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Des Moines OWI Attorney

Relentless DUI & OWI Defense in Des Moines County

If you have been charged with operating while intoxicated (OWI) in the state of Iowa, it is important to understand the severity of the charges against you and the potential penalties you are facing. OWI is a criminal offense in Iowa, and it is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,250. Furthermore, if you are convicted of OWI, you will lose your driver's license for at least 180 days. 

If you are facing OWI charges, it is important to consult with an experienced OWI lawyer who can help you navigate the complex legal system and protect your rights. An experienced OWI lawyer will also be familiar with the local court system and the prosecutors in your case, which can be invaluable in achieving a favorable outcome.

What Can an OWI Lawyer Do for Me?

If you get arrested for an OWI in Iowa, the first question running through your mind should be, “do I need an attorney?”. The answer is yes. You are not legally required to have an attorney, but it will greatly benefit you in the long run. 

Here are a few things an OWI lawyer can do for you:

  • Meet you at the police station after your arrest and advise you about whether you should take the Datamaster test or not
  • Offer you a free initial consultation so that you can determine whether you want to establish an attorney-client relationship
  • Explain Iowa's OWI law
  • Help you find a substance abuse evaluator and alcohol abuse treatment if necessary
  • Help you set up and prepare for a DOT hearing if your license hasn't already been revoked
  • Explain what penalties you could be facing if convicted and what your options are for jury trial or plea bargaining
  • Offer legal advice about what to do next
  • Evaluate whether law enforcement performed a legal stop
  • Check whether it was legal for officers to stop you to begin with.
  • Look for defects in the State's evidence and failures in police procedures.
  • Review the DataMaster's calibration and certification records.
  • Review how field sobriety tests were administered.
  • Investigate whether officers have properly informed you of your rights.
  • Review whether your rights to call lawyers, and family members were respected.
  • Review whether you were properly informed of what would happen if you chose to take the Breathalyzer and failed and what would happen if you refused.
  • Check whether your right to independent testing was observed.
  • Ensure that your prior convictions in other states aren't counted against you as prior OWI convictions unless the State proves that those were substantially similar proceedings.
  • Guide you through DOT license revocation hearings.
  • Make sure your rights to speedy indictment and speedy trial are honored. 
  • Help you get your license revocation rescinded if the state doesn't follow time restrictions they have regarding properly-submitted requests for hearings and reviews.

When you hire our OWI lawyer in Des Moines at Clark & Sears Law, you're paying to have someone explore your routes to evidence suppression and to reasonable doubt. Contact us today or call (515) 200-2787.

Not only can you tell that they really care for their clients but also are very understanding & will work with you to set up a payment plan.

- Miguel

OWI Outcomes

In a deferred judgment, you plead guilty to the offense of Operating While Intoxicated. You are placed on probation. As long as you successfully complete probation, the offense will be expunged from your record. If you take a deferred judgment on an OWI, you will face civil penalties of $1250 instead of criminal fines for the violation.

You aren't eligible for a deferred judgment if you have a blood alcohol breath test of .15 or more if you have a previous DUI conviction, or if deferred in any state.

Drunk driving, driving while impaired, operating while intoxicated, driving under the influence, etc., are all terms that various states use to describe the crime of operating a motor vehicle while you are drunk, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or have a blood alcohol concentration that exceeds the legal limit.

What is the Alcohol Consumption Legal Limit in Iowa?

In Iowa, the limit is .08 for adults and .02 for anyone under 21.

DUI, DWI, and OWI are all essentially the same thing, but in Iowa, your charge will be called "operating while intoxicated." Any criminal defense lawyer licensed in Iowa can give you legal advice. Some criminal defense lawyers specialize in DUI charges and related crimes. You might find a full-service law firm with a defense lawyer who handles OWI charges. It shouldn't be difficult at all to find an available Des Moines DUI lawyer, but if you can't find the law firm you're looking for, you can check a lawyer directory. Look for an office near you that offers legal services for criminal charges.

After you are stopped, the police officer(s) talking to you will probably ask you to take a PBT (preliminary breath test) and/or FSTs (standardized field sobriety tests.) After you take these or refuse them, you will probably be arrested and taken to either the police station, the sheriff's office, or the county jail. 

What Happens If You're Arrested for an OWI in Iowa?

Once you're at the county jail, you will be offered the chance to call a family member or an attorney. Take that opportunity! Most OWI charges happen late at night, but some law firms have 24/7 or emergency numbers. Sometimes, a law firm will even have someone come out from the office to meet you at the police station or jail so that they can discuss the criminal penalties and the driver's license issues that you might face if you either take or refuse the DataMaster (breathalyzer) test. (They might ask you to take a blood or urine test if they suspect that you're under the influence of a substance other than or in addition to alcohol.)

You have the right to a separate test at your own expense if you want one.

After you either take or refuse the test, it's likely that you will be booked into jail or released into the custody of someone who can drive you home. If you haven't spoken to an attorney yet, this is the time to reach out and do that! If you've already spoken to an attorney, you should call them back and plan the next steps.

  • Shortly after receiving the police narrative from the arresting agency, the county attorney's office will probably file criminal charges. The state's attorney is going to demand your appearance in court, where they will begin the process of trying to convict you as a criminal. The prosecutor will not advise you on any legal matters. The prosecutor is only there to represent the State.
  • If you can't afford an attorney, the State will provide you with a public defender. Even people who are appointed counsel at State expense sometimes choose to hire other lawyers. Often, their friends or family members will help them defray the costs of hiring an attorney who can help guide them through criminal law issues.
  • If the police officer doesn't take your driver's license at the time of your arrest, you will get a letter in the mail not long after your release. Unless you or your attorney file a request for a hearing, your license and your driving privileges will be revoked
    If you've been charged with drunk driving in Iowa, you are facing an expensive situation. You need an OWI attorney.

What are the Penalties for an OWI Conviction in Iowa?

An OWI conviction will expose you to at least a $1250 fine (plus a 15% surcharge) -- and possibly thousands more -- and at least two days in jail for a first offense. Additionally, if you're convicted of Iowa OWI (Iowa DUI), you'll have to carry SR-22 insurance for two years from the date of your most recent license revocation. Your car insurance costs will increase -- possibly by hundreds of dollars per month, and probably for years. Drinking and driving could affect your job standing and professional licensing. You could have difficulty trying to visit Canada. You will have to pay to install and maintain an ignition interlock device in any car you own or operate. Your Iowa DUI conviction can't be expunged. If you plead guilty or are convicted at trial, that will never come off your record.

Des Moines OWI Defense: Protect Your Rights with Clark & Sears Law

If you're facing charges for OWI or DUI in Des Moines, having an experienced and skilled attorney from Clark & Sears Law on your side is crucial. Our firm is dedicated to helping clients navigate the complex legal system and acquire the best possible result in their OWI case. We deeply understand OWI laws in the state and know that time is of the essence in these cases. Don't hesitate to schedule a free consultation to learn how we can help with your OWI case.

Get Expert OWI Defense in Des Moines – Contact Clark & Sears Law Now

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Call us today at (515) 200-2787 for a free initial consultation

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