Polk County, Iowa.
A defendant was facing Domestic Abuse Assault With a Dangerous Weapon. Because the government accused the defendant of using a knife, the charge was an Aggravated Misdemeanor. Aggravated misdemeanors can require up to two years in prison. At least two days in jail are required. That’s why legal help is important.
In order to develop the client’s defense, we asked for the alleged victim’s mental health records. Certain health issues can affect a witness’s ability to accurately remember and talk about things. We also asked for a DNA analysis of the knife that the victim accused the defendant of using.
The defendant took a plea offer. Instead of pleading to a domestic, they pleaded guilty to harassment in the third degree. That is a simple misdemeanor. The defendant got a $65 civil penalty. They accepted a deferred judgement. Once they finish probation, the charge will be expunged.
Do you need a lawyer?
If you want me to represent you when you are charged with a crime, we can talk about it. You can call or text me at (515) 491 6128. We can schedule an initial consultation. At your consultation, we talk about what you’re accused of. We also talk about how much it would cost to have me be your lawyer.
If you would rather use email, visit the “Contact” page. There is an online form that you can use.
Please don’t share too much information about your case. I have to run a conflicts check before deciding if I can be your lawyer. After that, we have to make a contract. I am not your lawyer until you and I both agree to a contract.
I’m very outcome-driven. I like helping people get good results. I can’t make any guarantees, though. No lawyer can. The only promise a lawyer can make is to do their best to get the outcome you want.
Case outcomes are unique. The facts determine what will happen. The nature of the offense, the evidence, the witnesses, lawyers, judge, and jurors, and your willingness and ability to pursue particular defenses all affect what will happen.
The justice system is notoriously unreliable. Hiring an attorney can change the outcome of your case. That is evidence that “justice” is a squishy and subjective concept. Bias and human error mean that any notion of objective “justice” is entirely illusory.
The determination of the need for legal services and the choice of a lawyer are extremely important decisions and should not be based solely upon advertisements or self-proclaimed expertise. All potential clients are urged to make their own independent investigation and evaluation of any lawyer being considered.
What will happen if I’m charged with a crime?
When someone alleges that you have committed a public offense in Iowa, law enforcement will start an investigation. If the police believe there is probable cause to charge you, they will take you to jail. Instead of taking you to jail, they might give you a notice to appear. Your notice to appear tells you when your court date is. If you are arrested, an officer might read your rights to you. After that, you can call a lawyer or a law firm.
A judge will see you for the first time at your an initial appearance. The judge will schedule a preliminary hearing.
At the preliminary hearing, you or your lawyer will have the opportunity to ask questions to witnesses. The witnesses will be under oath. Your lawyer might try to show the Court that there is no probable cause.
Your attorney might suggest waiving the preliminary hearing. Waiving a hearing means deciding not to have it. Before you decide, talk to your defense lawyer.
Your lawyer will tell you about your next court date. Often, your next court date will be an arraignment.
Police will provide reports to the prosecutor. Next, the county attorney’s office will review these reports. Then, the prosecutor will decide what to charge you with.
The county attorney’s office will review the information provided to them by the police. They will determine what offenses to charge you with. You could be charged with a misdemeanor or with a felony.
Your attorney will tell you what the government is claiming that you did. They will explain your rights. Then, they will tell you what the worst-case scenario is. This means that they will explain the fines, terms of incarceration, and collateral consequences that might apply. In other words, your lawyer will explain how this could affect your life.
Next, your law firm will give you legal advice. A lawyer will explain the pros and cons of going to trial. After you understand, you will decide what to do. You are the only person who can decide whether or not you will go to trial.
Finally, if you’re convicted, you might have reason and opportunity to appeal. People appeal convictions and sentences. Also, people appeal to say the laws have constitutional problems.
The court of appeals hears appeals. So does the Iowa Supreme Court. If you think you should appeal, ask your criminal defense attorney for more information.