers

Did you get a ticket in Berkeley, Missouri?

Stop Sign, Electric Signal Violation, Driving While Suspended, Possession of Marijuana, or any other ticket, our Berkeley traffic lawyers can handle it where “no points” is the goal.
Berkeley Speeding Ticket Traffic Law Defense
The Berkeley Municipal Court issued 275 tickets in 2017. Did you receive a Speeding ticket in Berkeley?

This page contains Court information and links for Berkeley, Missouri.

Berkeley Municipal Court
8425 Airport Rd.
Berkeley, MO 134

Phone: 314-400-3700
Fax: 314-264-2075

City of Berkeley, MO website. Check the website to find a list of fines.

Presiding Judge
Hon. Jennifer Fisher

Court Administrator
April Walton

Court Hours
Monday-Friday
8:30am – 5:00pm

Driving, texting, under 21 do not mix in MO

Driving while drinking alcohol isn’t the only thing that can get you in trouble for being a driver under the age 21. The other activity that can get you is what you probably do more than a dozen times a day – texting.

The Missouri law, RSMo. Sec. 304.820, deals with texting while driving. Sorry guys, but the use of a hand-held electronic wireless communications device, whether sending, reading, or writing a text message or electronic message is against the law and will get you a ticket if you are caught and under age 21. And this ticket will be considered a moving violation, therefore, there will be points on your driver’s license if you don’t get an attorney to amend the ticket to a non-moving violation.

However, there are exceptions. The provisions of subsection 1 through subsection 3 of this section shall not apply to a person operating:
(1) An authorized emergency vehicle; or
(2) A moving motor vehicle while using a hand-held electronic wireless communications device to: (a) Report illegal activity; (b) Summon medical or other emergency help; (c) Prevent injury to a person or property; or (d) Relay information between a transit or for-hire operator and that operator’s dispatcher, in which the device is permanently affixed to the vehicle.

When it comes to commercial vehicles, the law is even tougher. Not only those under 21, but all drivers are not allowed to operate a commercial motor vehicle while using a hand-held mobile telephone, especially to when it comes to sending, reading, or writing a text message or electronic message.

However, there are always exceptions. This prohibition shall not apply to a person operating:
(1) An authorized emergency vehicle; or
(2) A moving motor vehicle while using a hand-held electronic wireless communications device to: (a) Report illegal activity; (b) Summon medical or other emergency help; (c) Prevent injury to a person or property; or (d) Relay information between a transit or for-hire operator and that operator’s dispatcher, in which the device is permanently affixed to the vehicle.

Just to be clear, the statute states under paragraph (5) that nothing in this section shall be construed or interpreted as prohibiting a person from making or taking part in a telephone call, by means of a hand-held electronic wireless communications device, while operating a noncommercial motor vehicle upon the highways of this state.

Now, the provisions of this section shall not apply to the following:
(1) The operator of a vehicle that is lawfully parked or stopped;
(2) Any of the following while in the performance of their official duties: a law enforcement officer; a member of a fire department; or the operator of a public or private ambulance;
(3) The use of factory-installed or aftermarket global positioning systems (GPS) or wireless communications devices used to transmit or receive data as part of a digital dispatch system;
(4) The use of voice-operated technology;
(5) The use of two-way radio transmitters or receivers by a licensee of the Federal Communications Commission in the Amateur Radio Service.

Webster Groves Municipal Court

Webster Groves Municipal Court Traffic Attorneys
Webster Groves, MO Traffic Court
Webster Groves Traffic Lawyers

Did you get a ticket in Webster Groves, Missouri?

In 2017, Webster Groves Municipal Court issued 5,156 tickets.
Stop Sign, Electric Signal Violation, Driving While Suspended, Possession of Marijuana, or any other ticket, our Webster Groves traffic lawyers can handle it where “no points” is the goal.

Webster Groves Speeding Ticket Traffic Law Defense

Did you receive a Speeding ticket in Webster Groves?
Our Webster Groves traffic lawyers handle speeding ticket defense, where “no points” is the goal.
Let our Webster Groves traffic law attorneys start helping you today. Fill out the form on the side of this page.

This page contains Court information and links for Webster Groves, Missouri.

Webster Groves Municipal Court
#4 E. Lockwood
Webster Groves, MO 63119

Phone: 314-963-5416
Fax: 314-963-7561

City of Webster Groves, MO website.

Presiding Judge
Hon. James Whitney
Prosecuting Attorney
Jennifer Deschamp

Court Hours
Monday-Friday
8:00am – 5:00pm
Municipal Court is generally conducted on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month at 5:30 pm in the City Council Chambers at City Hall, #4 East Lockwood, Webster Groves, Missouri, 63119.

For security purposes, those attending Court must enter through the front doors. If you require use of the accessible entrance, have someone in your party contact the officer stationed at the front door or use the call button on the east side of the building at the Police Department entrance. Americans with Disabilities Act Notice

A call to put teeth back into enforcing traffic violations

Did the 2015 municipal court reforms for traffic violations go too far?

That is the subject of a great editorial by the Kansas City Star a few weeks ago talking about how too many people with traffic tickets are not paying their fines and are getting away with it. Since the state-wide municipal court reform after the Ferguson uprising, there doesn’t seem to be any punishment for not paying fines and not showing up to court.

In many communities, traffic violators have figured out that they don’t need to show up to court because the effective tools of punishment such as higher fines, warrants for not showing up to court, or suspending a person’s license is not an option.

Maximum fines were lowered from $500 to $225. Many cities coffers are severely depleted and are finding it difficult to impossible to enforce law violators without an adequate budget. This has also carried over to enforcement of residential nuisance ordinances that are designed to keep housing safe, particularly with abandoned properties.

For example, one person who didn’t show up to court in a town near Kansas City had been arrested four times for a $450 ticket from 2015 for driving with no insurance and driving with a suspended license. She still hasn’t paid, and likely never will.

One judge was quoted as saying, “These people just continue to drive, except they don’t drive to court.”

One state senator tried to pass a bill to put some teeth back into law enforcement. His idea was that if a citizen fails to show up for a court date, a judge could order community service, issue a civil fine or put a hold on a driver’s license.

The editorial calls for Missouri to revisit its 2015 reforms with the goal of restoring some authority to its municipal courts to better find a balance between being overbearing on constituency and effectively punishing and enforcing our traffic laws. Because as the editorial states, “As of now, they’ve been effectively defanged.”

Crestwood Municipal Court Traffic, MIP and DWI attorneys

Crestwood, MO Traffic Court

Crestwood Traffic Lawyers

Did you get a ticket in Crestwood, Missouri?
Stop Sign, Electric Signal Violation, Driving While Suspended, Possession of Marijuana, or any other ticket, our Crestwood traffic lawyers can handle it where “no points” is the goal.

Crestwood Speeding Ticket Traffic Law Defense

Did you receive a Speeding ticket in Crestwood?
Our Crestwood traffic lawyers handle speeding ticket defense, where “no points” is the goal.

Crestwood MIP Lawyers

Did you receive a Minor in Possession ticket?
Our Crestwood MIP lawyers handle MIP defense, where the object is keeping your record clean and your driver license from being suspended or revoked.

Crestwood DWI Criminal Defense Attorneys

Did you receive a ticket for Driving While Intoxicated?
Our Crestwood DWI attorneys handle drunk driving defense, where your driver license and your freedom are at stake. We handle all aspects including the Administrative Hearing or the ramifications of a refusal.

Let our Crestwood traffic law attorneys start helping you today. Fill out the form on the side of this page.

This page contains Court information Links for Crestwood, Missouri.

Crestwood Municipal Court
1 Detjen Dr.
Crestwood, MO 63126

Phone: 314-729-4776

Fax: 314-729-4882

City of Crestwood, MO website.

For more information regarding your case visit municourt.net.

Judge
Hon. Jason Denney

Prosecuting Attorney
Dan O’Brien

Court Administrator
Stacey Fields

Office Houses

Monday-Friday 8:00am — 4:30pm

Court Dates and Docket Dates
Traffic: 1st Thursday of every month at 7:00 P.M. Trial Docket: 4th Thursday of the month.
General Ordinance Violations: 3rd Thursday of every month at 7:00 PM
For information on your ticket, click here.

Court fines may be paid by one of the following methods:

Pay Traffic Tickets Online at https://www.ipaycourt.com/crestwood.

Mail payments in the form of check or money order only made payable to City of Crestwood to:

Crestwood Municipal Court
1 Detjen Dr.
Crestwood, MO 63126

Pay fines in person with cash, check, money order, MasterCard or Visa.

Overturned DWI based on time between accident/blood drawn

A recent Missouri Western District Court of Appeals decision says a guilty verdict failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a driver was drunk at the time of the accident.
The appellate court essentially determined that too much time had transpired between an accident and when blood was drawn. That fact, plus that there was no evidence that the man had been driving his vehicle when it was driven off the road or evidence of when he became intoxicated led them to overturn the trial court.

The man was clearly drunk according to witnesses but they never observed him driving his vehicle or drinking. Witnesses drove him home and later went back to the scene and called the police. Police found empty beer cans in the vehicle and went to visit the man at his home. He clearly was intoxicated and could not stand to perform a walk and turn field sobriety test.

He was arrested at 11:40 p.m. and transported to the hospital due to concerns about the level of alcohol in his system. He refused to provide a blood sample. A warrant to draw blood sample was obtained and blood was drawn at 2:47 a.m. The test determined that his blood alcohol level was .129 at that time. The man was found guilty during a bench trial for DWI.

The Western District reversed the trial judge. They held that while the State established that he was intoxicated at the time he was first observed by witness, there was no evidence as to when the accident occurred, when the man last consumed alcohol or when he became intoxicated. The trial court erred in convicting him of driving while intoxicated because the State failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he operated a vehicle while intoxicated.

The court discussed the timing of the accident and the time blood was drawn to prove intoxication: “Wilhite raises one point on appeal. In his sole point on appeal, Wilhite argues that there is insufficient evidence to convict him of driving while intoxicated because the evidence failed to establish a temporal connection between Wilhite’s alleged operation of a motor vehicle and his intoxication.

“The offense of driving while intoxicated, section 577.010.1, requires proof of two elements: (1) that the defendant operated a motor vehicle, and (2) was intoxicated while doing so.” State v. Ollison, 236 S.W.3d 66, 68 (Mo. App. W.D. 2007).

Wilhite begins by arguing that there was insufficient evidence to prove that he operated a motor vehicle because no one witnessed him actually driving the truck.
However, Wilhite was the only one at the accident scene on the side of a rural roadway and told Tracy that he was the only one in the vehicle. Based on these facts, the trial court could have reasonably inferred he was operating the truck at the time of the accident. There was sufficient circumstantial evidence to establish that he operated the vehicle. See State v. Besendorfer, 439 S.W.3d 831, 836-37 (Mo. App. W.D. 2014)(holding that circumstantial evidence, including Besendorfer admitting he was the only person in the truck when he was found, was sufficient evidence for “a reasonable trier of fact to find beyond a reasonable doubt that Besendorfer had ‘operated’ his vehicle.”).

Wilhite then argues that there was insufficient evidence that he was intoxicated at the time he was operating the truck. “Proof of intoxication at the time of arrest, when remote from the operation of the vehicle, is insufficient in itself to prove intoxication at the
time the person was driving.” Ollison, 236 S.W.3d at 68. “In this remote circumstance, ‘time [is] an element of importance’ that the State must establish to meet its burden of proving the defendant drove while intoxicated.” State v. Davis, 217 S.W.3d 358, 360 (Mo. App. W.D. 2007) (quoting State v. Dodson, 496 S.W.2d 272, 274 (Mo. App. W.D. 1973).
“‘Remoteness’, as used in drunk driving cases, has two dimensions: remoteness in time from operating a vehicle, and remoteness in distance from the vehicle.” State v. Varnell, 316 S.W.3d 510, 514 (Mo. App. W.D. 2010).

When the defendant is arrested at a remote time from the operation of the vehicle, the State must show further evidence than a test that reveals the defendant was intoxicated at the time of arrest. State v. Wilson, 273 S.W.3d 80, 82 (Mo. App. W.D. 2008). “There are two rationales for this requirement, but both have the same foundation: the longer the interval between driving and testing, the less accurately the test reflects the state of the driver at the time of the arrest.” Varnell, 316 S.W.3d at 514.

The first reason that an extended time period between driving and testing can result in an inaccurate test is that the defendant may have had time and opportunity to drink alcohol after he ceased driving. Id. The second rationale for requiring additional evidence is based on the manner in which alcohol is processed by the human body. Id. One does not become intoxicated immediately upon the ingestion of alcohol. Davis, 217 S.W.3d at 361. “[A]lcohol must be absorbed into the bloodstream before it affects a person, and it can take thirty to ninety minutes before the maximum blood alcohol level is reached.”
Varnell, 316 S.W.3d at 514. “[I]t is theoretically possible for a driver who quickly ingests alcohol immediately prior to taking a short drive to be in a sober condition when driving, but, due to process of absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream, to exceed the limit afterwards.” Id.

In this case, Wilhite was dropped off at his trailer at approximately 10:30 p.m. and was first contacted by Trooper Johnson at approximately 11:30 p.m. For this at least one hour there was no testimony as to Wilhite’s actions or his access to alcohol. Ward was present in the trailer for at least a portion of that time and testified at trial, but the State never inquired as to whether or not Wilhite had access to or consumed any alcohol during that time period. Wilhite was at home for a significant amount of time, giving him ample opportunity to consume alcohol after he drove the truck but prior to his first contact with Trooper Johnson and getting his blood drawn at least three hours later. There was no evidence to establish a correlation between the blood alcohol content reflected in the blood test result and Wilhite’s blood alcohol content at the unknown time he last operated the vehicle. However, the lack of a correlation between the test result and the operation of the vehicle is not dispositive of the issues in this case.”

The case, WD80701, originated in Boone County and the appeal was heard before Division Three Judges Victor C. Howard (Presiding Judge), Cynthia L. Martin, and Gary D. Witt. The opinion was written by Judge Witt, June 5, 2018.

Cops need a warrant to get your vehicle’s black box data

Missouri cops will need to get a search warrant before they can access data from your automobile’s black box.

A recent decision in the Western District of Missouri basically blocks law enforcement from obtaining your black box data after an accident, unless you either consent or they get a warrant.

The appellate court took up the case of a man that had been stopped at traffic and was struck by a semi from behind. The Missouri Highway Patrol then downloaded the data stored on the semi’s electronic control module (ECM). Officers did not use a warrant and argued that there were exigent circumstances, therefore, the semi driver had no expectation of privacy of the data. Up to then, obtaining the black box data had been standard procedure for the highway patrol.

The patrol officer claimed that the driver had given him consent, but that box had not been checked off in his police report. The appellate court relied on a recent US Supreme Court case on GPS spying to find the police arguments were insufficient.

Judge Cynthia L. Martin wrote: “Sergeant Meyers’s testimony underscores that ECM data was seized from West’s truck not because there was probable cause to believe that West had committed a crime and that evidence of the crime could be found in the truck, but instead to investigate an accident to determine whether West had committed a crime.”

The court added that to allow warrantless searches on these grounds would “emasculate” the Fourth Amendment to the constitution.

Here is an unofficial summary of the case and should not be used as legal doctrine:

(1) The State’s arguments on appeal asserting error in granting the motion to suppress which were not raised with the trial court are not preserved for appellate review.

(2) Either a reasonable expectation of privacy or trespass on a possessory interest in a Fourth Amendment protected effect will afford standing to assert a Fourth Amendment violation. Here, West was the lawful operator and possessor of the semitruck at the time the police physically intruded into the semi-truck’s passenger compartment to connect a computer to the ECM located underneath the semi-truck’s dash. That physical intrusion into, and occupation of, the semi-truck constituted an actionable trespass into a protected Fourth Amendment effect (a vehicle) which afforded West standing to move to suppress the data downloaded from the ECM.

(3) The automobile exception allows police to search a vehicle and seize
contraband found therein without a warrant if there is probable cause to believe that the vehicle contains contraband and exigent circumstances necessitate the search. The State presented no evidence during the hearing on the motion to suppress to suggest or establish that the police had probable cause to believe that contraband or illegal items were located in the semi-truck.

(4) While the State presented testimony that ECM data might be overwritten if the semi-truck was moved, the trial court did not find this evidence to be sufficient to constitute an exigent circumstance permitting a warrantless search. The trial court’s finding was supported by substantial evidence.

(State of Missouri v. Anthony West, WD80879)

Tips on sharing the road with motorcycles

Driving safety awareness can vary on our roads and highways depending on what you are driving, whether it’s an automobile, commercial truck or motorcycle. Each type of vehicle requires special awareness. Today, we are talking about motorcycles.

Here are a few tips that the Missouri Department of Revenue’s driving guide suggests when you are sharing the road with motorcycles. Be aware of the following about motorcyclists:
• When you are passing, give motorcycles a full lane width. Do not squeeze past these road users. Wait for a clear stretch of road before passing a cyclist in a lane too narrow to share.
• Motorcyclists change speed and lane position when encountering bad road conditions, such as manhole covers, diagonal railroad tracks, road debris, or in strong winds. So be ready to react.
• Motorcycles are often overlooked by motorists. It is not always easy to judge the speed or distance of a motorcycle. So be extra cautious.
• You should not share a lane with a motorcycle. The motorcyclist needs the entire lane for safety reasons.
• On residential streets, especially those with parked cars, travel at or below the speed limit, depending on sight distance.
• When you are passing, give motorcycles a full lane width. Do not squeeze past these road users. Wait for a clear stretch of road before passing a cyclist in a lane too narrow to share.

Here are a few safety tips for motorcycle drivers that the DOR guide book suggests:

1. The law requires you to wear a helmet. Wearing a safety-certified helmet can prevent serious head injuries or death.
2. Be sure your motorcycle is in safe condition and has all the equipment required by law.
3. Make sure motorists see you. Wear bright colored clothes and stay out of a vehicle’s blind spots. Use proper lights and reflectors when riding after dark.
4. Make sure you signal before you slow down, change lanes or turn. Before merging, changing lanes, or turning, scan behind and in front to ensure that it is safe to make this maneuver. Do so in plenty of time and in cooperation with other drivers who will be affected by your move. If it is not safe, continue on a straight course and scan repeatedly. Only move once it is safe.
5. Be careful when passing to the left of a parked or moving vehicle. You should leave 3 to 4 feet of clearance to avoid suddenly opened car doors or to allow for a vehicle to swerve.
6. Be extra careful at intersections. Do not assume your right-of-way when there is a vehicle approaching. Be aware that motor vehicle drivers may not see you approaching the intersection, or may believe that you are moving at a slower speed than you are.
7. Keep a steady line and be predictable as a courtesy to other traffic and to increase your personal safety.
I

f both automobile drivers and motorcyclists keep these tips in mind when sharing our roadways, needless accidents will be prevented. Safe travels to all of you.