Serious and aggravated misdemeanors are crimes that you should not take lightly when charged. In most circumstances, you are either looking at jail time or a hefty fine. In some situations, you are looking at both. These crimes look bad on your record, especially the assault and theft crimes because they are crimes of violence and dishonesty. Aggravated misdemeanors carry up to two years in prison while serious misdemeanors carry up to one year incarceration. The serious and aggravated misdemeanor fines range from $315.00-$6,275.00. Additionally, court costs of $100.00 are added to the fines. Further, there is a 35% surcharge added to the fines. Simply put, serious and aggravated misdemeanors are not cheap. Employers do not like to see convictions that show you may have a violent and dishonest background when choosing potential employees to hire for their business. In other words since a majority of serious misdemeanors and aggravated misdemeanors are crimes of dishonesty and violence, a person is looking at losing their job. These types of crimes can have a serious impact on your ability to obtain, and retain, a job. These crimes can also be embarrassing to explain away when family members and friends find out about them. Moreover, the serious and aggravated misdemeanors can affect your ability to obtain loans for school and/or being admitted to a college or university. Additionally, if you get charged with a number of these types of crimes, it can lead to your charge being enhanced to a felony, which means longer jail, or prison, time and a bigger fine along with losing your gun rights and your right to vote. It can also mean that you may need to be admitted into a residential facility or be required to attend classes on a weekly or monthly basis. Certain serious and aggravated misdemeanors can cause your license to be revoked or suspended by the Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT). These crimes can significantly affect the way you live the rest of your life and your employability. I highly recommend "lawyering-up" from the beginning. I get too many calls from people who were convicted with serious and aggravated misdemeanors a few years back and wanting the conviction off their records. In most cases there is nothing I, or another criminal defense lawyer, can do because the person has already plead guilty to the crime. Also, it should be importantly noted that you should not make any statements to the police regarding the charges they are accusing you of committing because all of these statements will be used against you in court. Simply say, I have a lawyer or you can say I need a lawyer. By saying these magic words, it prevents the officer from continuing to question you, and in-turn gathering evidence against you. Remember, the police officer works for the government, and his job is to try and make a case for the State. Officers are very good at twisting your words and making it sound like you may have committed a crime when you are really just trying to help them out. Simply put, keep your mouth shut and lawyer up. The officer will do everything he can to make you spill the beans. The officer will attempt to make you feel guilty for not providing them with information. This tactic is used in a majority of interrogations. In regard to serious or aggravated misdemeanor OWIs, the officer usually asks the person on a scale of 1-10 with one being buzzed and ten being hammered drunk, what would you say you are. If the person actually answers the question, there is no good, or necessarily right, answer. You should say I need a lawyer and refuse to answer your question.
By obtaining an Iowa defense attorney, there is a better possibility that you can mitigate the punishment of your misdemeanor, if not have it dismissed or win at trial. You will also have a fighting chance on beating your charge on a "legal technicality" as some may call it. You will also be informed about your right to use your deferred judgment, if you are eligible. Using a deferred judgment can be very helpful for most people as the crime is expunged from your record if you successfully complete probation. In other words, you can legally say you were never convicted of the crime. This is big when you are filling out job applications. On the other hand, there are sometimes that a person may not want to use a deferred judgment and save it for a more serious crime that they commit at a later time. It is usually not a good idea to hold on to a deferred judgment for too long though before using it because you are not entitled to use a deferred judgment whenever you want to use it. Further, I can advise you whether you are even eligible to use a deferred judgment and whether it is a good time for you to use it. This should be obvious, but it is always a good idea to have a lawyer by your side in the courthouse. The end choice is ultimately up to you though.
In serious and aggravated misdemeanor charges, the Feld Law Firm offers representation as low as $1,000.00. These crimes include but are not limited to theft (4th and 3rd degree), unauthorized use of a credit card under $1,000.00, fraudulent practices, public intoxication-second offense, criminal mischief (4th and 3rd degree), assault causing bodily injury, assault causing serious injury, assault while displaying a dangerous weapon, child endangerment, domestic assault causing bodily or serious injury, possession of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance-second offense, and driving while suspended or barred. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a free consultation, you can call the Feld Law Firm at 515-802-7676. A defense attorney would be happy to discuss your situation with you and point you in the right direction. The Feld Law Firm is located at 1200 Valley West Drive, Ste. 208 in West Des Moines, Iowa.