DUI/OWI are serious offenses with serious consequences. However, sometimes you think you’re okay to drive when you’re really had too much. Many states make allowances for a one-time mistake in the form of diversion or deferred judgment programs, giving you a second chance with a clean record or a reduced sentence on your record.
The entire state participates in the Iowa OWI Deferred Judgement Program. If you are a first time OWI offender in Iowa, you may be eligible if you willingly submitted to the chemical test at the time of your arrest, your blood alcohol concentration was less than 0.15%, you didn’t cause any type of bodily injury to another person as a result of your OWI, and you don’t have any other deferred judgements, including those in another state. You also have to be willing to plead guilty to your charges and meet the conditions that the court will impose within the specified time frame.
Most Iowa OWI Deferred Judgement Programs last for one year. During that year, offenders must meet specified requirements, such as:
- Mandatory attendance of an alcohol education class
- Payment of court costs and evaluation fees, including paying for the alcohol education class
- Visitation with a probation officer
- Your drivers will be suspended for a certain period of time but you may apply for a temporary restricted license which will likely require an ignition interlock device
If you meet all of these requirements during your Iowa OWI Deferred Judgement Program probationary period, you will not spend any more time in jail and will not have a conviction. A first time offender who does not participate in this program will serve at least 48 hours in jail and will pay a fine of at least $625, and they also will have a conviction on their record permanently. Through the deferred judgment program, your conviction is not entered and then can be expunged if you meet all the program requirements and paid all fees that you owed. This erases it completely from court files and public record, making it like it never happened.