When somebody gets a DUI, they have two different fights going on. They’ve got the Department of Transportation, who’s trying to suspend their driver’s license, and they’ve got the criminal component of the case, where the state of Iowa’s trying to impose fine, jail time, surcharges, court costs, those types of things. Both of them have preliminary steps that are important to take. With the DOT side of things, you wanna get that administrative hearing request within the ten days; otherwise, you lose your right to have that hearing.
On the criminal side of the case, generally a court date will be set within ten days of their arrest, and it’s important to get that appearance on file for the client so they don’t need to attend that court date. If they don’t get that appearance on file by the attorney, then they need to individually attend that court date. Both of them require requests for discovery, to get the videos, the police reports, the calibration records, the certification records, the guts of the case, so that we can start dissecting that and seeing where the potential defenses lie in each component – the Department of Transportation side and the criminal side.
Clients who have been arrested for an "Operating while Intoxicated" charge, first offense, they oftentimes wonder, “Do they need an attorney?” Well, the answer to that is it depends, and it depends on if you want to try to tackle the Department of Transportation by yourself. It depends on if they want to try to tackle the state of Iowa and the prosecutor and the judges and the law enforcement officers who investigated their case by themselves. And oftentimes that answer is no; they don’t want to do that. They want somebody there to answer to those people for them, and that’s what we’re here for, is to stand in the way of the state of Iowa, to stand in the way of the Department of Transportation, and to protect our client’s rights and make sure that they’re getting the best possible outcome and best possible representation to make that outcome as good as it possibly can be for them.