cedar rapids / iowa city criminal defense

Cedar Rapids OWI Lawyer: What is the absolute minimum penalty for an OWI-3rd Conviction? 

by David A. Cmelik Law PLC


​​A thirty day jail sentence and the balance of a five year suspended prison sentence is the minimum penalty for a third or subsequent drunk driving conviction in Iowa. It is a felony and it cannot be deferred.

Typically, in the Sixth Judicial District, the balance of the five year prison suspended prison sentence is enforced with three years of supervised probation through the Department of Correctional Services. Substance abuse treatment, employment, random urinalysis, and zero tolerance alcohol prohibition are typical conditions of probation.

A so-called “true third” offense occurs when in a defendant’s life, there has been no more than three total drunk driving convictions, regardless of how many are countable in the last 12 years.


Prosecutors and judges may not be willing to agree the mandatory minimum 30 days and five year suspended prison sentence if the defendant has more than three lifetime OWI convictions. 

A lawyer practicing exclusively in the area of criminal defense will be able to partner with you to determine whether defects in the prosecution are serious enough for further negotiations-- either for the minimum or for reductions of the felony charge-- or for you or your loved one to challenge the evidence before the judge or consider taking such a case to jury trial. 

If you or a loved one has been arrested for OWI in Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Waterloo, or other Iowa community, contact David A. Cmelik Law PLC, for an initial consultation today. However, remember that a blog is not legal advice and that no attorney-client relationship is established by sending unsolicited information to an attorney over the Internet.

Trifecta. Third time's a charm. You've heard all the jokes. And the admonitions of the judges in prior second and first offense OWI convictions are beginning to haunt you: they didn't want to see you again and yet here you are-- charged this time with a felony. ​ Let us help you chart your way back to life before legal crisis. Contact David A. Cmelik Law PLC at 319-389-1889.

1450 Boyson Road Suite C-2A Hiawatha, Iowa 52233     319-389-1889