Des Moines criminal defense attorneys at Branstad & Olson break down how those accused can protect themselves and their families.
Seek Legal Counsel
Seeking legal counsel after being accused of domestic violence is recommended.
A domestic violence charge can have long-standing negative consequences. A criminal defense lawyer will guide you through the process and help develop a legal strategy to safeguard your interests, ensuring your rights are respected throughout the process.
Understanding the Charges and Evidence Against You
Knowing the nature of any charges is critical in preparing your best defense. When you receive a copy of the police report, read it in detail and go over every line with your attorney. You may then wish to hire a private investigator or request additional evidence from the state.
Possible Consequences of a Domestic Violence Conviction
In Iowa, domestic abuse charges range from simple misdemeanors to felonies.
A simple misdemeanor charge typically involves allegations of non-injury and is punishable by a fine and a maximum jail sentence of 30 days.
If the allegations involve an injury, the charge may be filed as a serious misdemeanor with a maximum jail sentence of one year and a fine of $430 to $2,560.
Aggravated misdemeanors carry a maximum prison sentence of two years and a fine of $850 to $8,540.
Domestic violence may be classified as a felony. If convicted, the punishment carries a prison sentence of five years and a fine ranging from $750 to $7,500. Felonies also come with a number of restrictions and negative effects.
Prior domestic abuse convictions may enhance future domestic abuse allegations. Second and third, and subsequent charges may have enhanced levels and penalties.
Often the charge comes with a no-contact order (restraining order) prohibiting defendants from contacting alleged victims. If the no-contact order is violated, this can lead to additional penalties and jail time.
Domestic abuse convictions also affect gun rights.
Being accused of domestic violence can be tumultuous, not only in the legal sense but also in dealing with the emotional fallout. Friends and family may distance themselves, believing they must take a stance. Those charged with domestic violence may have challenges finding supportive people and open lines of communication.
Des Moines Criminal Defense
If you are accused of domestic violence, take the accusation seriously and seek legal counsel. Ask questions to understand the charges, the evidence, and possible consequences. Take early steps to deal with the emotional fallout of being accused of domestic violence.
Experienced domestic violence attorneys at Branstad & Olson can help you navigate this situation and protect your rights. Contact us online or by phone today for a consultation. (515) 329-3100