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Questions Answered by Benjamin Kohn
1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Cannabis & Marijuana Law for Iowa on
Q: how long after my promise to appear is my tral?

my charges are all drug related misdemeanors and i have no record.

Benjamin Kohn
Benjamin Kohn answered on Jul 11, 2020

Although you have a right to a speedy trial (though even what that's been held to constitute is going to be different due to Covid, as is when a trial can be scheduled), which in ordinary times without a pandemic would require extremely good cause to be longer than a set number of days... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Traffic Tickets for Iowa on
Q: I got a citation in Iowa for not stopping and yielding to the right of way

And my vechile had no AC and I left from a different state from a Abusive spouse and dealing with a divorce and with me driving trying to figure out we’re to go I see a stop sign brake and my brakes squeak and I drift into the right of way car and he hits me totaled my vechile and I feel I was... Read more »

Benjamin Kohn
Benjamin Kohn answered on Jul 11, 2020

It sounds like you have at least three issues: (1) civil fault for the accident; and (2) the two simple misdemeanor traffic charges for disobeying the stop sign and for failing to yield; and (3) being a victim of domestic abuse.

While I can't provide legal advice based on such an...
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1 Answer | Asked in Traffic Tickets for Iowa on
Q: If I was never physicality issued or notified of a traffic citation, can I be held liable for failure to pay or appear?

My son was involved in an accident the end of December 2019. He never physically received or was notified that there were any traffic citations as a result of the accident. Today, he received a failure to appear/pay notice and his driving record shows a probation violation because of this. If he... Read more »

Benjamin Kohn
Benjamin Kohn answered on Feb 18, 2020

If he was never notified of the charges against him, never signed a promise to appear, etc., then this is clearly a violation of his rights under constitutional due process. Additionally, Iowa R. Crim. P. 2.55 requires that the defendant be served with a complaint that identifies the county,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Traffic Tickets for Iowa on
Q: What a criminal surcharge

For driving mistakes

Benjamin Kohn
Benjamin Kohn answered on Jan 28, 2020

Although it may seem esoteric, from a philosophical and legislative capacity role, fines serve a particular role in connection with criminal offenses: to punish for the violation so that there is a deterrence to committing the offense by that example, and to rehabilitate by using the negative... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Traffic Tickets for Iowa on
Q: I bumped the car in front of me due to anti lock breaks failing. Ticket for "following too close" Worth contesting?
Benjamin Kohn
Benjamin Kohn answered on Jan 8, 2020

Possibly. That you rear ended the car in front of you is weighty evidence that you were, in fact, following too closely, but not is not per se conclusive that you were. Iowa Code 321.307 provides:

"The driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is...
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1 Answer | Asked in Traffic Tickets for Iowa on
Q: Am I allowed to speed up above the speed limit to overtake a vehicle?

I got pulled over for going over the speed limit while overtaking a vehicle. An officer was going 60 in front of a vehicle ahead of me. I overtook the car and after overtaking I slowed back down to the same speed the officer was going.

Benjamin Kohn
Benjamin Kohn answered on Jan 5, 2020

Speed limit violations in Iowa are, unfortunately, strict liability (e.g. you're guilty if you are operating a vehicle on a public roadway that exceeded the posted speed limit regardless of your subjective reasoning, intent, or knowledge of doing so). Inability to overtake another vehicle... Read more »

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