Iowa Supreme Court again confirms that any order regarding restitution is neither appealable nor enforceable until the court files its final order of restitution after a determination of the defendant’s reasonable ability to pay. Interim restitution orders are not enforceable, and collection efforts must await the district court’s determination of the defendant’s reasonable ability to pay all items of restitution and entry of the final order of restitution. Interim orders should state that no sums are due before then. A court cannot determine reasonable ability to pay until all restitution amounts are known.

Although restitution to victims, clerk of court for fines, penalties, and surcharges are required regardless of the offender’s reasonable ability to pay,  a second category of restitution does require a determination of reasonable ability to pay, and includes crime victim compensation program reimbursement, restitution to public agencies pursuant to section 321J.2(13)(b)(emergency response by fire fighting, law enforcement, ambulance, medical, or other emergency services), court costs including correctional fees approved pursuant to 356.7, court appointed attorney fees ordered pursuant to 815.9 – including expense of a public defender, contribution to a local anti-crime organization, and restitution to the medical assistance program pursuant to chapter 249A.

 

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Iowa Supreme Court reverses theft conviction. The Defendant wrote checks without authorization from a bank account that was not hers. The State charged her with violating Iowa Code section 714.1(6), which provides that a person commits theft if the person knows that such check will not be paid when presented. In fact, the checks written were paid when presented, and there was no evidence that the Defendant knew the check would not be paid when presented. Hence, the Defendant was not guilty of that particular crime.

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The Iowa Supreme Court has held that when a Defendant applies for expungement of a dismissed case under Iowa Code section 901C.2, the Defendant need only prove that the financial obligations regarding that singular dismissed case have been paid in order to qualify for expungement, and does not have to prove payment of financial obligations in other cases. Iowa Code section 901C.2(1)(a)(2) requires the Defendant to establish he/she satisfied all financial obligations ordered by the court or assessed by the clerk of the district court only in the singular criminal case in which the application for expungement was filed and for which expungement was sought.

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Iowa Court of Appeals rules there was insufficient evidence for conspiracy or drug tax stamp convictions.

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Iowa Court of Appeals rules there is insufficient evidence of aiding and abetting to support a conviction for eluding or child endangerment.

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The Iowa Supreme Court has ruled that there isn’t the same sentencing reduction for drug offenses when there is a firearms enhancement to the sentence.

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Iowa Court of Appeals rules that a Defendant asking if his wife is going to come is sufficient to invoke the Iowa Code section 804.20 right to make a call or have communication with a family member, and as such, failing to inform the Defendant that he could call her was a violation of his rights, requiring suppression of evidence.

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Iowa Court of Appeals suppresses evidence obtained as a result of unconstitutional entry into the home even though the officer did so out of concern for the welfare of a minor child. Still, the concerns and facts were not sufficient to justify a warrantless entry. Another adult child merely opening the door and walking away is not consent or permission to enter.

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Iowa Court of Appeals rules that telephonic or electronic threats of harm do not constitute an assault, and hence a no contact order should not have been granted.

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Forcible felony mandatory minimum sentence can be reduced for a first offense of this kind, and a court must be aware of and consider the factors weighing favor of reduction.

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A Davenport police officer mistakenly arrested Troy Ford based on an outstanding warrant for a different individual. Ford argued the search incident to that invalid arrest was unreasonable and the district court should have suppressed the marijuana found. Because the officer did not act reasonably in searching Ford before verifying his identity as the person named in the warrant, the Iowa Court of Appeals held that the evidence should have been suppressed.

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For first degree murder, the state must prove specific intent to kill existed at the time of the homicidal act; and it is improper to suggest the defendant’s specific intent may exist at any time. Even if such specific intent existed in the past, it is not proof beyond a reasonable doubt that such specific intent existed at the time of the act, as opposed to a spur of the moment decision.

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