Welcome to Beerup Law!
Ruth Beerup is an experienced St. Charles defense lawyer who knows how to get your license back. She has been practicing criminal law for 25 years and knows her way around all the courthouses in the area, from St. Genevieve to Hannibal and the Metro East to Columbia. She is convenient, affordable, and effective. Check out some of the information below. You might be able to take care of your license problems independently, but if you have any questions, feel free to call Ruth. She is easy to talk to, has a deep knowledge of Missouri traffic law, and is happy to answer your questions. You can find her number at the top of the page or fill out the form to the right (or below if you are on a phone), and she will contact you quickly.
Do I Need a Lawyer to Get My License Back?
Losing the freedom and self-sufficiency of having a driver's license is difficult, and most people are eager to get their license reinstated at the earliest opportunity. Unfortunately, dealing with the state bureaucracy can be intimidating, and many people don't know where to start. For most suspensions and revocations, the process is fairly straightforward. If you lost your license because of point accumulation, a motor vehicle accident judgment, motor fuel theft, a child support arrearage, failure to maintain insurance, etc., you can visit the Missouri Department of Revenue page and use the helpful chart they provide to figure out what forms you need to fill out and how much you will have to pay. They can also be reached by phone at (573) 526-2407. You don't need to hire a lawyer as, while the process may be complicated, no specialized training or knowledge is required to complete it. It is a different matter, however, if you are seeking reinstatement after a 5- or 10-year denial.
5- or 10-Year Denial
If you are convicted of DWI twice in 5 years, your license will be suspended for five years, and three convictions in any period of time will result in a 10-year suspension. Getting your license back after either of these is not as simple as filling out a few forms. Instead, it is necessary to get an order of reinstatement from the county in which your last DWI conviction occurred, and this order requires an in-person hearing in front of a judge. Hiring a lawyer to help you with this hearing is highly recommended. The Department of Revenue will have an attorney present, and they, along with the judge, will question you to determine if you have changed your habits and are a good candidate for reinstatement.
In addition to the hearing, you will have to submit to a criminal history check with the Missouri Highway Patrol, install an ignition interlock device, complete a Substance Awareness Traffic Program (SATOP), and file proof of insurance (SR-22).
Limited Driving Privilege
When your license has been suspended, but you are not yet eligible for reinstatement, you may be able to apply for a limited driving privilege (LDP), also known as a hardship license. This will allow you to travel to work, medical treatment, school, substance abuse treatment programs, and any other place the court thinks you may need to go. Much like a reinstatement, if you are suspended or revoked because of a point violation, you can request an LDP by visiting the Missouri Department of Revenue page and filling out a form. An LDP subsequent to a 5- or 10-year denial is harder.
To get an LDP when you are serving a 5- or 10-year denial, you must petition the court in the county where you live or work. You will need to convince the court that you have changed your habits and conduct to the extent that you no longer threaten the state's public safety. You will also need to show that you have no felony convictions involving a motor vehicle in the past five years, no law enforcement alcohol contacts since the one that led to the denial, no unpaid traffic tickets or fines, no unpaid judgments for accidents, and that you have served your 45- or 90-day “hard walk” suspension. In some instances, a person who is not eligible for an LDP through a court petition may be able to attend a DWI court program to obtain one.
If granted the LDP, you must install an Ignition Interlock Device with a camera and a GPS in your vehicle and maintain an SR-22 Proof of Financial Responsibility (insurance). You must also avoid accumulating points on your license as that will end the limited driving privilege. Getting and maintaining a limited driving privilege takes work. The Department of Revenue website says you should seek the help of an attorney when filing your petition. St. Charles-based criminal defense attorney Ruth Beerup has decades of experience dealing with license reinstatements and limited driving privilege petitions. Feel free to call or text her if you have any questions or want to start the process.