OWI with Serious Bodily Injury or Death
If you were arrested for operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OWI) and causing serious bodily injury or death then contact an experienced OWI defense attorney in Polk County. Our attorneys represent clients in complex felony OWI cases after a crash causing injury or death. Many of these cases involve a blood test taken after the accident that may or may not be admissible at trial.
Des Moines OWI Defense Lawyer
Because of the harsh penalties, an aggressive defense is needed in any felony OWI case. Call us at (515) 279-9700 to discuss the particular facts of your case and what you might need to do right away to protect your rights.
Our experienced criminal defense attorneys represent clients charged with OWI serious bodily injury or death cases throughout Des Moines and West Des Moines and throughout Polk County, Dallas County, Warren County, Madison County and Guthrie County, Iowa.
Information on OWI with Serious Injury or Death in Iowa
- Penalties for OWI with Serious Bodily Injury in Iowa
- Penalties for OWI with Death
- Types of OWI Cases with Serious Bodily Injury or Death
- Finding a OWI Attorney in Polk County for Cases with Serious Bodily Injury or Death
When it is alleged that the OWN caused serious bodily injury to another person, the crime is charged as a class “D” felony, punishable by up to five years in prison. If convicted of OWI causing serious bodily injury the sentence cannot be suspended. The statutory scheme requires that the court impose a fine of $750 to $7,500, and that victim restitution may be ordered. See Iowa Code §§ 707.6A(4), 902.9(5).
In OWI cases causing serious bodily injury to another, the court shall order IDOT to revoke the defendant's driver's license for one year in addition to any other revocation already imposed. Iowa Code § 321J.4(5). Additionally, a person convicted of OWI with serious bodily injury is not eligible for a deferred judgment or sentence. See Iowa Code §§ 707.6A(7), 907.3(1)(j), 907.3(2)(d).
When it is alleged that the OWI caused the death of another person, the crime is charged as a class “B” felony. OWI causing death if often called "vehicular homicide"). Vehicular homicide by OWI in Iowa is punishable by up to 25 years in prison. If convicted of OWI causing death, the sentence cannot be suspended. Additionally, the person convicted of OWI vehicular homicide cannot be released on bail before sentencing or while on case is pending on appeal. The statutory penalties do not include a fine, but the court must order victim restitution of $150,000. Additionally, the statute requires the court to impose a revocation of the driver's license of six years.
The court shall order the defendant, at the defendant's expense, to enroll in and satisfactorily attend a course for drinking drivers and to submit to evaluation and treatment or rehabilitation services. Also, where available and deemed appropriate by the court, the judge may order the defendant to attend a reality education substance abuse program. Iowa Code § 707.6A(1)(b), (d). A person convicted of OWI resulting in death is ineligible for a deferred judgment or sentence.See Iowa Code §§ 707.6A(7), 907.3(1)(j), 907.3(2)(d).
In OWI vehicular homicide cases, a defendant faces a license revocation period of six years, and is not eligible for a temporary restricted license for two years. Iowa Code §§ 321J.4(6), 707.6A(1)(a).
Under Iowa Code section 321J2(1)(a)(b), it is a crime in Iowa to Operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated (commonly referred to as OWI).
The criminal offense of OWI can be committed in three ways:
- by operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or combination of alcohol and drugs;
- by operating a motor vehicle while having an alcohol concentration of .08 or more, and/or
- by operating a motor vehicle while having a measurable amount of a controlled substance in the person.
Furthermore, in addition to proving that the death or serious bodily injury was caused by the OWI, the State must prove both of the following elements of Operating While Intoxicated:
- The defendant operated a motor vehicle.
- A that time, the defendant either:
- was under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of alcohol and drugs;or
- had an alcohol concentration of .08 or more, or
- had any amount of a controlled substance present, as measured in the defendant's blood or urine.
Iowa law provides that it is not necessary for all jurors to agree on the alternative method listed in (a), (b), or (c). Instead, it is only necessary that all jurors agree to at least one of these three alternatives methods of proving OWI.
If you have been charged with any OWI offense that involves serious bodily injury or death, then act quickly to retain an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you fight the charges. We represent clients charged with OWI offenses throughout the State of Iowa, including the greater Des Moines and West Des Moines area. We fight OWI cases throughout Polk County, Dallas County, Warren County, Madison County and Guthrie County, Iowa. Call (515) 279-9700 to discuss the facts of your case today.