Accusations of violent crime could lead to large fines, jail time, restitution payments, and employment problems. Employers won’t trust you around around customers or coworkers. Your significant other might be uneasy around you.
You can’t afford to be seen as a scary, violent person — not if there’s any way to clear your name.
Maybe you were acting in self-defense or to protect someone else. Maybe your ex is making up a story to get leverage in a divorce or other civil proceeding. A violent crime or assault lawyer can review the charges against you and help you determine what defenses may be available.
Des Moines Violent Crime Lawyers
Remember that in order to convict you, the prosecutors have to 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, thus saving you from paying thousands in fines and spending time locked up away from your family.
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 of the ones 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.” Forcible felonies involving weapons may result in having to serve years in prison before parole is even possible.
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 for many people. Assaults involving serious injuries, weapons, or the intent to cause serious injury can be much more serious than simple assault. In some cases, assault is a felony charge. Forcible felonies involving weapons lead to five years minimum in prison — without the possibility of parole.
Read more about Iowa aggravated assault charges.
A common assumption is that a domestic abuse assault is dating violence or violence between married people. 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, it may be a domestic.
Read more about Iowa domestic abuse assault charges.
Rape is scary. So is being accused of rape.
Sexual assault involves contact with someone who either doesn’t consent or is incapable of consent. It’s always a felony and depending on the details, could land you life in prison without the possibility of parole.
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. Depending on what you did, we should have a chat about the possible applicability of the First Amendment.
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. Sometimes, people who are panicking do things that they usually never would and end up charged with “Interference With Official Acts” or “resisting arrest.”
Read more about Iowa Interference With Official Acts charges.
No one has to be actually injured for an act to be considered a violent crime. Shooting or threatening to shoot into a crowd (or a building or a vehicle or wherever people are) is felonious Intimidation With a Dangerous Weapon.
Read more about Iowa Intimidation charges.
Carrying around guns and big knives can get you in big trouble.
There’s some wiggle room with this statute, though — for instance, I’ve had a client get this charge dismissed because we were able to show that he was on his way home from lawful fishing when he was stopped with his fishing knife in his car.
Read more about Iowa Carrying Weapons charges.
Going Armed With Intent
Going around armed with dangerous weapons is a bad idea. Planning to use that weapon for unjustified violence against someone else is a felony.
Read more about Iowa Going Armed charges.
Was it justified? If not, if whatever you did was meant to cause serious injury to someone (and DID cause bodily injury to them), you might be facing 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
- Intend to use them a shield or hostage
- Intend to inflict serious injury on them
- Intend to sexually abuse them
- Intend to secretly confine them
- Intend 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. (Unless, maybe, you were related to the kid and were only trying to take custody.)
Read more about Iowa Child Stealing charges.
Robbery involves intending to commit a theft and doing any of these things:
- Assaulting someone
- Threatening someone with immediate serious injury
- Purposely making someone afraid of immediate serious injury
- Threatening to immediately commit any forcible felony.
It doesn’t actually matter whether or not you ended up stealing anything; 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.”
Involuntary manslaughter is when you unintentionally cause someone to die while you’re committing a crime that isn’t a forcible felony or escape or while you’re doing an act in a way that’s likely to cause death or serious injury
Read more about Iowa manslaughter charges.
If you maliciously kill someone, it’s murder.
Ask for a referral for a lawyer who takes murder charges.
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.