Eastern Iowa Criminal Defense Attorneys

4 Aggravating Factors of an Iowa OWI

A first OWI/DUI in Iowa is punishable by a jail sentence between 48 hours and one (1) year, a fine between $625 and $1,250, and driver’s license revocation ranging from 180 days to one (1) year. However, if certain aggravating circumstances exist, a first-time offense can carry more serious penalties or even be charged as a felony.

The common aggravating factors of an Iowa OWI include:

  • High blood alcohol content (BAC) – If your BAC level is at least .15 percent – nearly double the legal limit of .08 percent – then a first offense carries a mandatory prison sentence of 48 hours, as well as an increased fine.

  • Child passenger – If you are arrested for suspected OWI while driving with a child passenger in the vehicle, not only will you face criminal charges stemming from drunk driving, but you could also be charged with child endangerment, which is a separate offense. If the child is not harmed, child endangerment is an aggravated misdemeanor, which carries a maximum two-year jail sentence and a fine of up to $6,250. However, if the child suffers an injury, then the charge is elevated to a Class C felony, punishable by imprisonment for up to 10 years and a fine of up to $10,000. If the child suffers a serious injury or dies, then the charge is a Class B felony, which carries a maximum prison term of 25 years.

  • Injury – If an OWI arrest involves an accident that results in a serious injury, then you could be charged with a Class D felony, punishable by imprisonment for up to five (5) years and a maximum fine of $7,500.

  • Death – If an OWI arrest involves an accident that results in death, then you could be charged with a Class B felony.

If you are facing an aggravated OWI in Iowa City, contact Keegan, Tindal & Jaeger today at (319) 499-5524 for a free initial consultation. Our legal team has more than 50 years of combined experience providing effective and personalized legal solutions to clients in Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, Davenport, the Quad Cities & All of Eastern Iowa.

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