Iowa Supreme Court rules that eluding while in possession of marijuana and the separate charge of possession of marijuana do not merge; hence, a defendant can be convicted of and punished for both separately.

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Iowa Court of Appeals reverses drug possession and possession with intent conviction, finding that the evidence required too much speculation and too many inferences to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the Defendant knew there were drugs present and had the right and authority to maintain control over them.

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Iowa Department of Transportation rescinds license revocation as a result of the violation of my client’s 804.20 rights to a phone call to an attorney or family member.


Iowa Court of Appeals rules that an accommodation defense must be allowed when a Defendant is charged with possession with intent to deliver controlled substances if there is evidence to support such a defense. The defendant argued that a portion of the marijuana in his possession was to be given away to and shared with folks, which was less than half an ounce (as required by the statute), and was not for sale, and that the rest of the marijuana in his possession was for his own personal use, not sale. The court reversed the conviction and remanded for retrial with the defense to be presented to the jury.

https://www.iowacourts.gov/courtcases/10138/embed/CourtAppealsOpinion

Client’s driving while barred charge dismissed after proof of a temporary restricted license was provided to the State.

Iowa Court of Appeals holds that in the context of expungement, the transfer or merger of charges from one case to another constitutes the transferor case being “otherwise dismissed” and therefore eligible for expungement.

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Iowa Court of Appeals confirms that consent to search or enter a home must be unequivocal, and merely saying “Okay” in response to a police officer’s statement that he was going to enter is not sufficient for the state to establish consent, for such is mere acquiescence, not consent.

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Iowa Court of Appeals reverses murder conviction and remands for a new trial, for jury instructions which commented on the Defendant’s failure to notify law enforcement in a timely fashion of a self-defense claim was a violation of the 5th Amendment. Although a state statute required such notice, the statute was an unconstitutional burden on the 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination.

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Iowa Court of Appeals reverses theft and robbery conviction because there was insufficient evidence of intent to permanently deprive the owner of the property. Taking a car to get away from the police reflects an intent to escape, not intent to permanently deprive the owner of the property.

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NOTICE REGARDING POTENTIAL HOME CONFINEMENT vs. JAIL DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

The undersigned recently has been informed that during the pandemic, for certain cases and certain sentences, some judges are authorizing home confinement with ankle bracelet/monitoring. However, each case will be assessed individually. It depends on the severity of the charge, the length of the sentence, what position the State takes, whether the individual judge assigned to that particular case is willing to approve it, and whether the sheriff’s office/jail approves it.

City of Cedar Rapids dismisses charge of wild or dangerous animal against my client, after dog bit a neighbor.

Iowa Supreme Court holds that the crime of carrying weapons  while intoxicated requires more than mere possession, but “carrying,” which is narrower than possessing. Hence a jury instruction which allows a jury to convict based on mere possession, actual or constructive, is erroneous.

Furthermore, the Court held that a jury cannot be instructed that the Defendant’s out of court statements can be considered to have the same weight as if made at the trial. Such is erroneous because the Defendant was not under oath when the out of court statements were made.

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