FAQs

Answers To Your Questions

Frequently Asked Questions2019-03-26T17:04:27+00:00
What are Iowa’s state criminal classifications?2019-03-25T19:08:58+00:00

The classifications in the State of Iowa for felonies are as follows:

Class A:  Mandatory life in prison without the opportunity for parole
Class B:  25 years in prison
Class C:  10 years in prison
Class D:  5 years in prison

The classifications in the State of Iowa for misdemeanors are as follows:

Aggravated:  2 years in prison
Serious:  365 days in jail
Simple:  30 days in jail

 

Under Iowa Code Section 702.11, certain offenses are defined as “forcible felonies.” A forcible felony is defined as, with certain exceptions, any felonious child endangerment, assault, murder, sexual abuse, kidnapping, robbery, arson in the first degree, or burglary in the first degree. If convicted of a forcible felony, the Iowa Code mandates the offender be incarcerated, and that the sentence not be suspended. Under Iowa Code section 902.12, certain forcible felony convictions require 70% of the term of incarceration be served before the offender is eligible for release.

For convictions of sexual offenses, provisions of the Iowa Code may require the offender to register as a sexual offender, submit to electronic monitoring, or be subject to lifetime parole.

Under certain provisions of the Iowa Code Section 124, offenders convicted of a controlled substance offense are subject to a mandatory term of imprisonment of one third of the maximum term before they are eligible for parole.

If you have been charged with, or believe you may be charged with, a criminal offense, contact James Nelsen to discuss what type of punishment you may be facing if convicted and, more importantly, how to defend against the allegations.

If you have been charged with a criminal offense, seek an attorney who knows your rights, and will vigorously represent you.

 

What rights do I have as it relates to a criminal allegation?2019-03-25T19:09:03+00:00

All persons who are accused of having committed a criminal offense are entitled to a fair trial and have the following rights.

Trial rights:

  • All persons accused of a crime are presumed innocent, that is it is assumed they have done nothing wrong.
  • All persons accused of a crime have a right to a speedy and public trial to an impartial jury of 12 persons (6 persons for simple misdemeanors in Iowa State Court), and cannot be found guilty unless all jurors unanimously agree that the person is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
  • Every criminal offense is made up of elements or facts that must be proven to establish an offense. To be convicted, all 12 persons must agree that each element has been proven beyond a reasonable double.
  • All persons accused of a criminal offense have a right to remain silent, a right to refuse to be required to testify that they did or did not do anything. The court can and will instruct the jury that a refusal to testify cannot be held against the defendant, and regardless of the refusal to testify, the burden to prove the elements is always on the Government.
  • All persons accused of a criminal offense have the right to confront the evidence against them. They have a right to face the accuser, police officers, and other witnesses, and subject them to cross examination, or questions intended to show facts favorable to the accused.
  • All persons accused of a crime have a right to compulsory process. Compulsory process is the right to force witnesses to come to court by subpoena.
  • All persons accused of a crime have a right to present a defense.
  • All persons accused of a crime have a right to an attorney, to help ensure all other rights are protected.
What is “Due Process”?2019-03-25T19:08:30+00:00

The constitution of both the State of Iowa and the United States provides each citizen with certain rights which must be respected if one is accused of a criminal offense. These include the right to be secure from unreasonable searches and seizures, the right to due process and the right to confrontation of the evidence, among others.

What rights do I have as it relates to “Search and Seizure”?2019-03-25T19:08:36+00:00

The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, and Article I Section 8 of the Iowa Constitution, guarantee citizens the right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure. If State actors have searched you illegally, or unlawfully seized you or your property, the evidence obtained cannot be used against you.

What are Iowa’s state criminal classifications?2019-03-25T19:08:58+00:00

The classifications in the State of Iowa for felonies are as follows:

Class A:  Mandatory life in prison without the opportunity for parole
Class B:  25 years in prison
Class C:  10 years in prison
Class D:  5 years in prison

The classifications in the State of Iowa for misdemeanors are as follows:

Aggravated:  2 years in prison
Serious:  365 days in jail
Simple:  30 days in jail

 

Under Iowa Code Section 702.11, certain offenses are defined as “forcible felonies.” A forcible felony is defined as, with certain exceptions, any felonious child endangerment, assault, murder, sexual abuse, kidnapping, robbery, arson in the first degree, or burglary in the first degree. If convicted of a forcible felony, the Iowa Code mandates the offender be incarcerated, and that the sentence not be suspended. Under Iowa Code section 902.12, certain forcible felony convictions require 70% of the term of incarceration be served before the offender is eligible for release.

For convictions of sexual offenses, provisions of the Iowa Code may require the offender to register as a sexual offender, submit to electronic monitoring, or be subject to lifetime parole.

Under certain provisions of the Iowa Code Section 124, offenders convicted of a controlled substance offense are subject to a mandatory term of imprisonment of one third of the maximum term before they are eligible for parole.

If you have been charged with, or believe you may be charged with, a criminal offense, contact James Nelsen to discuss what type of punishment you may be facing if convicted and, more importantly, how to defend against the allegations.

If you have been charged with a criminal offense, seek an attorney who knows your rights, and will vigorously represent you.

 

What rights do I have as it relates to a criminal allegation?2019-03-25T19:09:03+00:00

All persons who are accused of having committed a criminal offense are entitled to a fair trial and have the following rights.

Trial rights:

  • All persons accused of a crime are presumed innocent, that is it is assumed they have done nothing wrong.
  • All persons accused of a crime have a right to a speedy and public trial to an impartial jury of 12 persons (6 persons for simple misdemeanors in Iowa State Court), and cannot be found guilty unless all jurors unanimously agree that the person is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
  • Every criminal offense is made up of elements or facts that must be proven to establish an offense. To be convicted, all 12 persons must agree that each element has been proven beyond a reasonable double.
  • All persons accused of a criminal offense have a right to remain silent, a right to refuse to be required to testify that they did or did not do anything. The court can and will instruct the jury that a refusal to testify cannot be held against the defendant, and regardless of the refusal to testify, the burden to prove the elements is always on the Government.
  • All persons accused of a criminal offense have the right to confront the evidence against them. They have a right to face the accuser, police officers, and other witnesses, and subject them to cross examination, or questions intended to show facts favorable to the accused.
  • All persons accused of a crime have a right to compulsory process. Compulsory process is the right to force witnesses to come to court by subpoena.
  • All persons accused of a crime have a right to present a defense.
  • All persons accused of a crime have a right to an attorney, to help ensure all other rights are protected.
What is “Due Process”?2019-03-25T19:08:30+00:00

The constitution of both the State of Iowa and the United States provides each citizen with certain rights which must be respected if one is accused of a criminal offense. These include the right to be secure from unreasonable searches and seizures, the right to due process and the right to confrontation of the evidence, among others.

What rights do I have as it relates to “Search and Seizure”?2019-03-25T19:08:36+00:00

The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, and Article I Section 8 of the Iowa Constitution, guarantee citizens the right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure. If State actors have searched you illegally, or unlawfully seized you or your property, the evidence obtained cannot be used against you.

Seek qualified legal counsel following an arrest.

Arrange a confidential consultation with our criminal defense lawyer at 515-223-1012.

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