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Johnson County man faces felony OWI, child endangerment charges

In a recent post we discussed how a person who is arrested on drunk driving charges in Iowa can also be charged with child endangerment if there are any kids in the car. A 28-year-old Coralville man was recently arrested in Iowa City, and now faces these very charges.

According to the Johnson County Sheriff's Office, the man was initially pulled over on Taft Avenue for an expired license plate. The deputy at the scene claimed he could smell alcohol in the man's vehicle. The man allegedly failed a field sobriety test and was given a breath test. The Sheriff's Office alleges he blew a .136 on the breath test. According to the criminal complaint, the man had two children in the car with him when he was pulled over.

The man has been charged with Third Offense OWI, a felony. He reportedly has two previous OWI convictions, in 2008 and 2010. He also faces two counts of child endangerment. A news report of the arrest does not indicate the children were harmed in any way, so those charges are likely to be aggravated misdemeanors.

Felony OWI charges can result in severe penalties, including potential prison time and significant fines, as well as license revocation. If convicted of a felony, the defendant will face collateral consequences as well, including restrictions on gun ownership.

Anyone facing felony OWI with child endangerment charges needs to plan an aggressive defense. A thorough review of the legality of the stop, as well as the state's evidence of intoxication, will sometimes lead to the discovery of weaknesses that can lead to a reduction or even dismissal of the charges.

Source:, "Deputies: Coralville man arrested for OWI with 2 kids in the car," Aug. 31, 2015

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