Misdemeanor Attorney Des Moines, IA
Representation for Misdemeanor Iowa Cases
In Iowa, a misdemeanor charge or conviction may affect your job, schooling, and reputation. A misdemeanor may carry a jail sentence or fine. Eventually, multiple misdemeanors may lead to a felony charge.
Get in touch with our Iowa misdemeanor lawyers for immediate assistance. Our Branstad & Olson team recognizes that your case is important to you, and we will handle it as such.
Types of Misdemeanor Charges in Iowa
Branstad & Olson has successfully addressed complex cases for clients facing a wide range of misdemeanors. Whether you’re facing a fine or incarceration, aggressively fighting the charge is crucial.
A vast range of misdemeanor offenses exist, including, but not limited to:
- Assault: Under Iowa Code § 708.1, a person commits assault when they intend to cause pain or injury to someone, make physical contact that would insult or offend another, place someone in immediate fear of physical harm, or points a firearm or displays a dangerous weapon at another. Assault can be charged as an aggravated, serious or simple misdemeanor.
- Child endangerment: A person may be charged with child endangerment for acting or failing to act in a way that causes harm to a minor. According to Iowa Code § 726.6, some instances of this offense are charged as aggravated misdemeanors.
- Disorderly conduct: Pursuant to Iowa Code § 723.4, this charge may be levied when a person fights in a public place; makes loud, raucous noises near homes or buildings, causing distress to occupants; uses language or gestures provoking a violent response; falsely reports a fire, epidemic, or other catastrophe; or shows disrespect for the U.S. flag. Disorderly conduct is a simple misdemeanor.
- Domestic abuse assault: A person who commits an assaultive offense on a family or household member may be charged with this crime. Under Iowa Code § 708.2A, it can be a simple misdemeanor, serious misdemeanor, or aggravated misdemeanor.
- Driving while license suspended: Per Iowa Code § 321J.21, a person who operates a vehicle while their driver’s license is suspended, revoked, or barred faces a serious misdemeanor charge.
- Drug possession: According to Iowa Code § 124.401, depending on the type of controlled substance involved, possession can be charged as a serious or aggravated misdemeanor.
- OWI / DUI: In Iowa, first and second DUI offenses are serious and aggravated misdemeanors, respectively.
- Prostitution: Under Iowa Code § 725.1, a person who offers to engage in sexual conduct in exchange for something of value commits an aggravated misdemeanor.
- Shoplifting / Theft: If a person unlawfully appropriates property of another and the value is $1,500 or less, they could be charged with a simple, serious, or aggravated misdemeanor.
- Trespass: Depending on the acts committed, unlawfully trespassing on another's property can be charged as a simple, serious, or aggravated misdemeanor (Iowa Code § 716.8).
- Criminal Mischief: According to Iowa Code § 716.5, if a person damages or defaces property valued between $750 and $1,500, they commit third-degree criminal mischief, which is an aggravated misdemeanor.
Classes of Misdemeanors in Iowa
In Iowa, misdemeanors are classified as either simple, serious, or aggravated. Simple misdemeanors are considered the least severe and aggravated the most severe.
Simple Misdemeanor Examples in Iowa
Simple misdemeanors are the least serious of criminal offenses in Iowa, although, the penalties can be devastating, nonetheless.
With this in mind, examples of simple misdemeanors include:
- Assault without bodily harm
- First-time domestic assault
- Possession of drug paraphernalia
- Fifth-degree theft
What Is a Serious Misdemeanor in Iowa?
As implied in the name, serious misdemeanors are serious accusations and should not be taken lightly. Serious misdemeanor assault in Iowa, for example, is charged when a person causes bodily injury or mental illness against another. Other examples of this crime include:
- First-time operating while intoxicated
- First-time drug possession
- Second-time domestic abuse
- Fourth-degree fraud
- Fourth-degree theft
- Serious misdemeanor
Aggravated Misdemeanor List
If you’re wondering what the highest degree of misdemeanors is, the answer is aggravated misdemeanors. These are the most serious misdemeanors you can get charged with, therefore, the penalties are harsh.
Aggravated misdemeanors involve a list of offenses, including:
- Indecent contact
- Assault with intent to inflict serious injury
- Second-time drug possession
- Second-time operating while intoxicated
- Carrying a gun without a permit
Even though misdemeanors are penalized with less incarceration time than felonies, any time behind bars can impact a person’s life. If you are convicted of a misdemeanor, you may also be assessed fines or sentenced to probation with requirements you must fulfill to avoid jail time.
Misdemeanor Penalties in IA
The penalties for each class of misdemeanor are as follows:
Simple Misdemeanor in Iowa
- Up to 30 days in jail and/or
- Between $105 and $850 in fines
Serious Misdemeanor in Iowa
- Up to 1 year in jail and/or
- Between $430 and $2,560 in fines
Aggravated Misdemeanor in Iowa
- Up to 2 years in jail and/or
- Between $855 and $8,540 in fines
Misdemeanors sanctions may also include:
- Mandatory classes or programs
- Loss of driving privileges
- Counseling or treatment programs (for drug and/or alcohol offenses and assault crimes)
Statutes of Limitations for IA Misdemeanors
Statutes of limitations enumerate the amount of time a prosecutor has to bring charges for an alleged crime. If they do not take action within the specified period, the case against the accused will likely be dropped.
Below are the statutes of limitations for Iowa misdemeanors:
- Aggravated or serious misdemeanor: 3 years
- Simple misdemeanors: 1 year
Moving Forward After a Misdemeanor Charge in IA
You may feel like you are stuck in an inescapable rut after a misdemeanor charge, but you have options. At Branstad & Olson, we will discuss defense strategies with you. Backed by extensive experience, our misdemeanor attorneys in Des Moines, Iowa, have effectively reached favorable outcomes for past clients.
Possession of Marijuana Not Guilty– Jury Trial
Murder 1st Degree Not Guilty– Jury Trial
Robbery 1st Degree Not Guilty– Jury Trial
Assault with Intent to Commit Sexual Abuse Not Guilty – Jury Trial
Appeal - Criminal Conviction Reversed and Remanded
Criminal Mischief Not Guilty– Jury Trial
Murder 1st Degree Not Guilty– Jury Trial
Appeal - Administrative Reversed and Remanded
Indecent Exposure Not Guilty– Jury Trial
Vehicular Homicide Not Guilty - Trial