Denise L. Childress is an experienced trial lawyer and the President of Childress Legal, LLC. She is licensed to practice law in the State of Missouri and practices criminal, DWI-DUI, and traffic law.
Ms. Childress spend the last five and a half years of her career honing her skills in the specific area of DWI law. Ms. Childress has tried countless civil DWI cases and, in that time, has built a sterling reputation in the Legal DWI world. Ms. Childress has taught at the largest continuing legal education seminar for DWI matters in Missouri for the last five years, and has been the assistant co-chair for the past two years. Ms. Childress worked under Mr. Carl M. Ward before being named partner after only three years with the Firm. Ms. Childress has now opened her own law practice, Childress Legal, LLC. In this practice, she continues fighting DWI matters, as well as all criminal matters. She can help you out with anything that comes with a ticket and points. In short, if you have had an encounter with a law enforcement officer in any capacity, she has you covered!
Ms. Childress is experienced in handling driver's licensing matters: if your driving privileges have been suspended, revoked, disqualified, or denied,Ms. Childress may be able to help you get reinstated or obtain a limited or restricted driving privilege. If you are on a five or ten year denial, the laws have recently changed and you may now be eligible for an LDP where you weren't before. If so, contact Ms. Childress - she may be able to help you start driving again! If you have pending suspensions, revocations, disqualifications or denials, Ms. Childress may be able to appeal them, often times with a stay order to keep you driving in the meantime!
Ms. Childress has extensive experience with CDL holders whose jobs depend on holding a valid license and is familiar with the unique associated challenges.
Ms. Childress joined Ward & Childress | Trial Attorneys as an Assocaite attorney, working her way up over the years to becoming a named partner. She has tried countless DWI license suspension and/or revocation cases. In 2018, she was named as the Assistant to the Co-Chairs of the Bernard Edelman DWI Law and Science Seminar, the largest DWI continuing legal education seminar held in the State of Missouri. She serves on the Amicus Committee for the Missouri Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, writing amicus briefs on behalf of MACDL. In 2016, she was awarded as an Up & Coming Lawyers Law Firm Leader.
Ms. Childress joined Ward & Childress | Trial Attorneys after working for the Missouri State Public Defender System as an Assistant Public Defender in Farmington, Missouri. Before joining MSPD, Ms. Childress worked as an attorney at ArchCity Defenders, Inc, a nonprofit organization that strives to prevent and end homelessness in St. Louis by providing criminal and civil legal services in collaboration with a network of social services to break the cycle of “revolving door justice.” Dedicated to the service of others and improving her legal skills, Ms. Childress has previously completed four volunteer internships with MSPD, working as a Rule 13 Intern in St. Charles, as a Law Student Intern in St. Louis County, and as an Undergraduate Student Intern in both St. Louis City and Kirksville. In these varying capacities over the past four years, Ms. Childress has represented and/or assisted countless indigent citizens accused or convicted of crimes in multiple jurisdictions throughout Missouri.
In 2012, Ms. Childress received her J.D. with a concentration in Criminal Litigation Skills from Saint Louis University School of Law, where she spent the Fall of 2009 and the Spring of 2011 on the Dean’s List. Ms. Childress received many awards in law school, including the American Law Institute | American Bar Association Scholarship and Leadership Award (presented to the student in each of the nation’s top law schools’ graduating classes who best represents a combination of scholarship and leadership), the Bar Plan Foundation 2011 Scholarship (awarded to those who exemplify high standards of ethics and professionalism), the Academic Excellence Award in Anti-Terrorism and Criminal Enforcement (presented to the student with the highest grade obtained in the class) and the Student Bar Association Delegate Outstanding and Dedicated Services Certificate.
Throughout law school, Ms. Childress was actively involved on the executive boards of both the Public Interest Law Group and the International Law Student Association. Ms. Childress also served as Student Bar Association Delegate and as Chair of the Public Interest Law Group Auction for two years where she helped raise over $30,000.00 to support the Irvin & Maggie Dagen Fellowship Fund which supports dozens of law students each year who work for more than forty-five local organizations that serve the underrepresented at no cost to the organization.
During her third year of law school, Ms. Childress worked in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri as a Law Clerk for the Honorable Audrey G. Fleissig. She also worked as a Rule 13 Intern for the Criminal Defense Advocacy Clinic at SLU Law, where she represented the criminally accused.
During her second year of law school, Ms. Childress worked at SLU Law as a Faculty Fellow under Professor Stephen Thaman, where she composed a comprehensive report on capital clemency proceedings in Missouri for the American Bar Association Death Penalty Moratorium Implementation Project, which contributed to a report published by the ABA, entitled Evaluating Fairness and Accuracy in State Death Penalty Systems: The Missouri Death Penalty Assessment Report, An Analysis of Missouri’s Death Penalty Laws, Procedures, and Practices.
Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Ms. Childress attended Truman State University on multiple academic and leadership scholarships and graduated in 2009 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Justice Systems and a Minor in Spanish. Ms. Childress received the 2009 Outstanding Student in Justice Systems award, based on outstanding scholastic achievement in the major. Not only did Ms. Childress excel academically, she also served as President for the Alpha Phi Sigma chapter of the National Criminal Justice Honor Society and on the Executive Board for the Lambda Alpha Epsilon chapter of the American Criminal Justice Association, where she competed nationally in several subjects and won a national first place award for physical agility testing. Ms. Childress also served as Committee Head to bring the American Criminal Justice Association Regional Conference to Truman’s campus.
While in college, Ms. Childress played goalie for Truman’s seventh-ranked varsity soccer team all four years, was named MIAA Defensive Player of the Week and spent time on the MIAA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll. In 2008, Ms. Childress spent a month living with a local family in Santa Ana, Costa Rica while attending a Full Immersion Spanish Program at the Centro Linguistico, Conversa.
|MO||Good Standing, Active||2012||11/08/2021|
|Award name||Grantor||Date granted|
|Up and Coming Lawyer - Law Firm Leader||Missouri Lawyers Weekly||2016|
|Scholarship & Leadership Award||American Law Institute - American Bar Association||N/A|
|Academic Excellence in Anti-Terrorism and Criminal Enforcement||St. Louis University School of Law||N/A|
|Scholarship Award||The Bar Plan Foundation||N/A|
|Outstanding and Dedicated Services Certificate||Student Bar Association, St. Louis University School of Law||N/A|
|Outstanding Student in Justice Systems||Truman State University||N/A|
|Defensive Player of the Week||MIAA||N/A|
|Partner and Trial Attorney||Ward & Childress | Trial Attorneys||2017 - Present|
|Director of Operations||Ward & Associates||2014 - 2017|
|Assistant Public Defender I||Missouri State Public Defender System, St. Francois County||2013 - 2013|
|Associate||Ward & Associates | Trial Attorneys||2013 - 2017|
|Staff Attorney||ArchCity Defenders, Inc||2012 - 2012|
|Contract Attorney||Dill, Bamvakis, & Newsham||2012 - 2012|
|Legal Intern||United States District Court, Eastern District Of Missouri||2012 - 2012|
|Rule 13 Intern||St. Louis University School of Law Criminal Defense Advocacy Clinic||2011 - 2011|
|Rule 13 Intern||Missouri State Public Defender System, St. Charles County, Warren County, Lincoln County||2011 - 2011|
|Law Clerk||Childress Ahlheim Cary LLC||2011 - 2011|
|Faculty Fellow||St. Louis University School of Law||2010 - 2010|
|Student Intern||Missouri State Public Defender System, St. Louis County||2010 - 2010|
|Law Clerk||Law Office of Craig Lawton Kessler||2010 - 2010|
|Undergraduate Intern||Missouri State Public Defender System, St. Louis City||2009 - 2009|
|Undergraduate Intern||Missouri State Public Defender System, Adair County||2009 - 2009|
|Association name||Position name||Duration|
|St. Louis County Bar Association||Member||2015 - Present|
|Missouri Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers||Chairperson||2015 - Present|
|Missouri Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers||Member||2014 - Present|
|Missouri Society for Criminal Justice||Member||2014 - Present|
|St. Louis Solo and Small Firm Attorneys||N/A||2013 - Present|
|Missouri Bar||Member||2012 - Present|
|American Bar Association||Evaluating Fairness and Accuracy in State Death Penalty Systems: The Missouri Death Penalty Assessment Report, An Analysis of Missouri's Death Penalty Laws, Procedures, and Practices||2012|
|Saint Louis University School of Law||JD - Juris Doctor||2012|
|Truman State University||BS - Bachelor of Science||2009|
|Bernard Edelman DWI Law & Science Seminar||Ethics - The Second Hour: Electronics and Rule 4||2016|
|2015 Bernard Edelman DWI Law and Science Seminar||Moderator||2015|
|Trial Practice Skills for Lawyers and Paralegals||Ethical Considerations when Dealing with Difficult People and Situations||2014|
|2014 Bernard Edelman DWI Law & Science Seminar||Moderator||2014|
|Associate Attorney Denise L. Childress Saves License||Decision maker finds the officer lacked probable cause to believe driver was operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. License suspension removed and no loss of driving privileges.|
|Associate Attorney Denise L. Childress Saves License and Avoids Criminal DWI||“The Court finds the police reports in Resp Ex A to not be persuasive or credible in light of the DVD, which exposes several inconsistencies in the written reports.” Driving privileges restored. Criminal DWI charge dismissed.|
|Associate Attorney Denise L. Childress Saves License Despite Alleged .139 BrAC||Hearing Officer finds BrAC test result inadmissible as administered on the video and Orders License Reinstatement|
|Associate Attorney Denise L. Childress Saves License Despite Alleged .121 BrAC||Hearing Officer decides evidence is insufficient to determine BAC above .08% and Orders Reinstatement|
|Associate Attorney Denise L. Childress Saves License Despite Refusal of Breath Test||The Court ordered license revocation removed because the officer lacked probable cause of intoxicate at the time of driving and refusal invalid for lack of arrest. Driving privileges restored.|
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