Eastern Iowa Criminal Defense Attorneys
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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.

There are three things to keep in mind when assert a defense that you did not commit the crime you are being accuse of. First, a defendant is innocent until they are proven guilty. Because evidence must be collected to prove that a defendant is guilty, it is possible to plead the fifth. This allows the defendant to remain silent, not offering a shred of evidence.

Next, the prosecution needs to prove that a defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If that cannot be proven with the evidence provided, then a defendant cannot be convicted. Lastly, a defendant could show proof of an alibi. This could help demonstrate that they couldn't have done the crime they are being accused of.

Even if a defendant admits to the act, he or she could prove that they should not be held responsible for the act. This is common accomplished through a self-defense claim or insanity defense claim. A defendant could also assert that they were under the influence, using that as a defense. Lastly, the accused could use an entrapment defense, which relied on the theory that the government shouldn't be allowed to coerce you into committing a crime then convict you for doing it.

It can be difficult to initiate a criminal defense action and even navigate the criminal process. Thus, it is important to understand what options are available so you can timely assert a defense. This could result in reduced and even dropped charges, helping a defendant avoid harsh penalties.

Source: Findlaw.com, "Defending Yourself Against a Criminal Charge," accessed March 11, 2017

Categories
  • The Iowa State Bar Association
  • DUI Defense Law
  • NACDL
  • AAJ
  • Iowa Association of Justice

Keegan, Tindal, & Mason 

Put Over 50 Years of Combined Trial Experience On Your Side 
  • J. Dean Keegan
  • Eric D. Tindal
  • Andrea D. Mason
  • J. Dean Keegan J. Dean Keegan

    Owner

    Decades of Award-Winning Legal Service J. Dean Keegan was born and raised in Waterloo, Iowa. After high school, Dean served ...
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  • Eric D. Tindal Eric D. Tindal

    Attorney

    Highly Rated Criminal Defense in Iowa City Eric D. Tindal, attorney at Keegan, Tindal & Mason, graduated from the University ...
    Eric D. Tindal Photo
  • Andrea D. Mason Andrea D. Mason

    Attorney

    Experienced Criminal Defense in the Iowa and Illinois Quad Cities Andrea D. Mason practices in the areas of white collar ...
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  • He was professional, knowledgeable and prompt. He was very effective in his communication.

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  • I am glad he was there to get my head out of the guillotine when I needed him and keep my record clean.

    “I was stopped for an OWI. Dean took things as far as he could with the appeals process, finding every way possible to keep me driving in the meantime (which I needed to do for my job). Dean argued the ...”

    - Ryan
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SUCCESSFUL results for our clients

Protecting Your Freedom & Rights
  • Possession with Intent to Deliver Marijuana and Methamphetamine Charges Dismissed

    Washington Count FECR5351. Attorney Tindal and Attorney Clemens Erdahl successfully argued that evidence of drug manufacture was obtained in violation of the Constitution. All charges were dismissed.

  • Possession with Intent to Distribute Charges Dismissed

    Iowa County FECR010358. Attorney Tindal was able to show the Court that his client was detained in violation of his Constitutional rights and that the K9 utilized in the search was unreliable. Following hearing all charges were dismissed.

  • Vehicular Homicide Charges Reduced

    Johnson County FECR68296. The Defendant was charged with Vehicular Homicide. Following a suppression hearing, Mr. Tindal and his co-counsel were able to show that the blood test result was taken in violation of implied consent procedures. The case was subsequently resolved for a misdemeanor.

  • Second Degree Sexual Abuse and Other Charges Acquittal at Trial

    Johnson County FECR089277. The Defendant was charged with Second Degree Sexual Abuse and other charges. Following a one-week trial by Mr. Tindal, the Defendant was acquitted of all charges.

  • Trafficking Stolen Weapons and Misdemeanor Theft Charge Dismissed

    Scott County FECR384046. The Defendant was charged with Trafficking Stolen Weapons and Misdemeanor Theft. The Court dismissed the felony following a Motion litigated by Mr. Tindal. The Defendant subsequently pled to the remaining misdemeanor.

  • Operating While Intoxicated Reduced to Public Intoxication

    Johnson County OWCR116811. The Defendant was charged with Operating While Intoxicated. Mr. Tindal was able to win the Iowa Dept of Transportation appeal and have the blood test result thrown out. The case was resolved for a public intoxication charge and no loss of license.

  • Operating While Intoxicated Second Offense Reduced to Public Intoxication

    Washington County OWIN010946. The Defendant was charged with Operating While Intoxicated Second Offense. Following long negotiations with the State the Defendant was able to plead to a Public Intoxication and have his driving privileges reinstated.

  • First Degree Murder and Child Endangerment Causing Death Acquitted of First Degree Murder at Trial

    Henry County FECR005634. Attorney Tindal’s client was charged with First Degree Murder and Child Endangerment Causing Death. Following a two week trial, the Defendant was acquitted of all charges.

  • Sexual Abuse in the 2nd Degree Conviction Reversed on Appeal

    Iowa Supreme Court No. 04-361. The Defendant was convicted of Sexual Abuse in the 2nd Degree. On appeal, Mr. Tindal successfully argued that the conviction was based on improperly admitted evidence. The conviction was reversed.

  • Operating While Intoxicated Record Expunged

    Johnson OWCR106890. Attorney Dean Keegan's client received an Operating While Intoxicated, a serious misdemeanor. After reviewing the videos, Mr. Keegan filed a Motion to Suppress arguing the officer denied his client's right to make a phone call. The State declined to present testimony at the hearing and the Motion to Suppress was granted, making the client eligible for a deferred judgment. Mr. Keegan's client will have her record expunged and be able to obtain a license after 90 days instead of 180.

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