Hundreds of Cases Successfully Handled
If you have been accused of committing willful injury, you could be facing harsh penalties that alter the course of your life. Not only could you face prison time and hefty fines, but you could also find your reputation tarnished and struggle to retain or obtain a job.
To avoid these harsh consequences, invest in representation from Feld Law Firm. Our willful injury attorney in Des Moines offers hard-hitting defense strategies that put clients’ needs first.
Defining Willful Injury in Iowa
In Iowa, willful injury is defined as any person committing an unjustified act that is intended to cause serious injury to another person. If the injury actually causes serious injury, the crime can be charged as a class C felony, which is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. In addition to the 10 years, the state can impose up to a $13,660 fine along with a 15% surcharge and applicable court costs. If the injury actually causes bodily injury, the crime can be charged as a class D felony, which is punishable by up to five years in prison. In addition, the state can impose up to a $10,245 fine along with a 15% surcharge and applicable court costs.
Serious Injury vs. Bodily Injury
So, what is "serious injury" and what is "bodily injury?" Serious injury is an injury that causes some sort of permanency such as blindness, scarring, loss of limb, or broken bones. Bodily injury is an injury where someone is scratched or bruised from the willful injury charge when the person intended to cause serious injury. It makes a big difference whether someone is scratched or bruised from an incident compared to whether a person sustained broken bones or scarring from an incident because it goes to the level of crime someone can be charged with in a willful injury matter.
The "bodily injury" and "serious injury" definition is sometimes difficult to understand. That’s why it is beneficial to have a criminal defense attorney by your side throughout the case. It is terrible seeing people plead to crimes they did not actually commit.
The willful injury charge, which is a C felony, is considered a forcible felony, under Iowa Code Section 702.11. Since it is considered a forcible felony under Iowa law, it means that if a person is convicted of willful injury causing serious injury, the person is ineligible for a deferred judgment. This means they cannot have the crime expunged from their criminal record. Furthermore at the time of the guilty verdict or plea of guilty, the person is committed to the custody of the department of corrections. In other words, they immediately go to jail.
If a person is convicted of the D felony, causing bodily injury, they are eligible for a deferred judgment since the crime is not considered a forcible felony under Iowa law. This is assuming the person has no prior felonies on their record. Just because a person is eligible for a deferred judgment does not mean that the person will automatically receive a deferred judgment. Many factors are taken into consideration by the Court before making a decision whether the person should receive a deferred judgment. The advantage of receiving a deferred judgment is that the charge is dismissed from your record if the person successfully completes probation. This means the person can legally say they were never convicted of the crime, which is very important when applying for jobs.
Consult with Feld Law Firm
To be accused of willful injury is very serious and can cost you your job, your ability to earn a living, and your relationships. Additionally, it can put a strain on your financial resources with the fines and penalties. It is a good idea to speak with a Des Moines willful injury defense attorney before speaking with any detectives, police officers, or certain family members regarding the incident. There are many options a defense attorney can advise you of if you are charged with willful injury in Iowa.
Discuss your case with us today – just call (515) 996-4441.
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