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Have you been charged with a crime for unlawfully carrying weapons? Feld Law Firm can help. We understand that the laws regarding weapon possession in Iowa can be confusing. We are here to clear the air and help protect your reputation, your rights, and your freedom.
Understanding Weapon Crimes & Weapon Laws in Iowa
Under Iowa law, a person commits an aggravated misdemeanor when they:
- Go armed with a dangerous weapon on or about their person or within the city limits of any city
- Go armed with a pistol or revolver or any loaded firearm of any kind whether concealed or not
- Knowingly carry or transport in a vehicle a pistol or revolver
Other ways to be convicted of carrying weapons include:
- Going armed with a knife concealed on or about the person and used in the commission of a crime. This is an aggravated misdemeanor. The carrying weapons aggravated misdemeanor carries a fine of up to $6,250 plus a 35% surcharge and $100 court costs. In addition, the person is facing up to two years in prison.
- A person who goes armed with a knife on or about the person, if the person does not use the knife in a commission of a crime and any of the following are true:
- The knife has a blade exceeding eight inches in length (aggravated misdemeanor).
- If the knife has a blade exceeding five inches in length but not exceeding eight inches in length (serious misdemeanor). In our experience, it always seems like police officers rarely measure the blade of the knife – and when they do, they measure the entire knife, not just the blade.
The above does not apply and one is not guilty of carrying weapons if any of the following are true:
- A person is going armed within their own house, business, land, or property that is rented by the person.
- A peace officer is armed in the scope of his duty.
- A member of the armed forces of the United States or of the national guard or person in the service of the United States when the dangerous weapon is carried within the scope of their duty.
- A correctional officer in the scope of his duty.
- A person who for any lawful purpose carries an unloaded pistol, revolver, or other dangerous weapon inside a closed and fastened container or securely wrapped package that is too large to be concealed on the person.
- A person who for any lawful purpose carries or transports an unloaded pistol or revolver in a vehicle inside a closed and fastened container or securely wrapped package that is too large to be concealed on the person or inside a cargo or luggage compartment where the pistol or revolver will not be readily accessible to any person riding in the vehicle or common carrier.
- A person lawfully engaging in target practice on a certified range.
- A person who carries a knife used in hunting or fishing and is actually engaged in hunting or fishing.
- A person who has in their possession and who displays to a peace officer on demand a valid permit to carry weapons which has been issued to the person, and whose conduct is within the limits of that permit. A person shall not be convicted of a violation of this section if the person produces at the person's trial a permit to carry weapons which was valid at the time of the alleged offense and which would have brought the person's conduct within this exception if the permit had been produced at the time of the alleged offense.
- A law enforcement officer from another state while in the scope of their duty.
- A person engaged in transporting prisoners under a contract with the State of Iowa.
It should be noted that an aggravated misdemeanor carries up to two years in prison and a $8,540 fine plus a 15% surcharge and $100 court costs. If convicted of a serious misdemeanor, the fine is up to $2,560 plus a 15% surcharge and $100 court costs.
Moreover, if one is convicted of unlawfully carrying a weapon, they will likely be unable to legally possess firearms ever again and can face a felony should they be in possession of firearms in the future. Simply put, a lot is at risk if a person is charged with carrying weapons in Iowa. You can lose your right to possess guns. You can lose your job. The conviction can affect your ability to get a job, and it can affect relationships.
It is best that you contact a criminal defense lawyer and speak about your carrying weapons charge. It should be importantly noted that one can plead guilty to carrying weapons and not lose their opportunity to possess guns in the future. The court would need to defer judgment in this situation though and the person must successfully complete their probation.
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