A fixed sentencing policy by a judge is improper, and requires remand for a re-sentencing before a different judge.
There can be no burglary or trespass when the common area or lobby of an occupied structure or building may potentially be open to the public, and the state has failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant would have an objective belief that the structure was not open to the public.
Kidnapping requires more than a mere seizure, but proof of confinement that makes the additional or separate other crime worse. The confinement element of Kidnapping is not established simply by evidence that the defendant impeded the victim’s movement by pointing a handgun at the victim for a period of time before shooting and killing him.
Iowa Supreme Court releases several cases concerning analysis of how to determine whether there is a fair cross section of the community representation in Iowa jury pools:
Iowa Supreme Court holds that under the expungement statute, a Defendant must pay all legally required costs and fees, including court-appointed attorney fees, before the Defendant is eligible for expungment of dismissed charges.
Iowa Court of Appeals holds that there was insufficient evidence produced at trial proving a felony conviction, which was necessary for the charge of felon in possession of a firearm, and therefore dismissal was required.
After a hearing with the Iowa Department of Transportation contesting the revocation of my client’s driver’s license, the IDOT Administrative Law Judge agreed that my client’s right to an Independent Chemical Test under Iowa Code section 321J.11 was violated, and therefore the administrative driver’s license revocation had to be rescinded and my client’s driver’s license not be revoked. As a result, the County Attorney agreed to a plea agreement in which the serious misdemeanor Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) criminal charge was amended and plead down to a lesser offense of simple misdemeanor simulating public intoxication for a fine.
After filing a motion to suppress and supportive brief in an Operating a Motor Vehicle While Under the Influence of Drugs case, a plea agreement was arrived upon wherein the Defendant plead guilty to the lesser amended offense of simple misdemeanor public intoxication for a fine and completion of an OWI Weekend program, and the State consented to a motion in limine suppressing the test refusal, which mean that my client would get her drivers license returned to her. An attendant charge of possession of drug paraphernalia was dismissed.
Iowa Court of Appeals rules that it is impermissible and a violation of the hearsay rule to admit a sworn deposition for the purpose of impeaching the testimony contained therein by using an unsworn out of court recorded hearsay statement by a witness who does not testify at trial. “The right given to the State to impeach its own witnesses . . . is to be used as a shield and not as a sword. The State is not entitled . . . to place a witness on the stand who is expected to give unfavorable testimony and then, in the guise of impeachment, offer evidence which is otherwise inadmissible.”
Iowa Supreme Court rules that an initial positive laboratory test for drugs is not sufficient for a conviction of OWI for having any amount of a controlled substance in the person’s urine.
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.