Get out of trouble and get back to life. We defend the rights and liberties of good people who are accused of bad things.
If you've been accused of simple possession of a controlled substance, drug trafficking or possession with intent, or OWI/DUI, public intoxication, or illegal drug offenses involving a motor vehicle, you are now a defendant in a criminal case.
Depending on the nature of your offense, mandatory minimum sentences may apply. For some very common offenses, like OWI, the mandatory minimum sentence is relatively short: 48 consecutive hours. For some felony offenses, you may have a guaranteed prison sentence upon conviction.
The first step in your case -- once we've reviewed filings and court dates and made sure you don't have any outstanding warrants -- is to see whether there's any way to get evidence thrown out. We want the prosecutor to dismiss charges or reduce charges. That doesn't happen often, but that's the first thing to aim for.
Common Defenses to Drug Crimes
When facing drug charges, the right legal defense can make a huge difference in the outcome of your case. There are several common defense strategies that may be used when defending against drug-related charges, including entrapment, insufficient evidence, mistake of fact, duress, and unconstitutional search and seizure.
Entrapment is a strategy that alleges law enforcement officers lured you into committing a crime that you otherwise would not have committed. If a defendant can prove this was the case, their charges could be dismissed.
In some cases, the prosecution doesn’t have enough evidence to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. In such circumstances, attorneys may point out gaps in the proof and ask for dismissal on grounds of insufficient evidence.
Mistake of Fact
Another popular defense argument is mistake of fact, which states that a defendant did not know they were committing a crime because they had an incorrect understanding of the facts. For example, if someone is accused of possessing drugs but believes they are holding legal medication prescribed by their physician.
Duress is when a person commits a criminal act under threat or coercion from another individual. If there is proof that this was the case, then the charges could be dropped in some circumstances.
Unconstitutional Search and Seizure
Finally, if law enforcement officers violated the defendant’s constitutional rights during an arrest or search and seizure process, any evidence collected as a result may not be admissible in court. This can provide grounds for dismissal when defending against drug-related charges.
Drug Crime Penalties in Iowa
The penalties for drug crimes in Iowa can vary depending on the type and amount of drug involved and the case's specific circumstances. Some key points to consider include the following:
Possession: Drug possession of a controlled substance is a serious crime in Iowa, with penalties ranging from a simple misdemeanor to a Class B felony. Penalties can include fines, probation, and imprisonment.
What is the First Offense for Possession of Controlled Substance in Iowa?
A first-offense conviction for drug possession of any controlled substance is a serious misdemeanor crime with a fine of at least $250 but not more than $1,500 (except marijuana); in addition, the court may order imprisonment for up to one year.
Sale and Distribution: The sale or distribution of a controlled substance is a more serious crime than simple possession and carries harsher penalties. Penalties can include fines, probation, and imprisonment, with the length of the sentence determined by the type and amount of drug involved.
Manufacturing: Manufacturing a controlled substance is a severe crime in Iowa and can result in significant fines and imprisonment.
What is the Charge of Drug Paraphernalia in Iowa?
The charges for possession of drug paraphernalia in Iowa, intentionally or knowingly, are punishable by up to 30 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $855.
Trafficking: Trafficking in drugs is a severe crime in Iowa, carrying very harsh penalties, including long-term imprisonment.
Sentencing Enhancements: If the crime were committed in specific areas, such as schools or parks, the penalties would be increased.
It is important to note that the State of Iowa has mandatory minimum sentences for certain drug offenses, meaning that a judge must sentence a defendant to a certain amount of time in prison if convicted of that offense.
It is also important to note that a conviction for drug crimes can have long-term consequences, including difficulty finding employment, housing, and other opportunities. Additionally, a drug conviction may affect a person's immigration status.
Contact Our Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
At Clark & Sears, our Des Moines drug crimes lawyer will listen to you and help you form a defense when your finances and freedom are on the line. Feel free to call us and see whether we can help you with your charges.
Contact Clark & Sears Law today to schedule a FREE consultation with our drug crimes attorney in Des Moines!
They were dedicated to me and my case while handling other cases at the same time and never gave me the impression that my issue was any less important than the others.- Cliff B.