Request for Confidentiality Results in Reduced Charges

Johnson County, Iowa.   A GRL client recently had his operating while intoxicated charge reduced to public intoxication.  Attorney Matt Lindholm filed a motion to suppress on the client’s behalf arguing that he was never informed about his right to confidential communications following the request for privacy on his phone calls.  Iowa Code Section 804.20 provides that a person can call, consult, and see an attorney, family member, or both following their arrest.  If a person requests a confidential phone call, the officer must inform them about their rights to confidentiality pursuant to this code section and the failure to do so can result in the chemical test results or refusal being thrown out.  That is exactly what happened in this case and as a result the State amended the charge to public intoxication which kept an OWI off of the client’s criminal record and prevented him from having his license suspended by the DOT.