Click pictures below to read each faculty member's full biography. You can also visit each faculty member's website, linked below, to learn more.
Denise L. Childress concentrates her practice on defending citizens accused of driving while intoxicated and other crimes. She has represented clients in 33 counties throughout Missouri, has argued before the Missouri Court of Appeals in both the Eastern and Southern Districts, and has written Amicus Briefs in the Supreme Court of Missouri on behalf of the Missouri Association for Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Missouri Society for Criminal Justice.
Ms. Childress has been honored with the Missouri Lawyers Weekly Women's Justice Award in 2020, the Missouri Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers President's Award in 2019, and the Missouri Lawyers Weekly Up & Coming Law Firm Leader Award in 2016. Ms. Childress has completed the NHTSA DWI Detection and Standardized Field Sobriety Testing (SFST) Course, and continues to complete refresher courses as NHTSA updates its law enforcement training. She has also completed the NHTSA Drug Recognition Expert Course for Lawyers.
Ms. Childress is the Owner and President of Childress Legal, LLC, which she founded in 2019. Ms. Childress joined Carl Ward Law, LLC, in 2013 as an Associate Attorney, quickly was named Director of Operations of the law firm in 2014, and was named Partner in 2017. Prior to joining private practice, Ms. Childress worked for the Missouri Public Defender. In 2012, Ms. Childress received her J.D. from the St. Louis University School of Law with a concentration in criminal litigation. She received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Justice Systems from Truman State University in 2009, where she also minored in Spanish.
Ms. Childress has been a frequent lecturer on DWI law over the past six years and has been honored to join the national faculty of the DUI Defense Lawyers Association. She has also taught on occasion at the St. Louis Police Academy regarding Probable Cause for DWI, what to expect in court, and how to testify.
Ms. Childress is the President of the St. Charles County Bar Association, co-founder of The Missouri DWI Institute, LLC, and serves as a Board member for the DUI Defense Lawyers Association, the St. Charles City Parks and Recreation Department, and BCI, Inc.
Ms. Childress is a member of the Missouri Bar, the Missouri Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Missouri Society for Criminal Justice, the DUI Defense Lawyers Association, and the National College for DUI Defense.
Denise’s practice emphasizes DWI defense in both municipal and state courts. Denise received her law degree from Georgetown University Law Center in 1994, and was admitted to the Missouri Bar that year. She is also licensed in Kansas.
Denise is founder and President of The Missouri DWI Institute, LLC, an organization dedicated to educating judges, attorneys, and law enforcement regarding the law and science of DWI. She is also President of The Missouri Society for Criminal Justice, an organization focused on DWI defense. She has been voted by her peers a Super Lawyer in Missouri and Kansas in the area of DWI defense. She is a member of the National College for DUI Defense as well as the DUI Defense Lawyers Association. Denise is NHTSA Certified in the administration of Standardized Field Sobriety tests and previously served on the Board of Directors for the Missouri Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. She served as Co-Chair of the Bernard Edelman DWI Law and Science Seminar and was honored with the MACDL President’s Award in 2019. She consults with attorneys around the state on challenging prior convictions in criminal DWI cases.
Lance A. Platt is currently the president/owner of Platt and Associates Impaired Driving Consulting located in Bryan, Texas. Mr. Platt was previously employed with the Texas A&M University System (Texas Engineering Extension Service TEEX) as a law enforcement training program coordinator and instructor. Mr. Platt was also responsible for the training and management of the Texas Drug Evaluation and Classification Program (DECP/DRE) as well as several nationally recognized impaired driving training programs and initiatives. Mr. Platt served as a police officer with the city of College Station, Texas attaining the rank of master police officer, which is the highest peace officer certification in the state of Texas.
Mr. Platt received his Bachelor of Science degree from Sam Houston State University, Masters Degree from Texas A&M University and his Doctorate from Texas A&M University. Mr. Platt’s dissertation topic was titled, “An Evaluation of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test at a .08 Blood Alcohol Concentration for the State of Texas. ”
The courts nationwide including Florida have recognized Mr. Platt as an expert in DWI Detection and Standardized Field Sobriety as well as drugged driving and have qualified Mr. Platt as an expert in law enforcement policy and procedures including training and use of force issues in state and federal courts.