On Thursday, May 2, 2013, in the Circuit Court of Taney County, Robert L. Woods, d/o/b 11-17-1950, of Branson, entered pleas of guilty in two (2) separate felony driving while intoxicated cases. Circuit Court Judge Mark Orr heard the guilty pleas and scheduled Woods’ sentencings for July 25, 2013.
Each of Woods’ driving while intoxicated charges are class B felonies, because the Taney County Prosecutor’s Office was able to prove at least four (4) prior D.W.I. convictions in Woods’ past. “For a D.W.I. charge to get to the Circuit Court, the State must be able to prove the defendant has prior convictions,” says Taney County Prosecuting Attorney Jeff Merrell. “Typically, a defendant with two (2) prior D.W.I. convictions will be charged with a class D felony, and a defendant with three (3) prior D.W.I. convictions will be charged with a class C felony. In this case, we could prove four (4) prior D.W.I. convictions, which – under Missouri law – allows the defendant to be charged with a class B felony. Any first or second offense D.W.I. charge is handled in the Associate Circuit Court.”
In one case, Woods was arrested for D.W.I. on September 12, 2010, after nearly crashing his Mercedez on U.S. Highway 65. Witnesses to Woods’ driving late on that evening stayed with Woods until a Trooper with the Missouri State Highway Patrol could arrive to investigate. Woods’ blood alcohol content was found by a test of his breath to be 0.098%, and he was found in possession of alprazolam, as schedule IV controlled substance.
In the other case, Woods was arrested for D.W.I. on September 21, 2010, at just after 10 o’clock in the morning by a Branson Police Officer, after nearly crashing his Mercedez on Highway 248. Woods refused to submit to a test of his blood on that date, so no blood alcohol level was able to be determined.
The class B felony of driving while intoxicated carries a range of punishment of five (5) years to fifteen (15) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections.