Are you accused of a violent crime? If so, conviction is costly: you could be facing large fines and jail time. Moreover, you’ll have to pay victim restitution. Afterward, you might get fired. Additionally, it could be hard to find a new job. Because the records are public, you could lose friends. Moreover, you could lose your significant other or face other relationship problems.
With this in mind, you can’t afford to be seen as a scary, violent person. Therefore, you need to think: is there a way to clear your name?
Once in a while, your reasonable fear that the victim might hurt you or someone else might give you a self-defense or “justification” claim. In another case, you might be able to show that your ex is lying to get leverage in divorce. If so, you should know that domestic violence accusations can affect child custody.
When this happens, an assault lawyer can review the charges against you. Then, they can help you assess available defenses.
Des Moines Violent Crime Lawyers
To convict you, the prosecutors must prove every element of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt — including the intent or “mens rea” element.
At Clark and Sears Law, PLLC, we defend the rights and liberties of good people who are accused of bad things. An Iowa violence attorney might be able find you a viable path to reasonable doubt. As a result, you could go home to your family and save thousands in fines.
Get out of trouble and get back to life. Call Katherine Sears at Clark and Sears Law, PLLC, now at (515) 491 6128 to set up a free consultation. A receptionist is available 24/7 to take your call.
The criminal defense lawyers at Clark and Sears Law, PLLC, are based in Des Moines and Ankeny and represent defendants throughout Polk County and the rest of Iowa.
There are many types of violent crime. Some crimes you might be familiar with include:
- Aggravated Assault
- Domestic Assault
- Sexual Abuse
- Disorderly Conduct
- Interference With Official Acts
- Carrying Weapons
- Going Armed With Intent
- Willful Injury
- Child Stealing
Some violent offenses are classified as “forcible felonies.” Accordingly, you could go to prison for years without possibility of parole.
Many people feel indignant when charged because they “didn’t even hit” the other person, but you don’t have to leave a mark or even strike someone at all to be charged with assault. Any act intended to cause harmful, painful, or offensive contact — or even to put someone in fear of harmful, painful, or offensive contact — can be an assault under the Iowa Code. So can pointing a gun at them or displaying a dangerous weapon threateningly.
Read more about Iowa assault charges.
Serious assaults might be the first “violent crime” that comes to mind. Serious injuries, weapons, and the intent to cause serious injury make assaults more serious. Aggravated assault is often a felony charge. When convicted of a forcible felony involving a weapon, you will go to prison for at least five years — without the possibility of parole.
Read more about Iowa aggravated assault charges.
If you don’t read the statute, then you might assume that domestic abuse assault is dating violence. Domestics include more than that, though. If someone you’ve ever lived with, been in an intimate relationship with, or had a kid with accuses you of assault, then it may be a domestic.
Read more about Iowa domestic abuse assault charges.
Rape is scary. So are rape accusations
Sexual assault involves contact with someone who either doesn’t consent or can’t consent. Because rape can have long-lasting consequences for victims, sexual assault is always a felony. Therefore, depending on the details, you could go to prison for life without the possibility of parole. You could also end up on the sex offender registry.
Read more about Iowa sexual assault charges.
Harassment can be as simple as sending someone a purposeless message that is likely to annoy or harm them. Additionally, you might be charged with harassment if you threaten to hurt someone, share photos of them nude or engaged in sex acts, put fake explosives near buildings, make fake reports about them to police, or order merchandise or services in their name.
Read more about Iowa harassment charges.
Fighting or violent behavior in public, abusive epithets, and threatening gestures might get you a disorderly conviction. I strongly believe that the United States Constitution protects a lot of the speech that the county attorneys call “harassment.” Therefore, depending on what you’re accused of, we should talk about whether the First Amendment might protect you.
Additionally, read more about Iowa disorderly conduct charges.
Interference With Official Acts
Sometimes. people panic when they’re suddenly confronted by police officers arresting them or executing a warrant. As a result, sometimes people behave out of character. When this happens, they get charged with “Interference With Official Acts” or “resisting arrest.”
Read more about Iowa Interference With Official Acts charges.
Violent crime doesn’t require injury. Accordingly, firing a weapon into a crowd (or into another place where people are) is felonious Intimidation With a Dangerous Weapon.
Read more about Iowa Intimidation charges.
Because carrying guns and knives can get you in trouble, you should know about “Carrying Weapons” charges.
There’s some wiggle room with this statute, though. For instance, a client got this charge dismissed when we showed that he was on his way home from lawful fishing when he was stopped with his fishing knife in his car. With this in mind, have a lawyer carefully read the law.
Read more about Iowa Carrying Weapons charges.
Going Armed With Intent
Before leaving home with a dangerous weapon, think. If you plan to use that weapon against someone else, then you’ll face felony charges.
Read more about Iowa Going Armed charges.
Was it justified? If not, then causing bodily injury to someone might lead to felony violent crime charges.
Read more about Iowa Willful Injury charges.
Confining someone or secretly moving them from place to place, knowing you don’t have the consent or authority to do that, is kidnapping if you:
- Intend to hold them for ransom
- Plan to use them a shield or hostage
- Intend to inflict serious injury on them
- Plan to sexually abuse them
- Intend to secretly confine them
- Plan to interfere with the performance of any government function
Read more about Iowa kidnapping charges.
If you knew you didn’t have the authority to take a kid but you did it anyway, intending to keep or hide the child from whoever has lawful custody, it’s a felony.
Read more about Iowa Child Stealing charges.
If you steal and do any of these things, it’s robbery:
- Assaulting someone
- Threatening someone with immediate serious injury
- Purposely making someone afraid of immediate serious injury
- Threatening to immediately commit any forcible felony.
Also, it doesn’t actually matter whether or not your theft succeeded; that you intended to commit a theft when one of those things happened is what’s relevant.
Read more about Iowa robbery charges.
If it’s murder but you can claim “heat of passion” doctrine, it’s “voluntary manslaughter.” That’s because murder requires malice aforethought.
Involuntary manslaughter is when you unintentionally cause someone to die while you’re committing a crime that isn’t a forcible felony or escape. Additionally, if you accidentally cause a death while doing something dangerous, that might be manslaughter.
Read more about Iowa manslaughter charges.
When you kill maliciously, it’s murder.
Because I don’t feel experienced enough to assume murder representation, I am happy to offer you the names of some firms who could help.
Whenever you’re charged with murder, you can try calling one of these firms:
Read more about Iowa murder charges.
Defense lawyers for violence crimes 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 your violent crime accusation in Iowa, please contact us at (515) 491 6128 and we’ll set up a time to talk.