Call 314-724-5059
E-mail: andrea@leadfootspeedingticket.com

What To Do If You Receive a Summons From Criminal Court

When you receive a summons from a criminal court, it means you have been charged with a criminal offense and you must appear in court on your court date to respond to the charge.

What Happens If You Don’t Respond To A Summons?

After receiving a summons to appear in criminal court, you must go to court on your court date, or else the court will issue a warrant for your arrest.

What If You Did Not Receive The Summons From The Court?

Sometimes the court mails a summons to a defendant but the defendant does not receive it because the court has an incorrect mailing address on file for the defendant, or otherwise sent it to the wrong address.

The court is required to mail the summons to the defendant to notify them of the court date, but the court has no responsibility to make sure the defendant actually received the summons.

So, if the court sends a summons to you at the wrong address and you don’t receive the summons, the court can issue a warrant for your arrest.

What To Do If You Missed Your Court Date

If you have a warrant because you did not receive the summons from the court and missed your court date, your attorney can lift the warrant for you. Your attorney will make sure the warrant is cancelled and a new court date is scheduled.

Hiring an attorney to lift your warrant allows you to avoid turning yourself in to police, paying the bond, and appearing in court.

How To Respond To A Summons

If you have received a summons to appear in criminal court in Missouri, you can do one of the following:

  • Go to court on your court date and plead guilty
  • Go to court on your court date and plead not guilty
  • Go to court on your court date and ask the judge for a continuance to give you more time to hire an attorney to represent you
  • Hire an attorney to represent you in court so you don’t have to appear in court

If you plead guilty to a criminal offense, you will be ordered to pay fines and court costs, and you will end up with a conviction on your criminal record.

If you plead guilty to speeding tickets or other moving violations, you will have to pay fines and court costs, points will be added to your driving record, and your car insurance rates will probably increase.

The added points may cause your driver’s license to be suspended or revoked if you accumulate:

  • 8 points within 18 months
  • 12 points within 12 months
  • 18 points within 24 months
  • 24 points within 36 months

If you plead not guilty, the judge will schedule your case for trial and you will have to decide whether to represent yourself or hire an attorney to represent you at trial.

An Attorney Can Help If You Received a Summons To Appear In Court

You can hire an attorney to respond to your summons and represent you in court for your criminal case.

Your attorney can represent you at trial or negotiate a pre-trial plea bargain deal with the court on your behalf, and you may not have to appear in court at all.

An experienced attorney can get your criminal charge dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense. The outcome of your case depends on the following:

  • How old are you?
  • How serious was the criminal charge?
  • Which court is your case being prosecuted in?
  • Do you have any prior convictions on your criminal record? 

If you have received a summons to appear in a Missouri court for a speeding ticket or other criminal charge, call criminal defense attorney Andrea Storey Rogers at (314) 724-5059 for a free consultation and a price quote for legal representation. Or email Andrea at andrea@leadfootspeedingticket.com

What To Do About a Minor in Possession of Alcohol Ticket in Missouri

An experienced attorney can get your ticket for Minor in Possession of Alcohol or Underage Drinking dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense.

What is “Minor in Possession of Alcohol?”

In Missouri, a first-time charge of Minor in Possession of Alcohol (MIP) is a class D misdemeanor. According to Missouri law RSMO 311.325, you can be charged with MIP if you are under age 21 and you do any of the following:

  • Purchase or attempt to purchase intoxicating liquor
  • Possess intoxicating liquor
  • Appear to be visibly intoxicated
  • Have a detectable blood alcohol content of more than two-hundredths of one percent or more by weight

If you get charged with MIP a second time, it’s considered a class A misdemeanor.

Why Didn’t the Police Officer Breathalyze You Before Giving You a Ticket For MIP?

Police officers do not have to administer a breathalyzer test before issuing a ticket for Minor in Possession of Alcohol. Police can issue tickets for MIP in any of the following situations:

  • You are attempting to purchase alcohol while underage
  • You are pulled over for a traffic violation and the police officer sees a beer can in your car
  • A police officer sees you drinking at Mardi Gras, St. Patrick’s Day Parade, etc.
  • A police officer sees you drinking in the parking lot before a concert
  • You are at a house party where underage drinking is occurring and police show up after neighbors call to complain about the noise

If the officer believes you appear to be visibly intoxicated, they can issue a ticket for MIP. In a situation such as a house party, the police officers will commonly issue tickets for MIP to everyone at the party if they believe underage drinking is occurring.

What’s the Maximum Punishment for Minor in Possession of Alcohol in Missouri?

If you have no prior convictions for Underage Drinking or Minor in Possession of Alcohol in Missouri, the maximum penalty is a fine of $300. If this is not your first ticket for underage drinking, the maximum punishment is 1 year in jail and a fine of $1,000.

In addition to paying a fine, your driver’s license could be suspended if you were charged under Missouri’s “Abuse & Lose” law.

Even if you don’t care about paying a fine or having your license suspended, having an alcohol-related conviction such as MIP on your permanent criminal record may prevent you from getting a good job or being accepted into the college of your choice.

How to Fight a Ticket for Minor in Possession of Alcohol or Underage Drinking

An experienced attorney can help you fight a ticket for Minor in Possession of Alcohol or Underage Drinking. In most cases, your attorney can negotiate a plea bargain deal with the court to get your MIP ticket dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense, such as “Littering.”

The outcome of your case depends a lot on which court your case is being prosecuted in. The prosecutors and judges in some counties in Missouri are very strict when dealing with defendants charged with Minor in Possession of Alcohol or Underage Drinking, but may be quite lenient in other counties.

Other factors that make a difference in your case include:

  • How old are you? (If you were 3 months from turning 21 when you got the MIP ticket, the Prosecutor may be more lenient than if you were 16.)
  • Do you have any prior alcohol-related convictions on your criminal record?
  • Were you polite and respectful to the police when they issued the MIP ticket?

Before dismissing or reducing your MIP ticket, the court may require you to do some or all of the following:

  • Attend a brief alcohol-education class
  • Perform a few hours of community service
  • Pay a fine and court costs
  • Make a donation to the local law enforcement restitution fund

How To Get An Old MIP Conviction Expunged

It is possible to get an old MIP conviction expunged (removed) from your criminal record if you pleaded guilty to Minor in Possession of Alcohol (MIP) or Underage Drinking in the past. Contrary to popular belief, your MIP conviction does not automatically drop off your record or get sealed once you reach age 21.

After 1 year has passed since your conviction or you reach age 21 (whichever comes first), your attorney can file a petition for expungement of your MIP charge. There will be a hearing before a judge, and the judge will want to see proof that there are no other alcohol-related law enforcement contacts on your criminal record since the original MIP conviction date.

For more information about expungement of an MIP conviction, read my previous blog post “How To Get a First-Time MIP Conviction Expunged in Missouri.”


Call St. Louis MIP lawyer Andrea Storey Rogers at (314) 724-5059 for a free consultation about your ticket for under-age drinking or Minor in Possession of Alcohol (MIP) in Missouri. Or email her at andrea@leadfootspeedingticket.com.

How to Remove Points From Your Driving Record

To remove points from your driving record, you can hire a speeding ticket lawyer to get your ticket fixed, or you can attend traffic school.

Hire a Traffic Ticket Lawyer to Remove Points From Your Driving Record

When you get a speeding ticket or other traffic violation in Missouri, you can hire a traffic ticket lawyer to get your ticket reduced to a non-moving, no-point infraction. Some people call this “getting a speeding ticket fixed.”

Or you can just plead guilty and pay the fine. However, when you plead guilty to a speeding ticket, points are added to your driving record and your insurance company may increase your car insurance rates.

Your Driver’s License Will be Suspended if You Have Too Many Points On Your Driving Record

Some drivers don’t hire a traffic ticket lawyer until after they have accumulated so many points on their driving record that their license is in danger of being suspended.

  • If you accumulate 8 points within 18 months, your Missouri driver’s license will be suspended for 30 days, if it’s your first suspension.
  • Your driver’s license will be revoked for 1 year if you accumulate 12 points within 12 months.

How Much Does It Cost To Hire a Speeding Ticket Lawyer to Get Your Ticket Reduced?

A speeding ticket lawyer’s price to fix your ticket depends on the following factors:

  • How fast were you driving?
  • How many other speeding convictions are on your driving record?
  • Which court is your case being prosecuted in? (The court name and address are listed on your ticket.)

Most speeding ticket lawyers charge a one-time flat-fee price to get your ticket reduced to a non-moving, no-point infraction such as “Illegal Parking.”

An experienced traffic law attorney can give you a price quote over the phone, along with an estimate of the fine and court costs. The fine (after getting your ticket reduced to a non-moving, no-point infraction) will be slightly higher than the original fine.

You won’t have to appear in court, and the court will give you at least 30 days to pay the fine and court costs.

A Speeding Ticket Lawyer Can Lift the Suspension of Your Driver’s License

If you have already pleaded guilty to a ticket that caused your license to be suspended or revoked, a traffic law attorney can withdraw your guilty plea and get your old ticket reduced to a non-moving, no-point violation. Removing the old ticket will reduce the number of points on your driving record, which will lift the suspension of your driver’s license.

You can call the Missouri Department of Revenue in Jefferson City, Missouri at (573) 751-4475 to ask if your license is suspended and find out how many points you have on your driving record.

How to Withdraw Your Guilty Plea For an Old Speeding Ticket

If you have an old speeding ticket that you pleaded guilty to without consulting an attorney beforehand, you can hire an attorney to withdraw your guilty plea and get the ticket reduced to a non-moving, no-point violation.

Withdrawing your plea and getting the ticket reduced will remove points from your driving record, which will lift the suspension of your driver’s license if you have accumulated too many points on your driving record.

PLEASE NOTE:  It is more difficult to withdraw a guilty plea if too much time has passed since you pleaded guilty, or if you were represented by an attorney when you pleaded guilty.

You Can Take the Missouri Driver Improvement Program To Remove Points From Your Driving Record

Another way to remove points from your driving record is to take the Missouri Driver Improvement Program (DIP) traffic school.

The Missouri DIP traffic school removes points from your driving record after you have pleaded guilty to a speeding ticket or other traffic violation.

Most people hire a traffic ticket lawyer before the court date to get their speeding ticket reduced to a non-moving, no-point violation. But if that is not an option because your ticket was issued in a county that does not allow tickets to be reduced, or because you got a ticket for a very high speed (or other traffic violation) that the court refuses to reduce, the Missouri DIP class may be an option.

What You Need to Know Before Taking the Driver Improvement Program

Before taking the Missouri DIP class, you must get the judge’s permission. Some courts automatically grant permission, while other courts require the defendant to appear in person to ask the judge for permission to take the DIP class.

You must complete the DIP class within 60 days after pleading guilty to your speeding ticket.

After you complete the DIP class, fax proof of completion to the Missouri Department of Revenue (DOR) in Jefferson City, Missouri and they will remove the points from your driving record. The DOR may not accept proof of completion of the DIP class if you don’t get the judge’s permission prior to taking the class.

Here are some other important tips you should know before taking the DIP class:

  • You are not eligible to take the DIP class if you have taken it within the past 3 years.
  • You are not eligible to take the DIP class if you have a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).
  • You are not eligible to take the DIP class if the traffic violation was committed while driving a commercial motor vehicle.
  • Taking the DIP class removes points from your driving record but your insurance company will still be able to see the speeding ticket on your driving record, so they may use that as an excuse to increase your car insurance rates.

 

For more information about removing points from your Missouri driving record, read my previous blog post “How to Get a Speeding Ticket Reduced to a Non-Moving Violation in Missouri.” 


If you have a Missouri speeding ticket that you want to get reduced to a non-moving, no-point violation, call Missouri traffic law attorney Andrea Storey Rogers at (314) 724-5059 for a price quote and an estimate of your fine and court costs. Or email Andrea at andrea@leadfootspeedingticket.com

 

Get Your St. Louis Speeding Ticket Reduced to a Non-Moving Violation

A traffic ticket lawyer can get your St. Louis speeding ticket reduced to a non-moving, no-point violation to avoid points being added to your driving record and an increase in your car insurance rates.

Don’t Plead Guilty to Speeding in St. Louis

If you plead guilty to speeding in St. Louis, points will be added to your driving record, and your car insurance rates may increase.

Instead of pleading guilty, you can hire a traffic law attorney to represent you. Your attorney will negotiate a plea bargain deal with the Prosecutor to get your ticket reduced to a non-moving, no-point violation such as “Illegal Parking.” The Prosecutor will require you to pay fine that is slightly higher than the original fine, plus court costs. You won’t have to appear in court, and the court will give you at least 30 days to pay the fine and court costs.

As soon as the court receives your payment, your ticket will be reduced to a non-moving, no-point violation. This means no points will be added to your driving record, and your insurance company will never know you got the ticket.

Too Many Points on Your Driving Record Will Cause Your License to be Suspended

When you receive a speeding ticket, it is tempting to just pay the fine and forget about it. However, if you pay the fine, that means you are pleading guilty to speeding. That guilty plea will cause points to be added to your driving record and may also cause your car insurance rates to increase.

For a typical speeding ticket issued by a Missouri State Trooper, 3 points are added to your driving record. For “Driving Without Insurance,” 4 points are added. Standard traffic violations such as running a stop sign or improperly changing lanes are typically 2-point violations.

If you accumulate 8 points on your Missouri driving record within 18 months, your driver’s license will be suspended for 30 days (if it’s your first suspension). Your license will be revoked for 1 year if you accumulate 12 points within 12 months.

You Can Change Your Mind After Pleading Guilty to a St. Louis Speeding Ticket

Many people plead guilty and pay the fine for a speeding ticket and later wish they could change their mind. An experienced traffic law attorney can help you by withdrawing your guilty plea and getting your ticket reduced to a non-moving, no-point violation that won’t affect your driving record or car insurance rates.

It is much easier to withdraw your guilty plea if you 1) did not have an attorney representing you when you pleaded guilty, and 2) not much time has passed since your guilty plea.

If you have pleaded guilty and want to withdraw your plea, consult an experienced attorney to get a price quote for legal representation and an estimate of the fines and court costs you will pay.

How to Remove Points From Your Driving Record After Pleading Guilty to a Speeding Ticket

If your ticket was issued in a county where the Prosecutor won’t reduce your ticket to a non-moving, no-point violation, you may be able to take the Missouri Driver Improvement Program (DIP) to remove the points from your driving record.

You are eligible to take the DIP class if you have not taken it within the past 3 years. You are not eligible to take the DIP class if you have a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) or if the traffic violation was committed while driving a commercial motor vehicle. You must obtain the judge’s permission to take the DIP class, and you must complete the DIP class within 60 days after pleading guilty.

Read my previous blog post “Missouri Driving School Removes Points From Record” for more information about the Missouri DIP class.

PLEASE NOTE:  If you complete the DIP class, points will be removed from your Missouri driving record, but the speeding conviction will still show up on your driving record, and your insurance company may increase your rates.

For more information, read my previous blog post “How to Get a Speeding Ticket Reduced to a Non-Moving Violation in Missouri.”


To get your St. Louis speeding ticket reduced to a non-moving, no-point violation that won’t affect your driving record or insurance rates, call traffic law attorney Andrea Storey Rogers at (314) 724-5059 for a price quote and estimate of your fine and court costs. Or email Andrea at andrea@leadfootspeedingticket.com

 

No Jail Time For 10 Grams or Less of Marijuana in Missouri

As of January 1, 2017, possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana in Missouri is punishable by a $500 fine but no jail time.

New Missouri Law Eliminates Jail Time For Possession of Small Amount of Marijuana by First-Time Offenders

According to Missouri’s new marijuana law, possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana by a first-time offender (with no prior convictions for drug possession) is a Class D misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $500 but no possibility of jail time.

In the past, there was no separate misdemeanor class for possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana, so it was considered a Class A misdemeanor.

Pleading Guilty to Possession of 10 Grams or Less of Marijuana Will Show Up As a Drug Conviction On Your Criminal Record

Many people think this new Missouri law “decriminalizes” possession of  a small amount of pot, but that’s not true. Others say getting charged with marijuana possession is now like getting a speeding ticket, but that’s also not true.

If you plead guilty to possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana in Missouri, you will have a drug conviction on your permanent criminal record. The only difference is that the new marijuana law eliminates the possibility of jail time for possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana for first-time offenders.

You Can Be Arrested For Possession of 10 Grams or Less of Marijuana

Even though you can’t be sent to jail for possession of 10 grams or less of weed under Missouri’s new marijuana law if you are a first-time offender, you can still be arrested, and the record of that arrest will show up on your criminal record.

New Missouri Marijuana Law Applies to First-Time Offenders Only

If you are a first-time offender and you plead guilty to possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana in Missouri, there is no possibility of jail time, but you can be fined up to $500 and you will have a drug conviction on your permanent criminal record.

Keep in mind that having a drug conviction on your criminal record can prevent you from getting a job, renting an apartment, getting federal student loans for college, etc.

Higher Fine For Repeat Offenders Caught With 10 Grams or Less of Weed

The new Missouri marijuana law applies to first-time offenders only. If you have prior convictions, that means you are not a first-time offender, so if you are caught with 10 grams or less of marijuana, you will be charged with Class A misdemeanor possession of marijuana with a maximum penalty of 1 year in jail and a $2,000 fine.

Fine Increases for Possession of More Than 10 Grams But Less Than 35 Grams of Marijuana in Missouri

The fine amount for possession of more than 10 grams but 35 grams or less of marijuana has increased. The previous law allowed a maximum penalty of 1 year in jail and a $1,000 fine for possession of 35 grams or less of marijuana. The new law increases the fine to $2,000 but the maximum potential jail time remains 1 year.

Hire an Attorney To Get Your Marijuana Charges Dismissed or Reduced to a Lesser Offense

If you hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent you, it’s very likely they can get your marijuana case dismissed or amended to a lesser offense. The outcome of your case depends on several things:

  • How old are you?
  • Do you have any prior convictions?
  • Which court is your case being prosecuted in?
  • Were you polite and respectful to the police officer?
  • Does your attorney have experience handling marijuana cases?

No matter what, don’t just plead guilty to possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana in Missouri. It may seem like a minor offense, but it’s not. An experienced attorney can help keep this off your permanent criminal record.

 

For information about how to avoid getting charged with marijuana possession, see my previous post “Best & Worst Places to Smoke Weed in Missouri.”


Call St. Louis marijuana attorney Andrea Storey Rogers if you want to get your marijuana charges dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense. Call Andrea at (314) 724-5059 or email her at andrea@leadfootspeedingticket.com for a free consultation and a price quote for legal representation.