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Iowa Criminal Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Iowa on
Q: In the state of Iowa are there any time constraints as to how far back they can go to a prior charge for enhancement?

Specifically if a person had a theft 5th degree twice before in 2003. Then in 2018 another 5th degree theft and they enhanced it to theft 3rd due to the 2003 charges? Are there any time limitations as to how far back they can go to use previous charges to enhance a new one?

Katherine Sears
Katherine Sears answered on Jan 18, 2019

Enhancing a theft charge based on prior theft charges is a new one to me. The Iowa Code section that talks about degrees of theft is here: https://www.legis.iowa.gov/docs/code/714.2.pdf and I don't see any reference to enhancement.

Do you have a code section they've brought up or...
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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Iowa on
Q: pre trial conference for a simple misdemeanor, was wondering if i apply for an attorney do i get one right away

Or would i get another court date

Katherine Sears
Katherine Sears answered on Jan 17, 2019

Usually, if you're applying for an attorney at state expense, that's something you do at your initial appearance. If you have a PTC coming up and need to apply for counsel and have somehow not yet gotten that opportunity, call the clerk of court for whatever county this is in and ask how... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Iowa on
Q: Online it says sentence date null..my friend was charged with possession..2nd offense..what does that mean
Katherine Sears
Katherine Sears answered on Jan 17, 2019

It means that your friend hasn't been sentenced yet.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Iowa on
Q: Is there an Iowa application for early release from prison for performing hymlech on another inmate
Katherine Sears
Katherine Sears answered on Jan 17, 2019

If you're asking whether there's an application form you can fill out to get out of prison early on the basis that you helped another prisoner, no, there isn't. You might ask whether your attorney whether this is a good-character sorta thing that you could mention if you have a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Iowa on
Q: Can you tell me if im looking at jail time for fradulent practice in the 1st degree.

This is for fraud of iowa unemployment insurance for the amount of $14,695.85

Katherine Sears
Katherine Sears answered on Jan 17, 2019

Fraudulent Practice, 1st Degree, is a Class C felony. Iowa Code 714.9.

A Class C felony conviction gets you up to ten years in prison, plus a fine of $1000-$10000. Iowa Code 902.9.

Be aware that there are also surcharges on those fines and other collateral consequences...
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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Iowa on
Q: I am getting charged with sexual abuse 3rd degree what will happen to me
Katherine Sears
Katherine Sears answered on Dec 26, 2018

Iowa Code 709.4 defines sexual abuse 3rd here: https://www.legis.iowa.gov/docs/code/709.4.pdf

Once you’re arrested or served with a summons to appear, your first court appearance is usually the initial appearance. Your initial appearance will happen within 24 hours of arrest if you’re...
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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Civil Rights for Iowa on
Q: Can the police keep my id after taking it from my parents house?

The police had a search warrant to search my parents house because it is my mailing address. They took my wallet with my id in it and I’m having issues getting it returned.

Katherine Sears
Katherine Sears answered on Dec 21, 2018

What sort of issues?

If the police seized your wallet, including ID, pursuant to a warrant, it's possible they're retaining it as evidence or possible evidence. You could try looking into whether you can get a temporary ID in the meantime.

Please don't talk to the...
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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Civil Litigation and Civil Rights for Iowa on
Q: Is there any thing I can do about a man making a sexual video tape of me while I was past out due to intoxication?

This man came to me a year ago wanting dna testing done on my 15 year old son. I was not aware I even had intercoarse with this man until people started telling me they seen a video of me past out. I rented an upstairs room in this man's house, about 17 years ago. I never dated him. I moved... Read more »

Erik Luthens
Erik Luthens answered on Jul 22, 2018

You may have the grounds to go forward with a criminal complaint through the local county attorney’s office as well as a civil action against the man in question. I suggest that you immediately contact an attorney in Iowa who handles civil litigation.

Erik Luthens...
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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Iowa on
Q: im in Iowa any my neohew was charged with criminal mischeif in the second degree. the damage did no exceeded 2000.00,

Can you tell me what the punishment could be from this crime?

Thank You

Jennifer Holmes

Erik Steven Fisk
Erik Steven Fisk answered on May 9, 2018

Criminal mischief, second degree is a Class D felony. Under Iowa Code 902.9(1)(e); "A class “D” felon, not an habitual offender, shall be confined for no more than five years, and in addition shall be sentenced to a fine of at least seven hundred fifty dollars but not more than seven... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Iowa on
Q: What does it mean if a charge is dismissed?

I pleaded guilty to a charge and the court "dismissed" the other charge

Erik Steven Fisk
Erik Steven Fisk answered on May 9, 2018

If it's dismissed, the charge is no longer being brought. It depends on whether the dismissal was with or without prejudice as to whether it could ever be brought again.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Landlord - Tenant for Iowa on
Q: Off duty cop questioned my 17yr said she was smoking in house can they do that??

They asked her about smoking weed and got her to give them a pipe. She did not smoke in the house. But they scared her into giving information. Now they are trying to evict us saying she smoked in the house and had drugs in the house.

Erik Steven Fisk
Erik Steven Fisk answered on May 8, 2018

It depends on so many other things that aren't written in your question.

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights and Criminal Law for Iowa on
Q: How long can the police hold something over your head before they can no longer charge you, & is it legal?
Erik Steven Fisk
Erik Steven Fisk answered on May 8, 2018

It depends on how long the statute of limitations is for the charge, and yes, they can wait for that time period to file charges.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Car Accidents for Iowa on
Q: Yesterday i was leaving Walmart a lady started to reverse so we stopped walking. She then stopped so we proceeded to wa

We proceeded to walk behind the vehicle. As we got behind the vehicle she put it in reverse, i put my arm up in defense the vehicle hit me, we all told the police the same information including the driver of the vehicle. The police then arrested me saying “i lied and jumped into the car”for... Read more »

Stephen Douglas Lombardi
Stephen Douglas Lombardi answered on Apr 7, 2018

Facts are funny, it seems everyone has their own set. Many things are 'legal', but what is 'legal' isn't necessarily right. I have no idea which town or city you were in. (Jurisdiction) I have no idea what the police officer wrote in his/her report. And I have no idea what... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Wrongful Death for Iowa on
Q: I just need legal advice, I've been told I may have a lawsuit.

March of 2017 I contacted a DHS case worker regarding my sister being addicted to prescription drugs while being pregnant and neglecting her two other chidren and nothing was done. Other people besides me have contacted DHS with the same concerns I had and again nothing was done. September 28th... Read more »

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Jan 16, 2018

The nieces estate would have a claim as would children. Suggest that you contact a member of the Iowa Assn for Justice to get the basics of who can sue, then proceed from there.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Personal Injury and Appeals / Appellate Law for Iowa on
Q: How do I reopen a closed case if I remember how it went down? I was 3 but it came to me randomly like a few months ago.

Saw and remember what he said and did. And watch the fire burn. It's more like an attempted murder but there's arson and deceit. Been doing research on it since but not really sure how to go about it

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Oct 31, 2017

Talk to the police. They may have a "closed case" unit.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Estate Planning, Federal Crimes and Probate for Iowa on
Q: I am on probation am I able to bow hunt for deer?
Shaun Khojayan
Shaun Khojayan answered on Oct 27, 2017

It depends on the terms of your probation and your particular case. For example, if the crime for which you are on probation involves hunting wildlife on federal lands then probation may include the condition that prohibits hunting including by bow. However, if you are generally asking whether... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Federal Crimes and Criminal Law for Iowa on
Q: What are the charges on a felon in possession of a firearm in his dwellings in state of Iowa first time

Charged with two counts of possession of firearm as a felon

Nicholas A. Sarcone
Nicholas A. Sarcone answered on Aug 28, 2017

I'm not entirely sure what you are asking. I assume that is two counts of felon in possession of a fire arm in federal district court in Iowa? The penalties depend on prior criminal history. The federal sentencing guidelines are complicated and you will need excellent representation.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Iowa on
Q: is having a prior possession charge probable cause to search with k9 on licence plate light stop in iowa

prior possession of meth in December. same officer pulled me over again, I denied their search they said my prior was probable cause to bring k9 to car

Nicholas A. Sarcone
Nicholas A. Sarcone answered on Aug 2, 2017

Not necessarily and perhaps not even likely. This of course is a fact dependent question and not answerable without more information. However, if that is the only reason to stop and/or bring a K-9 to the car you may have a good motion to suppress.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Iowa on
Q: If I was arrested at night on a warrant that had been canceled that morning do they have the right to search my vehicle
Nicholas A. Sarcone
Nicholas A. Sarcone answered on Feb 23, 2017

There is no general search incident to arrest exception to the warrant requirement in Iowa thanks to recent decisions of the Iowa Supreme Court. So, unless the police had a warrant to search your vehicle, and that warrant was valid, then it is possible it was a bad search.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Juvenile Law for Iowa on
Q: Is it legal for a 15 year old boy to have sex with a 13 year old girl with her consent in Iowa?

What charges could be pressed against me or her if it is illegal?

Nicholas A. Sarcone
Nicholas A. Sarcone answered on Feb 23, 2017

No. Sexual Abuse.

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