You know it well. The lonely chair, next to the desk. On the desk, there’s a computer-looking thing. That’s the Datamaster. It’s the machine they asked you to blow into after reciting a so-called implied consent advisory.
Little did any of us know that, when we emerged from the Iowa Department of Transportation Driver License station at age 16 with our new prize—that driver license we cherished— that we “impliedly consented” to provide a bodily sample of breath, blood, or urine, if asked to submit to same by a law enforcement upon his or her “reasonable grounds,” or, essentially, suspicion that we were intoxicated.
And we have heard for years, on every court and police television drama, that we’re entitled to a phone call. I want my phone call. Pursuant to Iowa Code 804.20, an arrestee is entitled to consult with his or her family, loved one, attorney, by telephone or otherwise if such a person presents himself or herself at the police station.
But 804.20 rings hollow when you can’t reach your Aunt Lou or the attorney who helped you with your taxes at 12:30 AM the evening or wee hours of the morning that you got popped for driving under the influence in Iowa.
So now the chair is sitting next to the desk. And your sitting in a different chair. You don’t want to remember but you recognize that chair well. The new chair is less comfortable. It’s sitting in front of a television cart with a camera lens on top. You can see a judge and you hear a disembodied voice. You’re in a room on the first floor of the Linn County Jail. When it’s your turn, you shuffle to the chair. The chair is at a Steelcase office desk that is oddly out of place in the jail. It’s in a small room. And in front of it is the TV cart. This is your initial appearance.
The judge recites the penalties for OWI (DUI) in Iowa, including a mandatory 48 hour jail sentence, $1,250 fine, costs, and surcharges. The penalty can go as high as a year in jail but your attorney can tell you more about whether that is likely or unlikely in your situation. The judge doesn’t want to hear the facts of the case. Now that you’ve been informed of the charge against you, it’s time for the judge to set bond or release you. And you are released. On your recognizance, if you’re lucky.
You are processed. You emerge from a different kind of government building than the place you left when you got your driver license for the first time. And now it’s time to talk about how this is all going to affect your life. Contact us at David A. Cmelik Law PLC and let us help you chart your course back to life before legal crisis.
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