Iowa Supreme Court issued an interesting ruling regarding what constitutes perjury and obstruction of justice. The standards are higher than one might think.

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U.S. Supreme Court issues interesting reversal of conviction as a result of a violation of the Defendant’s confrontation clause rights.

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Extension of a no contact order requires more than mere fear, but must be grounded upon something objective after the initial no contact protective order was granted.

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Client’s theft charge dismissed. Client was actually innocent and merely present at the time another person committed a theft.

Iowa Court of Appeals holds that there was insufficient evidence of an assault to grant a domestic protective order (no contact order). The Defendant was pushing the door open to get inside to retrieve an item, and had no intent to place the Petitioner in fear of unwanted touching, so even if the door made contact with the Petitioner, it was not an assault.

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Iowa Supreme Court reaffirms that the State cannot in an untimely matter amend a Trial Information to charge a new or different crime with different elements, or a different version of the crime, as opposed to a different method of committing the same crime, particularly if the punishment would be greater.

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The Iowa Supreme Court has confirmed yet again that warrantless searches of one’s trash cans and containers, otherwise known as trash rips, in most cases are unconstitutional.

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Iowa Court of Appeals holds that when a subject is surrounded by officers, confronted with evidence of guilt, not free to leave, and some suggestions of potential leniency are made if the subject spoke, Miranda warnings are required.

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Iowa Court of Appeals holds that police unlawfully extended a stop/seizure to investigate a potential OWI without sufficient cause. The vehicle was stopped because the passenger was not wearing a seatbelt. Although the driver seemed nervous and had reddened eyes, that was not enough to extend the stop into a full-blown OWI investigation.

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Iowa Court of Appeals rules that there was insufficient evidence of assault in order to issue a protective no contact order, reversing and remanding for dismissal of the NCO.

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In the recent case of State of Iowa vs. Mitchell Khan, the Iowa Court of Appeals engaged in a very helpful nuanced analysis of the speedy indictment rules. The Court agreed that the State had violated Khan’s right to a speedy indictment, and his motion to dismiss pursuant to Iowa Rule of Criminal Procedure 2.33(2)(a) should have been granted. That rule requires the State to file a trial information within 45 days of the date of a defendant’s arrest. The issue was when the 45 days started. Khan was pulled over on November 22, 2019, handcuffed, transported to jail, told he was under arrest, accused in a complaint and affidavit of OWI, and then released after posting bond.

Khan argued that the 45 days began when he was taken into custody and arrested. The State argued it did not begin to run until his initial appearance before a magistrate, or the date he waived that appearance. The Iowa Court of Appeals agreed with Khan.

In State v. Williams, 895 N.W. 2d 856 (Iowa 2017), the Iowa Supreme Court provided guidance on two questions: (1) In what cases does the speedy indictment rule apply? and (2) If the rule applies, when does its 45-day period begin?

When the first question is in dispute, Williams requires courts to consider whether a defendant was brought before a magistrate or waived the appearance. Yet, there was no dispute that the rule applied in this case. Hence, the only remaining question was from what event did the 45 days run.

The time for bringing the indictment runs from the initial arrest. The rule commences upon arrest and is triggered from the time a person is taken into custody. A brief investigative detention or similar seizure is not sufficient alone. The arrest requires the person be taken into custody in the manner authorized by law. Therefore, the arrest must meet the requirements of Iowa Code sections 804.5 and 804.14(1). Those provisions require the person making the arrest to inform the person being arrested of the intention to arrest, the reason for the arrest, the identity of the person making the arrest as a peace officer, and the requirement of the person to submit to custody.

Applying those standards, Khan was arrested on November 22, and the 45-day period began on that date.

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The U.S. Supreme Court rules that not all hot pursuits allow law enforcement to enter a home without a warrant. Under the Fourth Amendment, pursuit of a fleeing misdemeanor suspect does not always—that is, categorically—justify a warrantless entry into a home. There must be a case-by-case assessment of exigency when deciding whether a suspected misdemeanant’s flight justifies a warrantless home entry. The Court has found that such exigencies may exist when an officer must act to prevent imminent injury, the destruction of evidence, or a suspect’s escape.

“The flight of a suspected misdemeanant does not always justify a warrantless entry into a home. An officer must consider all the circumstances in a pursuit case to determine whether there is a law enforcement emergency. On many occasions, the officer will have good reason to enter—to prevent imminent harms of violence, destruction of evidence, or escape from the home. But when the officer has time to get a warrant, he must do so—even though the misdemeanant fled.”

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