The question is often asked: What is the advantage of hiring an attorney for a DUI in Iowa?
The instinctive answer for a lawyer to give is: "The same reason you hire any professional such as a doctor, accountant, appraiser, or mechanic … You don't know how to do their job – You aren't licensed to practice law and only a fool has himself as a lawyer." Admittedly, that comes across as a little rude and snarky, and is certainly not a thorough explanation of the true reason someone is well-advised to hire a competent attorney to represent them on an Iowa drunk driving charge.
First, it should go without saying, not all lawyers are the same. Some are more thorough, more communicative and better versed in the area of OWI defense than others. Rather than speak for all lawyers out there, here is a list of 10 advantages a person has by hiring a GRL Law lawyer:
- Experts. We know Operating While Intoxicated law better than any other lawyers in the State of Iowa. We specialize in OWI defense. Our partners speak at educational seminars every year teaching other lawyers and judges about the finer points of OWI law. We have created new law that is favorable to defendant's by arguing and successfully appealing legal issues to the Iowa Supreme Court and Iowa Court of Appeals.
- License Stay. We are able to obtain a stay (delay) of the license suspension for you by filing an appeal with the Iowa Department of Transportation to contest the license disqualification so long as we are hired within the 10 day period for filing that appeal. This appeal process will allow you to drive normally between month-and-a-half to around three months while the appeal is pending. If the suspension is going to start, taking advantage of this process allows us to start the suspension on your terms as opposed to the 10 days following your arrest.
- DOT Hearing. If the hearing to contest your suspension needs to occur, we take care of this for you without you needing to participate. This hearing is subject to a completely different set of rules and procedural requirements than basic criminal proceedings. The burden of proof is different as are the rules of evidence.
- Avoid Court Appearances. We take care of your Initial Appearance, Preliminary Hearing and Arraignment dates for you. You do not have to show up to court on those days if we are representing you. There are even times that we are able to resolve the entire case without you needing to show up to court once, depending upon the county.
- Discovery. Nobody can really know how a criminal charge should be resolved until all of the issues are thoroughly reviewed. It is like going to a doctor. You can't obtain a diagnosis until all of the tests are done. At GRL law we utilize an 11 step process that ensures we look for and evaluate every potential issue with a case. We can't and don't ever guarantee an outcome but we can guarantee clients that if an issue exists in their case we will find it and do our best to obtain the very best possible outcome on their behalf. You will never know if you never look. Meeting with a potential attorney? Ask them if they obtain and watch the videos on every case they represent a DUI defendant on? At GRL Law, the answer is "absolutely."
- Pretrial Motions. Police officers mess up. They are human. On occasion, they do things that violate a defendant's legal rights. A violation of legal rights can result in the exclusion of evidence and reinstatement of a person's driving privileges. The factual and legal nuances that give rise to these motions are not something general practice attorneys, general criminal defense attorneys or certainly a lay-person are necessarily going to be able to identify. You need and want someone at the forefront of developments in OWI law in Iowa. Meeting with a lawyer? When was the last time they successfully argued a motion to suppress evidence on an OWI charge?
- Superior Plea Bargaining. What is a good deal? What is a bad deal? What is a reasonable outcome to expect? These are all questions that a GRL Law attorney is able to educate a client on depending upon the specific facts and circumstances of their case. In plea negotiations, experience and knowledge is power. The better the facts are developed by the lawyer, the more the lawyer knows the law, the better chance there is for obtaining the very best resolution. Additionally, there are provisions in Iowa law that allow defendant's, especially those charged with first offense operating while intoxicated, to avoid formal jail time and/or to obtain a reduction of their fine. Many prosecutors don't volunteer those resolutions on their own and wait for a knowledgeable lawyer to ensure they are part of a plea agreement.
- Trial Lawyers. A lawyer does you no good if the prosecution does not know that the lawyer is willing and able to take a case to trial and successfully defend the charges. Prosecutors call their bluff and force a lesser lawyer to accept a resolution that is worse for their client than a lawyer they know will follow through with defending a case all the way through trial. Thinking about representing yourself? Are you able to competently represent yourself at a jury trial? Do you know how to pick a jury, give an opening statement, cross examine witnesses, make objections based upon the rules of evidence, give a closing argument, or draft and argue jury instructions? Meeting with a potential lawyer? When was the last time they took an OWI charge to jury trial?
- Post-Resolution Assistance. Many times issues will arise a few years down the road that necessitate a client to produce records associated with their case to professional licensing boards, employers or other entities. Additionally, the Department of Transportation is not always an easy government agency to deal with. If problems arise with temporary restricted license issuance, SR-22 Insurance filings, license reinstatement or other random issues that may arise, we are here to help. We remain a resource to our clients well-after their cases are resolved.
- Permanent consequences. Do you want to wonder "what if" for the rest of your life? A criminal conviction stays on a persons record for the rest of their life in Iowa (with the exception of Public Intoxication and Minor in Possession of Alcohol). Who wouldn't want to ensure that everything possible is done to evaluate a case to determine if a conviction can be avoided?!