Des Moines, Iowa OWI Lawyers
Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) is a serious offense in Des Moines, Iowa, and throughout the entire state. Many people may refer to this as a DUI, but the State of Iowa refers to this as an OWI. The description of each charge is the same: driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
If you or a loved one has been arrested for drunk driving, then you will need a top-rated OWI attorney if you are to stand the best chance of beating an OWI charge. Getting a top OWI lawyer in Des Moines is the best way to beat your OWI charge.
The enforcement and legal proceedings surrounding OWI charges are complex, requiring specialized legal expertise to navigate. Getting a top OWI criminal defense attorney is your best bet for protecting your rights.
Finding An OWI Lawyer in Des Moines
Did the police arrest you for an OWI in Des Moines? If so, you are in the right place. We can help you find the top OWI lawyers in Des Moines. These top-rated OWI attorneys can help protect your right to drive and keep your record clean.
First off, there are some particular things to look for when searching for a Des Moines OWI lawyer. Membership at a law firm or in professional law associations is the first thing to look for. Being a member of these organizations does not guarantee that a Des Moines OWI attorney is the best. However, it can serve as a good starting point.
Some of the professional law associations in Des Moines, IA include:
- Iowa State Bar Association
- Iowa Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
- Iowa State Public Defenders Office
- Iowa Legal Aid
- Cornell Law School Legal Information Institute
OWI lawyers in Des Moines are well-versed in Iowa’s legal landscape and provide essential services to those facing charges. These lawyers assist with plea deals, trials, and appeals. They utilize their extensive knowledge of Iowa’s OWI laws to achieve optimal outcomes for their clients. Below are some of the ways a Des Moines OWI attorney can assist you in beating your OWI charge in Polk County, IA.
How A Des Moines OWI Lawyer Can Help
In Des Moines, Iowa, facing an OWI charge can be an alarming and complicated situation. It is crucial to hire a Des Moines OWI lawyer for a strong defense. They possess knowledge of the local laws and procedures for OWI cases in Polk County and Greater Des Moines.
Polk County OWI lawyers are familiar with the unique legal landscape in Des Moines and the surrounding areas. They understand the specific statutes, regulations, and nuances of the local courts, including the judges, prosecutors, and procedures. This local expertise allows a Des Moines criminal defense attorney to tailor their defense to the Polk County legal environment.
Immediately After An OWI Arrest in Des Moines
A Des Moines OWI lawyer can give you quick legal advice to protect your rights from the beginning. Their guidance during initial questioning can prevent self-incrimination and mistakes that could be used against you later.
In addition to criminal charges, OWI arrests can lead to administrative penalties like license suspension. Immediate engagement with an OWI lawyer can help you navigate these parallel proceedings, minimizing or avoiding such penalties.
It is routine to lose your license when you are arrested for an OWI. This is known as Administrative License Revocation or Suspension.
You have 10 days from the date of your arrest to appeal the mandatory Administrative License Suspension. Failure to appeal an OWI license revocation means you will lose your license until your court date at the very least. Your Des Moines OWI attorney can help you navigate this process.
Additionally, evidence in OWI cases can be time-sensitive. An immediate response from your Des Moines OWI lawyer allows for the preservation and analysis of critical evidence. This includes reviewing breathalyzer results, police conduct, and witness statements, which may be crucial for your defense.
If going to trial is not in your best interest, a Des Moines OWI lawyer can negotiate with the prosecution to reduce the charges or penalties. Through bargaining, they may secure a plea deal for a lesser offense like reckless driving, which carries fewer long-term consequences. Starting negotiations early may lead to reduced charges or even dismissal in some circumstances.
An experienced OWI attorney in Des Moines can interact with the prosecution from the beginning. Hiring them earlier increases their chance of influencing the direction of the case in your favor. Hiring a Des Moines OWI lawyer as soon as possible will give your criminal defense attorney enough time to come up with an effective OWI negotiation strategy.
If the case proceeds to trial, a Polk County OWI lawyer’s courtroom experience and understanding of Polk County’s legal intricacies can make a substantial difference in the outcome. They can present the case most effectively to a local judge or jury, highlighting reasonable doubts and employing defense strategies that resonate within the specific context of Polk County, Iowa.
If you go to trial, a top-rated OWI lawyer in Des Moines will be crucial to beating the charges. Whether it’s an OWI bench trial or an OWI jury trial, you need the best representation. Des Moines OWI trials often hinge on the evidence, such as OWI breath tests, OWI blood tests, and field sobriety test results. A top-rated OWI lawyer in Des Moines can critically evaluate this evidence, identify inconsistencies, improper procedures, or technical flaws, and challenge its validity in court.
A top-rated OWI lawyer will also know how to cross-examine the prosecution’s witnesses, including law enforcement officers. This can uncover inconsistencies, biases, technical faults, or mistakes in their testimony, undermining the prosecution’s case. This can significantly weaken the prosecution’s case and better your chances of beating an OWI case.
Even if you were convicted of an OWI in court, you still have options. You can appeal the decision, but if that is not an option, then there are still ways a Des Moines OWI attorney can help you.
If you were sentenced to probation, then a Polk County OWI lawyer can help you navigate this journey. Understanding and adhering to the conditions of probation or parole can be intricate. Your OWI lawyer can explain these conditions clearly, assist in compliance, and represent you if any issues or violations arise.
Additionally, an OWI conviction often results in license revocation. A Des Moines OWI lawyer can guide you through the complex process of license reinstatement, ensuring compliance with all requirements and facilitating a return to legal driving status. You will probably have to have an ignition interlock device installed to get your license back. A Des Moines OWI lawyer can help you arrange this as well.
Appeals and Onward
If convicted, the option to appeal may be available. A Des Moines OWI lawyer will be able to evaluate the trial’s conduct, identify legal errors or grounds for appeal, and initiate and manage the complex appeal process. Their expertise in local appellate procedures is indispensable.
Even after a conviction, a skilled OWI lawyer can work to mitigate the sentence. By presenting compelling arguments and evidence related to your character, circumstances, or the case’s specific facts, they can potentially reduce fines, jail time, or other penalties. Des Moines also provides diversion programs such as the Warren County Adult OWI Court in lieu of jail time.
Depending on the circumstances and your specific charges, you might be eligible for expungement or record sealing. A Des Moines OWI lawyer can assess your eligibility, handle the necessary legal proceedings, and work to clear your record.
OWI Arrests in Des Moines
OWI arrests in Des Moines have been fairly static over the past twenty years. That being said, the number of OWI arrests has experienced two sharp drops over the past two decades. In 2006 there were 2,834 OWI revocations in Polk County. This dropped to 2,111 OWI revocations in 2007. This is a decrease of nearly 75%.
The number of arrests has been much more consistent since 2015. Since then, OWI arrests have varied by less than 300 OWI arrests per year. 2020 was somewhat of an outlier, with only 1,555 OWI arrests. The COVID-19 pandemic likely skewed the numbers that year.
More recently, OWI arrests in Des Moines have been much more consistent. They have also been significantly lower than they were earlier in the 2000s. According to the Iowa Department of Transportation, there were 1,881 OWI arrests in Des Moines in 2021. In 2022, there were 1,892 OWI arrests.
According to the NHTSA, the rest of Iowa has significantly fewer OWI arrests per year compared to Des Moines. Keep in mind that Des Moines is the largest city in the state by a wide margin. Nearly 7% of the population of the State of Iowa lives in the city of Des Moines itself. Des Moines has a population of just over 200,000 while the state of Iowa has a population of just over 3 million.
Des Moines Courts for OWI Cases
Depending on where someone was arrested for an OWI, they may go to one of several courthouses. Even though Des Moines is the largest city in Iowa, there are not many courts that hear OWI cases. Below you will find a selection of some of the courts that hear OWI cases in Des Moines, Iowa.