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.
An Iowa City man was arrested recently for an alleged assault with a garden rake. According to police, the victim was doing landscaping work at a CVS Pharmacy on Muscatine Avenue when the defendant approached him, punched him in the head and then hit him with the rake when he was on the ground. The defendant has been charged with the Class D felony of willful injury causing bodily injury.
As we discussed in a recent post, there are a number of defenses to homicide charges in Iowa. One of the most powerful defenses - if it fits the facts of the case - is self-defense. Recently a man facing attempted murder charges asserted self-defense in Jefferson County Court and was acquitted by the jury.
When someone is charged with murder or manslaughter in Iowa, the stakes are about as high as they can get. A conviction can result in decades or even life in prison. Anyone charged with any form of homicide needs to put forward the most skilled and aggressive defense they can.
One of the toughest questions an Iowa judge can face is whether a juvenile charged with a violent crime should be tried as an adult. The issue arose recently in the case of a 16-year old Cedar Rapids youth who is facing first-degree murder charges.
Unlike murder charges which generally require a person to have planned the commission of the alleged crime, manslaughter charges often result from alleged incidents that arose due to the emotional circumstances of an event. An Iowa City resident may find oneself facing manslaughter charges if the person is suspected of killing another person in the heat of the moment. If a person's heat of the moment actions were found to be intentional then the person may be charged with voluntary manslaughter.
Teenagers are capable of doing great things. Unfortunately, they are also capable of making serious mistakes, because they lack the maturity, judgment and life experience that comes with being an adult. The Iowa Supreme Court recognized this when it recently ruled that a sentence of life without parole for a juvenile offender violates the Iowa Constitution by imposing cruel and unusual punishment.
Over the past three years, the Public Safety Advisory Board in Iowa has been calling for a change in sentencing requirements for those convicts robber. The Iowa House of Representatives listened, and on March 3, the House unanimously passed an amendment concerning the sentencing patterns of a person convicted of second-degree robbery.
An argument over bringing a dog into an Iowa bar has led to criminal charges being filed against the bar's owner. The incident happened recently in Lisbon, Iowa. It began when a man entered the bar with a dog with what he allegedly claimed was a service dog. The bar owner demanded proof. According to Linn County prosecutors, a physical altercation ensued in which the bar owner allegedly pushed the man's chest and grabbed his throat.
The right to an attorney in a criminal case is one of the most fundamental rights in the U.S. Constitution. Most people know that a person facing criminal charges has the right to have an attorney present during a police interrogation. But does a defendant have the right to a lawyer if, while he or she is in jail awaiting trial, police have another prisoner ask the defendant about the alleged crime?