District Court Judge rules in my client’s favor, canceling temporary domestic abuse protective no contact order, and declining to grant final no contact order, finding after hearing, witness testimony, cross examination, and review of exhibits that the petitioner had failed to sustain her burden of proof of domestic assault.

In Timbs v. Indiana, the U.S. Supreme Court has held that the Eighth Amendment’s Excessive Fines Clause is an incorporated protection applicable to the States under the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause.

Tyson Timbs was convicted in state court of dealing controlled substances. At the time of Timbs’s arrest, the police seized a Land Rover SUV Timbs had purchased for $42,000 with money he received from an insurance policy when his father died. The State sought civil forfeiture of Timbs’s vehicle, charging that the SUV had been used to transport heroin. Observing that Timbs recently had purchased the vehicle for more than four times the maximum $10,000 monetary fine assessable against him for his drug conviction, the trial court denied the State’s request. The vehicle’s forfeiture, the court determined, would be grossly disproportionate to the gravity of Timbs’s offense, and therefore unconstitutional under the Eighth Amendment’s Excessive Fines Clause. The Court of Appeals of Indiana affirmed, but the Indiana Supreme Court reversed, holding that the Excessive Fines Clause constrains only federal action and is inapplicable to state impositions. However, the U.S. Supreme Court disagreed with the Indiana Supreme Court, holding that the 8th Amendment’s Excessive Fines Clause is applicable to the states.

When charged with harassment, and the allegedly harassing or threatening statement is made to a third party (not the alleged target), there must be evidence that the Defendant intended the threat to be communicated to the target. Acquittal is required when the evidence is insufficient to prove intent to communicate to the alleged target of harassment in an email to a third party.

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The Iowa Court of Appeals has ruled that the pat down search of a suspect was unconstitutional, for it went beyond the consent for a search for weapons, and the officer squeezed and manipulated the pockets before pulling out a pill container which could not be immediately identified as illegal contraband prior to pulling it out of the pocket.

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Client charged with Operating While Intoxicated has charge dismissed.

Client charged with operating while intoxicated (OWI), possession of drugs, and possession of drug paraphernalia obtains a deferred judgment on the possession charge, and dismissal of the OWI and paraphernalia charges.

Client charged with domestic abuse assault causing injury has charge plead down to simple misdemeanor disorderly conduct for a deferred judgment and probation.

Iowa Supreme Court discusses how criminal restitution should be properly calculated and proven. In this case, the Court reversed the lower courts, holding that the restitution was unproven, excessive, and not legally cognizable.

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Iowa Supreme Court rules that a defendant cannot be sentenced as a habitual offender for felony OWI 3rd offense because the maximum sentence for this offense is set specifically by statute; hence the specific maximum takes precedence over the general habitual offender rule.

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Iowa Supreme Court rules that jury instructions must contain marshalling instructions explaining whether specific intent or general intent applies, and to which crimes.

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Iowa Supreme Court rules that a motion to suppress should have been granted in the case in which the police justified the stop of a vehicle based on the community caretaking function, wherein the police claimed they were doing a safety check on a person who was a passenger whom they believed might be there and who previously might had been in a motor vehicle accident in another vehicle. The requirements of the community caretaking function were not met.

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