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  • Writer's pictureDavid A. Cmelik Law PLC

Can you get a deferred Judgment on OWI in Iowa?

Maybe. Here are the restrictions:


1.     Yes- for first time Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) only. Second and third+ offenders need not apply. DUI convictions and expungements out of state count toward your total.

2.     But No – if you refused an evidentiary desktop breath test, urine test, or blood test. If you did, you’re statutorily disqualified unless a district court judge excludes that refusal from the trial evidence.

3.     And Also No – if you provided an evidentiary breath, blood, or urine test over .15 g ETOH/210 L breath. You’re statutorily disqualified from seeking a deferred judgment if you tested this high.


Remember that a request for a deferred judgment is a request to pause the criminal prosecution between a guilty plea, or, less likely, a finding of guilt, and sentencing. It delays, or, defers, judgment to give the grantee an opportunity to prove s/he is a good rehabilitative risk.

Remember a deferred judgment is not a completely sealed record. It does not address online, third-party back ground checks nor law enforcement agencies who maintain a record of the deferred judgment.


Note that in a first time drunk driving prosecution in the State of Iowa, a deferred judgment usually requires a year of self-supervised or informal probation before the judge decides that the grantee is worthy to expunge the public record of the prosecution or seal the public court file. During that time, the record of the prosecution is public.


Contact us if you have been arrested for Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) in Iowa, sometimes called DUI in other states.


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