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Being charged with a criminal assault offense is a shocking event in your life. Whatever happened, I know that isn’t how you expected your day to turn out. What was a normal day somehow turned into an argument, fight or attack.
But whether you are innocent of the charges against you or just had a misunderstanding with someone, our attorneys am prepared to defend your case in court. You shouldn’t face something like this alone.Charged with a crime in Iowa? Please call (888) 259-6838.
Iowa assault laws are featured in Chapter 708 of the criminal code. This chapter includes many offenses, some of which don’t even include physical contact. The assault laws in our state can be confusing; We can help you make sense of it all.
Assaults aren’t always the bloody beatings you hear about on the news. Often, an assault occurs between friends or is nothing more than a verbal altercation gotten out of hand.
There are assault crimes that apply when someone is beaten severely, when someone is threatened with a gun, or even when someone experiences nothing more than “unwanted contact.” The fact is, an assault charge can be filed in many circumstances.
In general, you may be charged with assault if the prosecutor has reason to believe you:
- Committed an act that was intended to harm someone or cause physical contact that might be offensive, and had the ability to execute the act,
- Committed an act that was intended to put someone in fear of offensive, painful, or injury causing contact , and had the ability to execute the act, or
- Pointed a firearm at another person or displayed a firearm in a threatening manner to another.
You can very easily be charged with assault even when someone starts a fight with you, and you were just defending yourself. Sometimes the police will simply arrest both parties, or arrest the person who seemed to get the worst of it, regardless of who started it. Or sometimes, if one person contacts the police first, it’s the other person who gets arrested.
That’s not fair, and unfortunately, it can take an experienced criminal defense lawyer to defend you to make sure the courts sort this out correctly. Contact us for a consultation to find out how we can help.
Ref: IA. St. §708.1
Iowa Assault Penalties
When you are charged with an assault crime, the potential penalty you face is dependent on the circumstances of the act.
Felony Assault: If you commit an assault and cause serious injury to someone, you could face a Class D felony assault charge, punishable by up to 5 years in prison and $7,500 in fines.
Aggravated Misdemeanor Assault: There are two ways in which the assault can be considered an aggravated misdemeanor:
- if the assault is committed with the intent to inflict serious injury, or
- if the assault is committed with a dangerous weapon.
An aggravated misdemeanor is punishable by up to 2 years in prison and $6,250 in fines.
Serious Misdemeanor: An assault charge could be entered as a serious misdemeanor if it causes bodily injury or mental illness. This particular assault charge could carry a 1 year jail sentence and fines reaching $1,875.
Simple Misdemeanor: Referred to as “simple assault”, this charge applies when none of the other assault classifications fit the circumstances of the offense. A simple misdemeanor carries a potential sentence of up to 30 days in jail and $625 in fines.
Ref: IA. St. §708.2
Willful injury is also considered an assault crime, and a serious one at that. Like “assault”, there are a few different situations which can apply to this law. In general, however, if you commit an unjustified act that is intended to cause serious injury to another and it causes injury, you can be charged with this offense.
The charge and potential sentence you face for a willful injury charge depends on the result or the extent of the injury.
If the act causes serious bodily injury like permanent disfigurement or a risk of death, you could be charged with a Class C felony and face 10 years in the custody of the Iowa Department of Corrections and fines reaching $10,000.
However, if the act causes bodily injury, not classified as “serious”, the charge is a Class D felony and carries a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison and $7,500 in fines.
Ref: IA. St. §708.4
Facing an assault charge is a serious matter. Whether you are looking at a potential stay in the Iowa Department of Corrections or merely facing a simple assault charge, you are no doubt concerned about the case the state has against you.
Our attorneys have experienced defending assault cases in Iowa courts. Please contact us for a free case evaluation to discuss the details of your case.