Legal Terms

Affirmative Defense

An affirmative defense is an admission to the charge at hand, or a portion of that charge, together with excuses, allegations or explanations to the original charge. 

Breath Test

A breath test is one type of test that can be conducted in the field by police officers. Results of a breath tests are not valid, but police officers use them to make arrests. 


DOT is an acrynomn for Department Of Transportation. 

Operating A Boat

“Operation” is being in actual physical control of a motorboat or sailboat that is in motion or has its engine running. 

Operating A Vehicle

"Operating a vehicle" means the actual, physical control over a motor vehicle that is in motion or has its engine running. 

Prescription Drug OWI Charge

A person can be arrested for driving while under the influence of a prescription drug, but there are feasible defenses. 

Proximate Cause

Proximate cause is one of two legal theories used to establish liability, 'cause-in-fact being the other. A cause-in-fact test is complex, but can be simply stated as the "but-for" test: the result wouldn't have occured but for the actions of the accused. Proximate cause assesses the liability of a person's actions resulting in a harm, such as foreseeability, risk, reasonableness of the action. Proximate Cause tests are an element of the charge of Vehicular Homicide. 

Public Intoxication

Iowa Code section 123.46 prohibits an individual from being intoxicated, or simulating intoxication in a public place.  There are two elements of Public Intoxication that the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt at trial: 1) the person was, or simulated, intoxication; 2) the person was in a public place. 

Public Place

A “public place” is defined as “any place, building, or conveyance to which the public has or is permitted access.” 

Reckless Driving

“Recklessness” is ordinarily one of the underlying requirements for the state to prove before a defendant can be held criminally liable for the death of another person resulting from a car accident. 

Temporary Restricted License

A Temporary Restricted License is also known as a work permit. 

Vehicular Homicide

Vehicular Homicide is the most severe alcohol-related driving offense that a person can be charged with in the State of Iowa.

Work Permit

A work permit, also known as a Temporary Restricted License, is for use by a person who has been convicted of a drunk driving offense to drive to work. 

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