Insufficient probable cause to search vehicle based on search of passenger outside of vehicle, which determined that the passenger had a warrant and illegal items on his person, and smelled like marijuana. However, there was no probable cause to believe the vehicle contained illegal items.

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The Iowa Supreme Court has reversed my client’s conviction of a false answer on a gun permit application, remanding for dismissal of the charge. It held that Iowa Code section 724.17 does not criminalize falsely answering an unauthorized question on an application to acquire a weapon permit (even assuming the answer was false). The legislature limited that which the gun permit application could require, by using the words “shall require only,” followed by a list of items relating to identity. The question the State alleged my client answered falsely was a question not authorized by the statute to be asked, one which pertained to criminal history. Instead, the statute imposed a duty on the sheriff to run a criminal history check based on the identifying information provided, not for the individual to answer questions about their criminal history. Hence, the State could not prosecute him for his allegedly false answer to a question the legislature did not authorize.

Regardless, it always was the defense’s position that the answer to the question was not in fact false, for it depended upon how the question was interpreted. The question was vague, ambiguous, and compound, which in logic is a fallacy known as a double-barreled question. Because of these interpretive issues, my client misunderstood the question. When the sheriff’s deputy asked my client the question in a non-compound, clearer fashion, he answered accurately. Ultimately, the permit to acquire was denied. Nevertheless, the State decided to arrest and charge my client with a class D felony.

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Editorial by the Des Moines Register

Iowa Supreme Court clarifies the procedures required for a plea to be knowing and voluntary, and for a Defendant to be sentenced under a habitual offender sentencing enhancement.

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Iowa Court of Appeals reverses conviction based on State’s striking jurors based on race motivation.

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After a successful motion to suppress ruling, wherein the judge held that the stop of my client’s vehicle was unconstitutional, and all of the evidence was suppressed, the State dismissed all charges against my client – Operating While Intoxicated and no headlights.

Obtained dismissal of my client’s charges of child endangerment and reckless discharge of a firearm.

Iowa Court of Appeals holds that a domestic no contact order cannot be granted where there is insufficient evidence of an intimate or domestic relationship.

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Iowa Court of Appeals holds that excessive length and scope of detention for investigation unrelated to traffic stop purpose requires suppression of the evidence.

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Iowa Supreme Court rules that when the reason for a traffic stop or other seizure is resolved and there is no other basis for reasonable suspicion of crime, the Iowa Constitution requires that the driver must be allowed to go on his or her way immediately, without further ado or delay, and the stop must be terminated.

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Iowa Court of Appeals rules that there can be no firearm enhancement when the gun is not in plain view, the Defendant did not have exclusive control of the premises, and there was no proof that the Defendant had actual knowledge of the gun’s existence and location sufficient to prove knowledge and possession.

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Iowa Court of Appeals rules that there was no reasonable suspicion to justify prolonging the extension of a detention beyond its traffic stop mission either to ask questions or escort the passenger to the patrol car prior to the drug dog sniff. Hence, suppression of the evidence found was required.

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Iowa Court of Appeals rules that police violation of statutory impound procedures requires suppression of the evidence found.

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