Should I get into an alcohol treatment program while my current operating operating while intoxicated case is pending?
Alcohol abuse treatment is an important tool in effectively defending and addressing an operating while intoxicated charge in the State of Iowa. A qualified and experienced defense attorney will always advise a client to immediately obtain a substance abuse evaluation and follow through with any and all recommended treatment at their earliest possible opportunity. The reasoning behind this is that while plan A is always to beat the case, plan B is to minimize and obtain a resolution to the case that has the least negative impact on the client’s life. Plan B requires the client to take the affirmative steps to prove to the judge that they are taking the charge seriously and making every effort to ensure that they will not be back before the judge on a second or subsequent offense. The quicker an evaluation and treatment if any is recommended, is begun, the better it looks to both the judge and prosecuting attorney. The Department of Transportation also requires that a person undergo a substance abuse evaluation and complete recommended treatment before their full driving privileges may be restored.
It is important to also understand that the prosecutor is not entitled to the substance abuse evaluation or treatment unless specifically consented to by the client. Thus, it cannot and will not be used against a defendant in the criminal prosecution. It only becomes a factor in plea negotiations and ultimately at sentencing if the case progresses to that stage.
Alcohol Abuse Treatment is especially effective when a defendant is facing a Third Offense that carry’s with it a mandatory minimum 30 days in jail and up to 5 years in prison. Under Iowa law, a person can be committed by the court to participate in and successfully complete inpatient substance abuse treatment. If the Court orders residential treatment than it must also order that the individual receive credit against any subsequently imposed jail time for the time that they spent inpatient. Although not binding on the judge if not ordered before treatment is commenced, a person can also voluntarily enter inpatient treatment and request that the judge give him credit against any subsequently imposed jail time for the time served impatient. Many inpatient substance abuse treatment facilities are close to if not a minimum of 30 days and can be even longer depending upon the individual’s individualized progress in the program.
If you are convicted of a drunk driving offense, and the subsequent assessment indicates that an abuse problem may exist, you will be ordered into a treatment program.
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