Like most states, Iowa has a disorderly conduct law prohibiting specific acts that disturb the peace or are seriously bothersome to others. However, Iowa's disorderly conduct statute is not simply a "catch-all" that allows police to arrest anyone who is acting boisterously or causing a ruckus; but it does list specific conduct that must be proved in court.
Iowa is home to a number of well-respected colleges and universities. Students from all over the country and around the world come here for the educational opportunities that are available. College is a time of self-discovery for most students; however, it is unfortunately a time where they also make mistakes.
A conviction on theft charges can have long-term consequences. Even after the sentence is served, the individual will have a criminal record that can make it very hard to find a job and sometimes even a place to live. Anyone facing felony theft charges in Iowa should strongly consider fighting the charges.
The state of Iowa has codified in its laws numerous acts that have been deemed criminal in nature. Committing a criminal act or otherwise breaking a law that is included in the state's code can result in an individual facing a number of significant penalties. Those penalties, which can include but are not limited to heavy fines and periods of incarceration, can impose significant setbacks in the lives of individuals forced to endure them.
Under Iowa law, theft of an individual's identity occurs when a person fraudulently uses another person's identity information to obtain money, property or services. Identification information is defined in the statute to include names, addresses, social security numbers, driver's license or state ID numbers, bank account numbers, credit card numbers and even the maiden name of the victim's mother. Simply possessing another person's information is not identity theft; there must be an actual or attempted fraudulent use of the information and intent to unlawfully benefit from it.
Selfies, which are self-portraits taken with a smart phone or other handheld devices, have become extremely popular in the past few years. Teenagers in particular often send selfies to their friends through Snapchat or similar programs or post them on social media sites. But when a minor sends or posts a sexually explicit selfie, they run the risk of being prosecuted under federal or state child pornography laws. Anyone receiving or possessing such a picture is also at risk.
For Iowa residents accused of sex offenses, the experience can be a nightmare. In addition to the criminal charges, those accused of rape, sexual assault, child sex abuse and other sex crimes face ostracism from the community. A conviction can result not only in a prison sentence, but being listed as a registered sex offender is a lifelong stigma that can make it all but impossible to find a job, or even a place to live.
Anyone in Iowa City who has tuned in to the news over the last year knows that there has been a huge increase in the scrutiny that police officers nationwide are facing for their interactions with citizens -- particular African Americans. In some cases, police officers face criminal penalties for their conduct, like the excessive use of force.
Being charged with a crime can severely damage an individual's reputation. This is particularly true of so-called white collar crimes, in which the accused is often a respected and law-abiding member of the community. In addition to the damage to reputation, of course, there is also the threat of stiff fines and even a possible prison sentence. Iowa residents facing white collar crime charges may need an aggressive defense.
People in Iowa might be interested to know how many crimes occur in the state each year, and how the crime rate in Iowa measures up against other states in the U.S. Going back about 50 years, conviction and arrest data is generally available for most felonies and serious misdemeanors, and from this voluminous data we can begin to see a picture emerge.