Eastern Iowa Criminal Defense Attorneys
Back to Top
Eastern Iowa Trial Attorneys

Backed by extensive experience & expertise in handling cases just like yours. Speak with our legal team now.

Can The HGN Field Sobriety Test Be Challenged In Iowa?

When an Iowa police officer suspects a driver is intoxicated, the officer will ask the driver to perform field sobriety tests. These tests may include the one-leg stand, the walk-and-turn, and the horizontal gaze nystagmus or HGN test. In the HGN test, the officer has the driver follow a pen or small flashlight with their eyes. If the driver's eyes jerk involuntarily, it is considered evidence of intoxication.

Courts around the country have generally ruled that the HGN test is scientifically reliable as a means of detecting intoxication. There are ways to challenge HGN test results in court, however.

HGN test results can be challenged on the basis of officer training and failure to follow test protocols. Before an officer testifies about HGN test results, the prosecution will generally be required to establish that the officer has been properly trained in the test and that they conducted the test in strict compliance with established test procedures. If the prosecution fails to do so, or if the defense can successfully challenge the evidence, the judge may refuse to allow the testimony.

It is also important to note that courts have consistently ruled that HGN test results can only be used to support an opinion that the driver was intoxicated. They cannot be used as evidence of a specific blood alcohol content.

Challenging the state's evidence in an OWI trial requires skill and experience. Working with an experienced OWI lawyer can improve a defendant's odds of successfully fighting drunk driving charges.

Source: tdcaa.com, "DWI Detection and Standardized Field Sobriety Testing," pp. 110-24, accessed November 28, 2015

Categories
  • The Iowa State Bar Association
  • DUI Defense Law
  • NACDL
  • AAJ
  • Iowa Association of Justice

Keegan, Tindal & Jaeger 

Put Over 50 Years of Combined Trial Experience On Your Side 
  • J. Dean Keegan
  • Eric D. Tindal
  • Andrea D. Jaeger
  • J. Dean Keegan J. Dean Keegan

    Owner

    Decades of Award-Winning Legal Service J. Dean Keegan was born and raised in Waterloo, Iowa. After high school, Dean served ...
    J. Dean  Keegan Photo
  • Eric D. Tindal Eric D. Tindal

    Attorney

    Highly Rated Criminal Defense in Iowa City Eric D. Tindal, attorney at Keegan, Tindal & Jaeger, graduated from the University ...
    Eric D. Tindal Photo
  • Andrea D. Jaeger Andrea D. Jaeger

    Attorney

    Experienced Criminal Defense in the Iowa and Illinois Quad Cities Andrea D. Jaeger practices in federal and state courts, ...
    Andrea D. Jaeger Photo

See What Our Clients Have to say

  • I am glad he was there to get my head out of the guillotine when I needed him and keep my record clean.

    “I was stopped for an OWI. Dean took things as far as he could with the appeals process, finding every way possible to keep me driving in the meantime (which I needed to do for my job). Dean argued the ...”

    - Ryan
  • My family and friends appreciate all you have done. Thank you.

    “Thank you, Andrea and Eric. You both did a great job and got me the best results possible in my situation. I would recommend your service to any in need of counsel and I am still amazed in the way ...”

    - Michael
  • Andrea Jaeger is the best defense attorney in the world.

    “Andrea Jaeger is the best defense attorney in the world. She gets the job done for her clients. She goes hard for the best results. She would always be my first choice of defense. She is very ...”

    - Orlando
  • Eric helped give me my life back

    “I was charged with two felonies that carried a life sentence. After sitting in jail for a year with public defenders just going through the motions, I asked the judge to appoint new counsel. Eric was ...”

    - J
  • This is the guy you want!

    “Eric is the whole package. He will fight relentlessly for you, all the while using tact and professionalism. Eric always respected my best interests and kept them his top priority. He is incredibly ...”

    - Anonymous
/

SUCCESSFUL results for our clients

Protecting Your Freedom & Rights
  • First Degree Murder and Child Endangerment Causing Death Acquitted of First Degree Murder at Trial

    Henry County FECR005634. Attorney Tindal’s client was charged with First Degree Murder and Child Endangerment Causing Death. Following a two week trial, the Defendant was acquitted of all charges.

  • Vehicular Homicide Charges Reduced, No Incarceration Imposed

    Muscatine County FECR056673. Vehicular Homicide was reduced to Involuntary Manslaughter. Total sentence was suspended.

  • Felony Drug Charges Charges Dismissed

    Muscatine County FECR050038. Attorney Dean Keegan's client was charged with two counts of controlled substance violation, as well as two counts of failure to affix tax stamp. After a year of court appearances and negotiating with the prosecutor, all charges were dismissed with costs assessed to the State.

  • Carrying Weapons, Public Intoxication, & Disorderly Conduct Carrying Weapons & Public Intoxication Charges D

    Linn County AGCR108044. Attorney Dean Keegan's client was charged with Carrying Weapons, Public Intoxication, and Disorderly Conduct. After plea negotiations with the State, Mr. Keegan was successful in dismissing the Carrying Weapons and Public Intoxication charges.

  • Possession with Intent to Distribute Charges Dismissed

    Iowa County FECR010358. Attorney Tindal was able to show the Court that his client was detained in violation of his Constitutional rights and that the K9 utilized in the search was unreliable. Following hearing all charges were dismissed.

  • Embezzlement No Criminal Charges Filed

    Cedar Rapids, Linn County, Iowa. An employee of a Cedar Rapids business accused of embezzling six million dollars was not charged criminally after the County Attorney agreed to abide by an agreement negotiated by Attorneys J. Dean Keegan and Jerald Kinnamon in which the accused would pay two million dollars to the company.

  • Second Degree Sexual Abuse and Other Charges Acquittal at Trial

    Johnson County FECR089277. The Defendant was charged with Second Degree Sexual Abuse and other charges. Following a one-week trial by Mr. Tindal, the Defendant was acquitted of all charges.

  • Trafficking Stolen Weapons and Misdemeanor Theft Charge Dismissed

    Scott County FECR384046. The Defendant was charged with Trafficking Stolen Weapons and Misdemeanor Theft. The Court dismissed the felony following a Motion litigated by Mr. Tindal. The Defendant subsequently pled to the remaining misdemeanor.

  • Possession with Intent to Deliver Marijuana and Methamphetamine Charges Dismissed

    Washington Count FECR5351. Attorney Tindal and Attorney Clemens Erdahl successfully argued that evidence of drug manufacture was obtained in violation of the Constitution. All charges were dismissed.

  • Operating While Intoxicated 3rd Offense Charge Dismissed

    Linn County OWCR104143. Attorney Dean Keegan's client was charged with a felony 3rd offense OWI. Mr. Keegan argued the officer did not have reasonable grounds to pull over his client. The charges were dropped from a felony to a ticket fine of $15.00 for being in a park past closing time.

/

Keegan, Tindal & Jaeger

Our Commitment to You
  • Our Attorneys Are well Respected Throughout Eastern Iowa

  • We Offer Free Consultations No Matter How Severe The Charge

  • Trial Attorneys With Successful Track Records In The Courtroom

  • Over 50 Years of Combined Experience In Criminal Defense with an Emphasis on OWI's

Keegan, tindal & Jaeger 

Start Your Free Consultation Now
 
  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.