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Criminal man with handcuffs in interrogation room


Mark Olberding Nov. 17, 2021

Accusations of domestic violence can leave you feeling confused, even overwhelmed. Criminal courts in Iowa take domestic violence and abuse charges very seriously—individuals convicted of domestic violence can face severe consequences. In fact, according to 24/7 Wall St., more than 8,400 violent crimes were reported to law enforcement across Iowa in 2019 alone.

Whether you are falsely accused of domestic violence or the accusations are legitimate, consider speaking with a skilled criminal defense attorney to determine your best course of action. As an attorney who has practiced law for more than three decades, I am dedicated to representing your best interests and helping you navigate the criminal justice system in Nevada, Iowa.

At the Olberding Law Office, I handle domestic violence cases in Nevada and throughout Story, Marshall, Hamilton, Hardin, and Boone Counties.

Domestic Violence in Iowa

Domestic violence is also known as “domestic abuse” in the State of Iowa. Domestic violence charges in Iowa are based on assault statutes and the Domestic Abuse Act. According to Iowa law, a person commits assault when they threaten or engage in offensive or injurious physical contact or use a firearm in a threatening manner.

If an assault is committed against a member of the same family or household, the defendant can face domestic violence charges. Members of the same family or household include married people, divorced or separated people, people living together or those who have cohabitated in the past 12 months, people who share minor children, and people who are in a romantic relationship or dating one another.

Possible Consequences

If you are facing domestic violence charges in Iowa, it is important to understand possible consequences. Punishment for domestic violence depends on the number of previous offenses on the defendant’s record as well as the presence of aggravating factors (e.g., the use of a firearm, life-threatening injuries, etc.).

Possible jail time and fines depend on the classification of the offense:

  1. Simple Misdemeanor is punishable by a maximum jail sentence of 30 days and between $105 and $855 in fines;

  2. Serious Misdemeanor is punishable by up to 12 months in jail and between $430 and $2,560 in fines;

  3. Aggravated Misdemeanor is punishable by up to two years in prison and between $855 and $8,540 in fines; and

  4. Class D Felony is punishable by up to five years in prison and between $1,025 and $10,245 in fines.

Other possible penalties and consequences associated with domestic violence charges in Iowa may include:

  • Deferred judgment;

  • No-contact or restraining order preventing the convicted person from trying to communicate with or going near the alleged victim for up to 5 years;

  • Completion of Iowa Domestic Abuse Program (IDAP)

  • Loss of voting rights;

  • Loss of gun rights; or

  • Deportation.

Legal Defenses to Domestic Violence Charges in Iowa

Depending on the type and circumstances of the domestic violence-related offense, the defendant may be able to use the following defenses to fight against the charges and seek to reduce—or even avoid—the potential punishments:

  • Mistaken Identity — If the alleged victim suffered harm at the hands of someone else, you could use the “mistaken identity” defense.

  • False Accusations — If the alleged victim accused you of physical assault, sexual abuse, or another form of domestic violence, but the accusations are simply not true, your attorney could attempt to demonstrate this.

  • Lack of Intent — If you caused the accuser’s injury by accident, your chances of an assault conviction are substantially lower because you had no intent to cause harm.

  • Self-Defense — If you were trying to defend yourself or your children and you used a reasonable amount of force, your attorney can use this information to benefit you and your case. 

Contact a skilled criminal defense attorney to review your unique situation and determine the best defense strategy in your case to avoid the negative consequences of a domestic violence charge in Nevada or elsewhere in Iowa.

How Olberding Law Office Can Help

If you are facing domestic violence charges, consider contacting a knowledgeable attorney right away. As an experienced and trusted criminal defense attorney at Olberding Law Office, I am prepared to protect your rights and help you seek to lessen or avoid the negative consequences associated with a domestic violence charge. I will do everything in my power to improve the chances of a favorable outcome and safeguard your freedom and reputation during this difficult time. Set up a consultation today.