Iowa Deferred Judgment Lawyer
If you’ve been charged with a criminal offense in the State of Iowa, you may be eligible for a “deferred judgment.”
Am I eligible for a deferred judgment?
Depending on your criminal history and the type of charges you’re facing, you may be eligible for a deferred judgment.
The following people are NOT eligible to receive a deferred judgment:
- Anyone with a prior felony conviction
- Anyone who has received a deferred two or more times already
- Anyone who was granted a deferred on a felony within five years of committing the new offense
The following offenses are NOT eligible for deferred judgment:
- Forcible felonies
- Sexual abuse of someone under the age of 18 by a mandatory reporter.
- Manufacture, delivery, or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver more than 5 grams of methamphetamine
- OWI if:
- You have a previous OWI conviction OR
- Your breath test showed a higher BAC than .15 OR
- You’ve had a deferred on an OWI (or similar offense) before OR
- You refused the chemical test OR
- You injured someone other than yourself OR
- A boating OWI with a mandatory minimum sentence or a mandatory minimum fine
- Violation of a protective order or no contact order
- Contempt on a protective order or no contact order
- Sex Offender Registry violation
- Homicide by vehicle while driving intoxicated
- Serious injury by vehicle while driving intoxicated
- Assault against a peace officer
- Domestic abuse assault if you’ve had a deferred judgment or deferred sentence for domestic abuse assault before
- Domestic abuse assault, third or subsequent offense
- Lascivious acts with a child under the age of twelve
How does a deferred judgment work?
After you are found guilty or convicted of a crime in Iowa, sentencing procedures start.
The judge who sentences you will decide what sentence you receive. She will consider whether you are eligible for a deferred judgment under Iowa Code 907.3. If you are deferred eligible , she will consider whether she believes it’s an appropriate outcome for you and your situation.
You have to agree to a deferred in order to receive one.
After you’re granted a deferred, you will be placed on probation.
If you don’t cooperate with probation, the judge can remove you from probation, pronounce judgment, and impose any (legal) sentence that they decide is appropriate. If you are accused of violating the terms of your probation, you should take to a probation violation lawyer immediately.
Once you comply with all the requirements of probation and pay your fees, you will be successfully discharged from probation “without entry of judgment.” This will function similarly to expungement — the Court will still be able to see that you were charged with the crime and received a deferred judgment on it, but people looking around on Iowa Courts Online won’t be able to find it.
How many deferred judgments can I get?
Two. It’s a lifetime max of two deferred judgments. You can’t change your mind later about an earlier deferred and use it for a later offense.
Who should not accept a deferred judgment?
Some people aren’t good candidates for deferred judgments. Know yourself — if you’re a regular drug user and aren’t ready or willing to get sober, for instance, you’re going to drop a dirty UA at some point and the court will likely revoke your deferred and impose a harsher sentence.
If you won’t be able to comply with the terms of probation, it may be better to refuse a deferred judgment and explore other options. Talk to your lawyer about whether a deferred judgment is a good fit for your situation.
We can talk about whether you’re eligible for a deferred judgment in Des Moines, Polk County, Ankeny, Ames, Johnston, West Des Moines, Waukee, Saylorville, Bondurant, Altoona, Clive, Grimes, Pleasant Hill, Story County, Boone County, Marshall County, Dallas County, Jasper County, Madison County, Warren County, Marion County, Wapello County, Davis County, Ottumwa, Bloomfield, Iowa City, Council Bluffs, and the rest of Iowa.
This blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be relied on as legal advice. Consult with a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction. Reading this site doesn’t create an attorney-client relationship. If you want to talk to us about whether this is a potential or desirable outcome for your Iowa criminal charges, please contact us at (515) 491 6128 and we’ll set up a time to talk.