OWI indirect consequences

Updated: May 31

What are collateral consequences in a Cedar Rapids OWI (DUI) criminal prosecution? First, let’s define direct consequences. A direct consequence is something that flows directly from the prosecution as a penalty of conviction. For example, fines, mandatory minimum jail sentences, and driver’s license revocations that result directly from conviction where administrative revocations have not already occurred are direct consequences of an OWI conviction. The United States Supreme Court has held that immigration consequences, like a removal action and deportation, are also direct consequences of a criminal conviction that a defendant must know before making an informed decision as to whether to plead guilty or proceed to trial.

Losing an apartment, a job, or a spouse over a criminal prosecution is not a direct consequence of conviction. They can happen with or without criminal conviction and do not directly flow from official penalties. They are thus considered collateral, or, peripheral consequences. Other examples are less clear. But if we think of the prosecution as a bomb going off in the defendant’s life, as it often is, the things that are directly in the blast radius are the criminal and civil penalties that directly flow from detonation. If we think of those things that are not intended targets and not directly causally related to the prosecution of the target, those can roughly be considered collateral damage, or, in the context of criminal prosecution and conviction, collateral consequences.

The individual direct consequences of criminal conviction should be discussed carefully with an attorney licensed to practice law in Iowa if a defendant is charged with a crime in this State.

It is your lawyer’s job to insist that the evidence is subjected to adversarial testing. There are a variety of ways to do that. If you or a loved one has been arrested for OWI (DUI) in the State of Iowa, contact us for a free initial consultation today. However, remember that a blog is not legal advice and that sending unsolicited information to an attorney over the Internet does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

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