Randy Larson has represented more than 5,000 defendants charged with OWI in Iowa since l982. OWI's are usually 3 times as complicated as other criminal cases because they not only involve all the criminal court proceedings, but they also involve complicated and costly alcohol evaluation and counseling requirements as well as all the issues associated with the suspension of your driver's license. Iowa's law makes many distinctions based on the individual facts of your case, so you can't get advice from a buddy who had an OWI, or from someone who doesn't know all these facts and distinctions.
For example, you cannot get a work permit for the first 60 days of your suspension if you are under 21; you can't get one for the first 30 days if you blew over .150 on the Datamaster breath machine; you can't get a work permit for 90 days if you refused the Datamaster; and you don't even have to get an ignition interlock machine on your car to get a work permit if you blew below .100. So you can't rely on what someone says of what the law requires of you unless they had the same facts as you, or they know all these distinctions AND all of your facts. Only an experienced and committed lawyer can find out all the things that may affect what you may need to do, and tell you HOW BEST TO DO IT.
tell you where and when to go for your required alcohol evaluation, including why some judges will not like it if you choose particular evaluators;
advise you as to how to answer the questions of the alcohol evaluation and why it's important;
discuss your right to appeal your license suspension;
help you decide when and if to do a Kirkwood weekend alcohol program;
tell you when you might next need to be in court;
predict what range of penalties are likely in your case, including whether you might be likely to get a deferred judgment if you plead guilty;
tell you the options so you don't have to send your plates in while suspended;
explain what you have to do to get a work permit, if eligible and how it might save you $850 on your fine;
explain what you have to do to get your license back after your suspension is over;
discuss SR-22 Insurance;
tell you exactly what everything you're facing will cost, including, potentially, attorney's fees if you hire Larson & Evenson of approximately $700 or $800; a $200 civil penalty for your license suspension; $125 for the alcohol evaluation plus possibly hundreds more if counseling is required; $350 if you do the Kirkwood Weekend program or $125 for the 12-hour Kirkwood program if you don't do the 48-hour one; $625 or $1250 civil penalty if you get a deferred judgment or $625 or $1250 in fines plus 35% surcharge if you don't; probation supervision fee of $300 in some cases; and about $73 a month for an ignition interlock device if you get a work permit;
answer all your questions; and much more.
There are about 75 pieces of information in the typical OWI that they will tell you that nobody else will tell you unless you get an experienced and committed lawyer. As an example of one such piece of information that most people wouldn't know and even most attorneys wouldn't mention.....On a second offense OWI, if you get a work permit for even one day, you will by law be entitled to drive your first year after regaining your license without needing an ignition interlock machine on your car. If you didn't get a work permit, you will be required to get the device, at a cost of $73 a month, for all driving for the entire first year.
Imagine how dismayed you'd be if you hired an attorney who didn't mention that, and you had to blow into such a device for ALL driving for an entire year, not to mention paying about $900 for it, when paying less than $100 to get the work permit for just a day would have avoided that!
As another example, they'll warn you that a conviction of any moving violation while lawfully driving on a work permit will cancel the work permit. This can be easily avoided by simply delaying the conviction until after your suspension is over...... But if your attorney hadn't warned you, maybe you would have been suspended because you didn't mention the ticket to your lawyer, plead guilty, and then were suspended.