Top 10 Mistakes
1. Failing to consult with an OWI defense lawyer.
You must consult with a lawyer who handles OWI defense as soon as possible after your arrest. There is a ten-day time window that starts at the time of your arrest that must be evaluated. Most OWI defense lawyers will file an appeal. There are very important reasons for doing so and you lawyer can explain why. If you wait until after the 10 days have run, you cannot go back and fix this.
Even if you don’t think you can afford a lawyer (most take payments), do this. When you call or go in, tell the lawyer the truth about what happened. Your lawyer is required by law to keep all information you tell him or her confidential. If you think driving while under the influence was a dumb thing to do, not getting a free consult with a lawyer before you do anything further will be even dumber.
2. Iowa OWI laws are extremely complex.
If you use our free OWI consequences program, it will send you a detailed report of what you are facing in court and on your driver’s license. You still need to find out if there is a way to avoid being convicted of the charge and only an OWI defense lawyer can help you determine that. If you think the prosecutor or the judge will help you think again. The job of a prosecutor is to get you to plead guilty. The judge cannot give you help or advice. Every lawyer listed at OWIbuster.com is considered a professional and expert in Iowa OWI laws and they will offer you a free consultation if you call them and mention OWIbuster.com
Lawyers hire lawyers to represent them. A lawyer specializing in OWI defense knows how to help you save a lot of money and stress. If you represent yourself, you will later regret this mistake.
3. Failing to demand a hearing on your DL revocation.
If you fail to demand a hearing as allowed by law, you will be subject to severe penalties imposed by the Iowa DOT. You have 10 days to do so from the time of your arrest. Contact one of our lawyer specialists.
4. Assuming you are guilty of the charge.
If you blew in the machine, even though .08 is the legal limit for being charged with an Iowa OWI, there are many factors that can be in place to cause that level to be artificially high. Such reasons include the test being given incorrectly by the officer. Perhaps your BAC was going up after you were stopped by the officer. You may well have been legal to drive at the time of the stop but you weren’t tested until an hour later. Perhaps the officer did not calibrate the machine properly or did not follow proper protocol in administering the test. If you can get the test thrown out, you are on your way to beating the charge. Only an lawyer with OWI defense experience will know what to do.
5. Assuming there is nothing to worry about.
The charge is not going to go away. Make no mistake about it, an OWI charge is a serious crime. Simply ignoring it or trying to solve it without any legal training or experience can have terrible consequences for you. They are long-lasting and expensive.
6. Failing to evaluate all aspects of your case.
Having a blood alcohol result above the legal limit is only one part of the case. If you refused to test is just one part of the case. There are a lot of other factors that can work in your favor. Did you have witnesses? Why were you stopped? What did you say? What did the officer say? There are many questions that need answers. Do not let the State of Iowa prosecutors run over you. They will if you let them. They and the officers want you convicted. Only a trained OWI defense lawyer knows how to handle them.
Don’t compare your case to that of a friends. Apples and Oranges. If you compare your situation to that of someone else, you are wasting your time. There are absolutely no two OWI cases alike. Judges are different. Prosecutors are different. Officers are different. Your facts are different. You need a lawyer who knows all aspects of the law and your case. Do not fall into the trap of doing or thinking about what your friend did.
7. Failing to understand the results of a conviction.
Without searching out proper legal assistance, you will not fully understand the long-term effects of an OWI conviction. A conviction can affect your personal and professional life. At the very least, your next job may require a background check and a driver.
8. Get the facts and get them right the first time.
The officer who stopped you wrote down what he or she recalled of the events within minutes of your stop. You need to do the same ASAP. You must keep an account of events for your OWI case. You need to provide a narrative which will serve as your detailed explanation of how the events took place. Do not hesitate, write down everything that happened. If you were with friends earlier, write down their names and contact phone numbers. Your lawyer will need this information.
9. Failing to understand your Constitutional rights.
A violation of your Fourth Amendment rights against illegal search and seizure during a traffic stop can take a front-row seat in your OWI case and can end in a successful case. Only a qualified and trained Iowa OWI lawyer can determine if your rights were violated.
10. Failing to get your work permit.
If you may obtain a work permit or restricted license with the installation of an ignition interlock device, get it!