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Iowa City Criminal Defense Law Blog

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.

Former Bachelor star arrested following fatal Iowa crash

Being involved in a car accident is often a scary and overwhelming experience. While many victims are worried about the condition of those involved, others are more concerned about what could happen if it is determined that they caused the crash. In some cases, the nerves of the driver get the best of them, causing them to leave the scene. However, leaving the scene of an accident could result in serious consequences, even criminal charges.

This is reportedly what happened recently in Iowa City, when the former star of the show "The Bachelor" was involved in a fatal crash with a tractor. According to preliminary reports, Chris Soules was arrested for fleeing the scene of a traffic accident he caused. Police indicated that Soules rear-ended a tractor with his pickup truck.

The difference between a simple assault and an aggravated assault

Being accused of a violent crime is a serious matter. These criminal charges can range in severity, meaning that the resulting penalties can also vary. Nonetheless, no matter the severity of the assault charge, defendants should understand the details of the crime, the evidence used against them and what defense opportunities might be available. This could help individuals in Iowa get reduced or even dismissed charges.

A simple assault charge occurs when an individual attempts to or does physically strike another. This could also occur if an individual acts in a threatening manner to another person, putting that person in fear of immediate harm. A more serious version of this crime is an aggravated assault. This occurs when a person attempts to or does causes severe injury to another person. This also occurs when the injury is caused by the use of a deadly weapon.

What is the difference between a misdemeanor and felony charge?

Being charged with a crime is a serious event for individuals in Iowa and elsewhere. While each crime has its own distinct elements and penalties, facing any type of criminal charge often causes a defendant to endure serious consequences. Nonetheless, it is important to understand the elements of the crime you are charged with and what potential serious penalties may be involved.

Crimes are divided into different categories. This mechanism of categorization not only determines how the court system will treat the particular case, but also what penalties could be placed on a convicted offender. For example, an infraction, which is the least serious type of crime, typically occurs when a police officer issues a person a ticket. An infraction frequently results in a ticket, a fine and little to no court time. Infractions include acts such as traffic tickets, jaywalking and some minor drug possession charges. These crimes are much less serious than misdemeanors and felonies.

Helping defendants fight a felony charge

Facing serious criminal charges can have a lasting impact on a person's life. Such a situation not only impacts the accused's record, but could also harm a defendant's personal and professional reputation. Allegations alone have the tendency to damage; therefore, those facing felony charges should not only take the matter serious, but also take immediate action to initiate a criminal defense.

It can be an overwhelming experience being charged with a felony crime. However, defendants should note that they are afforded rights and opportunities to fight these accusations. At our law firm, we are devoted to helping individuals in the Iowa City area understand the criminal process and the criminal defense options available to them.

Understanding implied consent to a breath test

When drivers in Iowa and elsewhere are stopped by police officers, they may or may not be aware of their rights during this stop. While it is clear that there are steps and procedures for police officers to take during the stop, some drivers may not understand what they have consented to when they applied for and obtained a driver's license. In matters when a driver is suspected of drunk driving, there is an implied consent to a breath test if an officer requests one.

When a driver is stopped based on the suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, a police officer will typically check for various signs of impairment before asking a driver to submit to a breathalyzer test. This test helps determine what the driver's blood alcohol concentration is and whether or not they are over the legal limit.

What is possession with the intent to distribute?

Being caught with drugs in your possession is not a good predicament to find yourself in. However, such a troubling matter doesn't always mean that an individual will be convicted of a drug crime. It does, nonetheless, likely mean that the individual will be faced with drug charges. The severity of the charge is dependent on the type of drug authorities found the accused in possession of, and how much of the drug is in that person's possession. If the quantity is high enough, the accused could face allegations of the intent to distribute that drug.

What is possession with the intent to distribute? Based on federal law, this drug crime is punishable by fines and imprisonment and occurs when the accused is in possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute that substance. In order to best understand the elements of this drug charge, it is helpful to break it down into three parts.

Iowa man arrested on multiple drug charges after search of home

Whether you have a criminal history or not, being accused of a drug crime is a serious situation. Depending on the type of drug and the quantity the defendant was allegedly in possession of, this could result in harsh penalties with long-term consequences. In some cases, an individual could face multiple counts in a single arrest, making it a very serious and complex matter. This is what recently occurred to an Iowa man.

According to recent reports, a 54-year-old man from Ashton was arrested for several felony drug charges. This occurred after a search warrant was executed on his place of residence. According to authorities, this search resulted in the discovery of methamphetamine, marijuana, cocaine, LSD and drug paraphernalia.

What is an illegal search and seizure?

Being accused of a crime is a serious situation for residents in Iowa and elsewhere. While it might seem to the defendant that they have little to no wiggle room when it comes to asserting a defense because the police and the state have collected much evidence against them, it is important to understand that all evidence is not credible. If evidence was not properly collected, there are options available for defendants to suppress that evidence being used against them.

What is an illegal search and seizure? When law enforcement is engaging in the search and seizure process, there are rules and exceptions to these rules that apply to this entire evidence collection process.

Understanding the criminal defense strategies available to you

Being accused of a crime is a difficult predicament to be in. No matter the severity of the crime or if it is the first criminal allegation an individual is facing, it is paramount to understand the penalties and consequences one could face if convicted. Thus, defendants in Iowa and elsewhere should take the time to understand his or her situation, what rights are afforded to them and what options are available.

There are a variety of criminal defense strategies available to criminal defendants; however, not all meet the needs and best interests of the accused. Therefore, breaking down the process into two categories can help a defendant better assess his or her situation. The first is to assert that you did not do the crime that you are being accused of. The second is to assert that you did the act but should not be held responsible for it.

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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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