In Iowa, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage or other drug combination of such substances. With alcohol, the state must prove either that your alcohol concentration was .08 or more or that you were actually under the influence of alcohol. Typically if your alcohol level is above .08, the State will charge you with operating while intoxicated. People are most typically arrested for operating while intoxicated because they either refuse to give a breath sample and show signs of intoxication or they give a blood sample that is over .08 or a urine sample that tests positive for drugs. In any situation, it is important to immediately obtain attorney services in Cedar Rapids.
Penalties for Operating While Intoxicated:
First Offense: For a first offense OWI, a person faces a minimum of two days in jail and up to a year in jail. A person faces a fine of $1250 plus a 35% criminal surcharge as a financial consequence. An individual’s license will be revoked for a minimum of one hundred eighty days. That period could be longer if you refuse a breathalyzer. That period can be up to six years if you have prior OWI convictions. A person will also have to do a substance abuse evaluation and follow through with recommended treatment.
Second Offense OWI: For a second offense OWI, a person faces up to two years in prison and a minimum of 7 days in jail. Financial consequences are steep too. A person faces a minimum fine of $1875 and a maximum fine of $5250, plus a criminal surcharge of 35%, a DARE surcharge of $10 and court costs. The individual’s driver’s license will be revoked for one year if they willingly gave a breathalyzer. A person will have to complete a substance abuse evaluation and treatment.
Third Offense OWI: For a third offense OWI, a person faces up to five years in prison and must serve a mandatory minimum term of thirty days. A person faces a minimum fine of $3125 and a maximum fine of $9375. A person’s driver’s license will be revoked for six years.
The penalties go up substantially if a person has previous OWI convictions on their record. If a person causes serious injury or death to another person under the influence, even more serious penalties can result.
Having an attorney fight for you can benefit you substantially. We will review your case for mistakes made by the arresting officer and fight for your rights. One of the best strategies in an OWI defense is to file pretrial motions to take away evidence because the arresting officer didn’t follow the right protocol. Some mistakes we look for include failing to “mirandize” you, not allowing you to call your attorney or family when you make a request, stopping your vehicle without just cause, or searching your vehicle without proper justification. We will work on your behalf to explain your options whether taking your case to trial or negotiating a plea bargain to a reduced offense or minimum sentence. Call us today.