Unlawful Assembly

Unlawful Assembly Attorney In Des Moines

You have the right to peaceful assembly! People protest the state for good reasons. The government isn't always very nice. Some police protect people. Some police murder people. Sometimes, the government takes steps to protect bad cops. Even if your protest was nice, cops might say that you violated lawful orders. It's important to take precautions. Precautions keep you safe. A lawyer is a good precaution. Therefore, you should find a Des Moines Unlawful Assembly lawyer before you protest.

The First Amendment is a bastion of protesters' rights. The government can't discriminate against your message, viewpoint, or identity as a speaker. They can intervene in unlawful conduct, though. Basically, once violence starts, an assembly is no longer "peaceful." You don't have a constitutional right to assembly that isn't peaceful.

If they can prove that you participated in an assembly where people were hurting people or destroying property, you're facing possible criminal sanctions.

Iowa Code 723.2 concerns Unlawful Assembly.

Penalties for Unlawful Assembly in Iowa

If you're convicted or plead guilty to Iowa Unlawful Assembly, you will face fines and/or jail time for a simple misdemeanor.

After July 15, 2020:

  • Unlawful Assembly is a Simple Misdemeanor. Therefore, fines are $105 - $855. Additionally, you could spend up to 30 days in jail.
  • A 15% crime services surcharge applies to criminal fines.

If you get a deferred judgment instead of a conviction, you will pay a civil penalty instead of a fine. In light of that, judges assign civil penalties in the same amounts as criminal fines. For instance, if you get a deferred judgment on an unlawful assembly charge, you could get a civil penalty of $105. That is instead of getting a criminal fine for $105. Because a civil penalty is not a criminal fine, there’s no additional 15% surcharge.

Additionally, probation comes with a $300 supervision fee.

Also, you must pay restitution for any damages you cause.

The county attorney might ask for the judge to order you to perform community service hours. If that happens, you must pay a placement fee. The judge will place you into a local community service program. You used to be able to choose where to complete community service hours. However, that is no longer the case.

In light of these possible sanctions, you need to talk to a city of West Des Moines unlawful assembly attorney.


If you cause injury or property damage in Iowa, you must pay victim restitution.

The Court will establish a plan of restitution.

Of course, if you damage property, you have to pay for that property. Also, if you injure someone during unlawful assembly, you must pay their medical bills. What's more, you must pay fines, civil penalties, and surcharges. Additionally, you may have to:

  • Reimburse the crime victim restitution program.
  • Contribute funds to a local anticrime organization that helped the police in your case.
  • Pay court costs and correctional fees.
  • Pay court-appointed attorney fees, including the expense of a public defender.
  • Perform public service or community service if you can’t reasonably pay all or part of the court costs

Your payments have to go to the victims’ restitution order first. After that, your payments count toward fines, penalties, surcharges, crime victim compensation program reimbursement, public agency reimbursement, court costs, correctional fees, court-appointed attorney fees, expenses of a public defender, and contributions to local anti-crime organizations.

If the court orders you to pay restitution, your victim may file a restitution lien. Your victim has a right to victim restitution. No matter what restitution the criminal court judge orders, your victim can still sue you. If a victim sues you for damages, then there will be a separate civil action.

Charged with a crime in iowa? We can help!

Call (515) 200-2787 today for a free initial consultation.

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