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Iowa City Criminal Defense Law Blog

Can ignition interlock devices reduce OWI offenses?

Facing a dunk driving charge can be a life-altering event for some motorists in Iowa. The penalties associated with an 'Operating While Intoxicated' (OWI) offense are not minor, and in some cases, they can be severe enough to impact a person's personal and professional life. Depending on the circumstances surrounding an OWI, a driver could lose his or her license, face license suspension or even have a device installed in his or her vehicle to determine if any alcohol is in his or her system when a vehicle is started.

Ignition interlock devices are used by many states. They can be mandatory for anyone convicted of drunk driving, or only mandatory for those with multiple offenses on their record. The purpose of this device is to detect alcohol on the driver's breath. This, in turn, assesses the driver's blood alcohol concentration. If a driver's BAC is in excess of the legal limit, then the vehicle will not start. The goal of this device is to prevent drunk driving accidents and future OWIs.

Initiating an aggressive defense against a violent crime charge

There are very few criminal charges that are not taken seriously right away. While the situation is likely to be shocking and stir up emotions, criminal defendants are probably aware of the severity of the situation and the predicament they are currently in. Thus, they are likely to consider the criminal defense options available to them. However, this is the part that can be confusing for some defendants, because it may not be clear what steps they must take, how much it could cost and what type of future they are looking at.

Our attorneys are very forthcoming and honest with our clients. It is our goal to meet the needs of our clients while also providing them a realistic, aggressive defense. Thus, we are dedicated to serving individuals in the Iowa City area by helping them fully understand their charges, penalties they could face, and what defense options are feasible.

Understanding the severity of violent crimes

There are some crimes that are considered to be extremely serious offenses in our society. Thus, when individuals in Iowa and elsewhere are accused of such a crime, they could face personal and professional consequences along with criminal penalties. When defendants are charged with a violent crime, it is important to understand the elements of the charge, the evidence used against the accused and what defense options are available.

According to the Uniform Crime Report by the FBI, violent crimes include offenses such as murder, rape, sexual assault, robbery and assault. Depending on the details of the crime, the accused could face a more serious charge. For example, a person could face an assault charge for an unlawful physical attack or the threat of such an attack. However, a person could be charged with aggravated assault if that attack or attempted attack was with a weapon. This charge could result in more severe consequences.

What is "mens rea" in a criminal defense?

In order to be convicted of a crime you are suspected of committing, specific elements related to that crime must be proven. This can be confusing for some defendants in Iowa, however, understanding this can help tremendously with a criminal defense. The prosecution will not only look at the actions completed or initiated by a defendant, but also evidence that could help depict what was going on in the suspected offender's mind at the time of the crime.

What is "mens rea" and how can it be used in a criminal defense? In Latin, mens rea means guilty mind. And in the realm of criminal law, it refers to what a defendant was thinking and what was intended when a specific or certain crime was committed. Mens rea is used in the criminal justice system to help differentiate between a person who did not mean to commit a crime and an individual who intentionally set out to commit a crime.

Iowa man faces charges after allegedly breaking into apartment

Even when an act appears to be simple or innocent, individuals could face serious criminal charges. This is especially true when a person has past convictions of the same crime. This could elevate the potential penalties, causing it to even become a felony offense. Therefore, it is important to be fully aware of these situations and what defense options are available.

According to recent reports, a homeless Iowa man was charged with entering the apartment of a woman and going through her mail. Based on the criminal complaint by Iowa police, this alleged crime took place in the 300 block of East College Street around 1 p.m. The victim of the incident claimed that she was home alone when the man walked through her unlocked front door. He then supposedly continued into her bedroom.

How DUI laws in Iowa impact those suspected of drunk driving

Being pulled over for suspected drunk driving is one of the most nerve-wrecking traffic stops. Motorists in Iowa and elsewhere might not fully understand what the penalties are for a DUI charge and how greatly a conviction could impact his or her life. This is especially true if it is not a driver's first conviction. As a means to deter drunk driving, the laws in Iowa have altered over the years; however, this does not mean that those accused of drunk driving fully understand the consequences that could follow.

Iowa's laws surrounding OWI charges state that it is unlawful to operate a vehicle in the state while the driver is under the influence of an alcoholic beverage, other drugs or a combination of such substances. It is illegal for motorists to have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more. Additionally, state OWI laws state that it is illegal for any motorists to have any amount of a controlled substance in their body.

What acts are considered to be domestic violence?

Sometimes family members and significant others get into fights. While many of these arguments are simple disputes that can be resolved through communication, others escalate to physical altercations. When situations evolve into domestic assault, this could result in individuals in Iowa and other states being charged with a crime. And, because this type of criminal charge involves a loved one, it has the tendency of having both potential criminal penalties and the consequence of ruined relationships.

Domestic assault is defined as violent acts committed by a family or household member against another. While this could occur between a parent and child or two adult family members, it is frequently used to describe the physical altercations between partners, whether they are married or unmarried, living together or just dating. Because of this, these violent acts are also frequently referred to as spousal abuse.

Helping you aggressively defend against drug crimes

Drug crimes can range from minor to major offenses, but regardless of the level of severity of the offense it is imperative that defendants become fully aware of their rights and options. Taking the right measures when initiating a defense could significantly impact the future and even freedom of the accused. Taking the time to understand the situation and what defense options are available can be the best way to aggressively defend against drug charges.

At our law firm, we do our best to prepare to take on any drug crime case. We might be able to anticipate how prosecutors will react to the charges, allowing us to develop a strong and strategic defense plan.

Understanding what is considered a controlled substance

When it comes to drug crimes, the type of drug as well as the quality of the supposed drug could greatly impact the penalties a defendant could face. Thus, it is imperative that Iowa residents become fully aware of the charges against them and what criminal defense options they have.

Some drug charges could be based on the possession or sale of a controlled substance. This term refers to an illegal drug that could have detrimental effects on the health and welfare of a person. Both state and federal governments regulate these substances, and those caught possessing a controlled substance could be arrested, fined and could face serious consequences if convicted.

What criminal defense options are available in Iowa?

Being accused of a crime is a difficult predicament to be in. It's not only tough to process, but many individuals in Iowa and elsewhere find it challenging to move forward. No matter the type or severity of crime a person is accused of, it is important to understand that each and every defendant is afforded the right to assert a defense. This not only protects the defendant's rights, but also provides them with the opportunity to reduce or dismiss the criminal charges against them.

What criminal defense options are available to defendants? A defendant could simply begin by telling the truth. While it is expected that those facing allegations of a crime will tell the truth in the criminal defense process, this method focuses on telling a detailed story of the events that has an end story with certain characteristics. This includes providing a truthful foundation that helps prove that the defendant is innocent, gaining sympathy from the judge or jury and providing evidence to prove the defendant's alibi.

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IOWA Association for justice IOWA state bar association NACDL 1958 national association of criminal defense lawyers american association for justice board certified specialist DUI defense law the iowa state bar association

Notable Case Work

Attorney Thomas Farnsworth's client was arrested for multiple charges after being pulled over for an OWI 3rd offense. Mr. Farnsworth ....

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faq

Should I take a breath test?
The most common question asked of criminal defense lawyers who work on Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) or Driving While...

Can I get a work permit or temporary restricted license in Iowa after losing my driving privileges for an OWI?
For a first offense, yes. The revocation is this instance is 180 days for an OWI test failure and one year for an OWI test refusal...

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J. Dean Keegan and Thomas D. Farnsworth, Attorneys at Law
425 2nd Street South East
Cedar Rapids, IA 52406

Cedar Rapids Criminal Law Office

J. Dean Keegan and Thomas D. Farnsworth, Attorneys at Law
103 East College Street
Iowa City, IA 52240

Iowa City Criminal Law Office

J Dean Keegan Thomas DS Farnsworth Keegan Legal

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