Operating While Intoxicated 1st and 2nd offenses qualify as misdemeanor convictions in Iowa. A first offense is a serious misdemeanor and a second offense is an aggravated misdemeanor. A serious misdemeanor is punishable by up to 1 year in County jail and a fine of up to $1,875. An aggravated misdemeanor is punishable by up to 2 years in prison and a fine of up to $6,500.
Most operating while intoxicated offenses do not result in anywhere near the statutory maximum but the mandatory minimum penalties are severe in and of themselves. A first offense OWI carries with it a mandatory minimum of 48 hours in jail and a fine of $1,250. A second offense requires a mandatory minimum of 7 days in jail and a fine of $1,875. The State also taxes each fine that is imposed by requiring the defendant to pay an additional 32% surcharge ($400 on a first offense and $600 on a second offense).
A first offense operating while intoxicated defendant may also be eligible for a deferred judgment so long as their was no accident resulting in personal injury to someone other than the defendant; they consented to chemical testing and the test indicated an alcohol concentration of .150 or less; and they have no prior conviction for operating while intoxicated. In those circumstances the court may defer judgment which means no jail time can be imposed and the individual is placed on probation for one year and upon successful completion of the terms and conditions of probation, the conviction is expunged. It does however count as a prior offense in the event that the individual is arrested for another OWI charge within the next 12 years. A deferred judgment is the only mechanism currently available under Iowa law for an operating while intoxicated charge to be removed from ones record. Iowa does not have an expungement statute for any criminal offense other than public intoxication.
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OWI-DUI.com presents Iowa's Best Drunk Driving Defense Attorneys. These lawyers have handled numerous Owi cases, winning refusals (that are assumed to be impossible to win), felony cases and compelling first, second, third or fourth offense drunk driving cases. They have also obtained lesser charges for their clients, which is the best possible outcome in some situations, such as those in which the evidence is overwhelming compelling. For instance, a traffic violation may hold demerit points and fines, but they are far lesser than those imposed for an Owi. If there is a way to overcome the charges against you, you can rest reassured that these lawyers will help you build the defense to do so.
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