OWI 3RD OFFENSE in Des Moines
If you’ve been convicted of a second OWI (Iowa’s DUI) offense in the last twelve years and are being charged with OWI now, this is your “OWI, third offense.” (By way of comparison, if you’ve had other OWI(s) before, but the convictions happened more than twelve years ago, you could be charged with first offense OWI or second offense OWI again.)
Your first OWI was a serious misdemeanor charge. Your second OWI charge was an aggravated misdemeanor. Your third OWI is a class "D" felony.
People charged with third OWI offenses often have a number of other charges come up simultaneously, such as driving with a suspended license, that should be handled contemporaneously.
While the punishment for your first OWI may have been inconvenient and the punishment for your second OWI was likely pretty unpleasant, you're in a lot of trouble by the time you get to your third OWI charge. You’re going to complete another substance abuse evaluation. At this point, your evaluator and the court will assess you critically. The state can commit you to a treatment facility if they decide it’s best. Your car can also be seized and forfeited to the state. (You did read that correctly — they can fine you and take your car this time. Permanently.)
An Iowa OWI attorney will be able to explain what you're facing after your alleged OWI offense. After your arrest, it will be important to talk to someone who understands the law. You will want to understand the consequences to your driving privileges. Will you need to apply for a temporary restricted license? How soon will you need an ignition interlock device? An experienced lawyer will be able to explain the driver's license consequences of your offense. Ask your defense lawyer for third OWI Iowa for guidance.
Call (515) 200-2787 for a free consultation to discuss your case.
What Counts as a Third DUI Offense?
Convictions that happened outside of Iowa count as prior convictions — even if the other state called the offense a DUI or DWI instead of an OWI.
This is your third offense if you've had an OWI second offense in the last 12 years, even if your first DUI was more than 12 years ago. If you've previously gotten a deferred judgment on an OWI charge, that counts as a conviction for the purposes of determining whether this is your first, second, or third offense.
Offenses after your third are still charged as 3rd offense OWIs. Whether this is your third OWI or your seventh, it's a D felony. Therefore, the same maximum sentences apply. However, more prior offenses translate to higher likelihoods of prison time.
Call (515) 200-2787 today for a free initial consultation.