Steps to Follow When Accused of OWI
Charged with OWI in Des Moines? These are serious accusations that can carry life-changing punishments, meaning it’s important to take the appropriate steps following your arrest to ensure you don’t suffer these consequences.
Please examine the following information to learn what to do after your OWI charge:
Assuming you are bailed out of jail, the first thing you should do is read your OWI complaint that should have been provided with your OWI DOT (Department of Transportation) papers. In the complaint, there is a brief summary called a narrative that we strongly advise you to read. It will help you and your attorney better understand the reason behind your OWI charge.
Next, you must gather your DOT papers. Although no one ever reads them, they are very important because they include the applications you need to get your license back and appeal or contest the revocation of your license. In some cases, you may be permitted to drive despite your OWI charge, but don’t depend on it.
It is vital to remember that you only have 10 days to appeal your OWI charge, so you should speak with a lawyer sooner rather than later. You should discuss how the DOT process works because it can be complex if you do not know what you are doing.
Why You Need an OWI Lawyer
After organizing and reviewing all of your OWI documents, call an attorney. Countless times, people have come into our office in tears after they pled guilty to their OWI charges because they believed they could handle their case without a lawyer. Additional OWI charges usually result from license-related matters, such as people falsely believing they could legally drive or received too much jail time for their OWI conviction.
To best handle your situation, reach out to a Des Moines OWI defense lawyer so things can get done right. We highly recommend hiring an attorney, but at the very least, speak to an OWI attorney. When you do, make sure you tell them why you were stopped for OWI. Was it for speeding, running a stop sign, swerving or some other reason?
This is very important because you can possibly get your OWI case dismissed despite your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) being well over the legal limit of .08 at the time of your arrest.
Additionally, you must tell the OWI attorney everything you know about what happened on the day you got an OWI charge, as facts that you think are irrelevant are actually important to your legal case.
In addition to discussing your OWI case, an attorney can provide the following assistance:
- inform you of the minimum and maximum penalties for each level of OWI
- determine if you are eligible for a deferred judgment, which allows for the dismissal of your OWI case so it won’t appear on your record, meaning you can legally say that you were never convicted of OWI
- guide you through the process while informing you of your legal rights
- prepare you for what to expect during and after your OWI case
If you have been charged with an OWI in Des Moines, do not hesitate to call (515) 996-4441 and schedule a free consultation. We would be happy to guide you in the right direction.