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Domestic assault laws may require more than mere threat

Domestic abuse and violence is a serious problem in Iowa as it is in many states across the country. Because it is such a complicated issue involving intimate relationships and sometimes unclear boundaries, police have a difficult decision to make when responding to incidents of domestic abuse. Law enforcement has a duty to protect people from violence, but in these domestic situations it can be difficult to determine fault or get a clear idea of what transpired. For this reason, people accused of domestic assault need the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney to defend themselves against accusations.

Domestic abuse is defined in the Iowa Code as an assault between members of a household or family, parents, or otherwise intimate partners. An assault is defined as a situation in which a person, acting without justification, does any act intended to cause pain or offensive contact with another person, or threatening such immediate physical contact. It can also be assault to brandish a deadly weapon in front of a person in a threatening manner, such as pointing a gun at someone.

There is an additional qualifying factor, though. In order to be guilty of assault by threat, it must be coupled with the apparent ability to execute the act. Therefore, outlandish threats of improbable violence or other undesirable outcomes may not be actual assault under Iowa law.

Let's face it, most intimate or married couples have arguments from time to time, and when things get heated, words can fly and things can be taken the wrong way. That is why some people, if they don't choose their words carefully, may end up being accused of domestic assault. Defending one's self against these charges, and all the negative consequences and embarrassment that come along with them, is no joke. An experienced Iowa defense attorney can help people in this uncomfortable situation.

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