Des Moines Criminal Defense Lawyer For Riot

If you've been accused of participating in a violent or destructive assembly, whether in pursuit of long-awaited and millenia-overdue racial equality or because you were real mad that a sports team did or didn't win a game, you may find yourself charged with Riot, an aggravated misdemeanor in violation of Iowa Code Section 723.1. You should find a Des Moines riot lawyer.

Iowa Riots

Iowa Code Chapter 723.1 governs Riot.

A Riot is:

  • Three or more persons
  • Assembled together in a violent manner
  • To the disturbance of others
  • And with any use of unlawful force of violence by them or any of them
  • Against another person or causing property damage.

Additionally, to be guilty of Riot, the State will have to prove:

  • That you willingly joined in or remained a part of a riot
  • That you knew or had reasonable grounds to believe it was a riot

The prosecution has to prove ALL of that. If there is even one part of a crime that the police and county attorney can't convince a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty of, you must be found Not Guilty.

If all of your charges are dismissed or you are found "Not Guilty" of all your charges, the charges may be eligible for expungement 180 days later, keeping your publicly-visible record clean and clear.

Penalties for Riot in Iowa

After July 15, 2020, a 15% crime services surcharge applies to all criminal fines.

If you get a deferred judgment instead of a conviction, you will pay a civil penalty instead of a fine. Civil penalties in the same amounts as criminal fines — for instance, if you get a deferred judgment on a riot charge, you could get a civil penalty of $855 instead of getting a criminal fine for $855. There’s no additional 15% surcharge for civil penalties, so the $855 civil penalty would cost you $128.25 less than the $855 criminal fine would.

If you are placed on probation, there will be a $300 probation supervision fee.

You should expect to be ordered to pay restitution for any damages you cause.

The county attorney might ask for the judge to order you to perform community service hours. You may be required to pay a placement fee to be placed into a local community service program.

You need to talk to city of Des Moines riot attorneys if you’re facing criminal charges.


If you’re convicted of a crime causing injury or property damage in Iowa, you probably owe victim restitution.

The Court will establish a plan of restitution.

You probably already know that if you damage property (or injure someone) during a trespass, you will have to repay the person whose property you injured. You may be surprised to find out that you may also have to 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, before 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, or contributions to local anti-crime organizations.

If the court orders you to pay restitution, your victim may file a restitution lien. Even though your victim will be granted a right to victim restitution for what your crime cost them, that victim restitution doesn’t prevent them from being able to sue you for damages in 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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