Iowa Criminal Lawyer

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In 2007 in the state of Iowa there were 171,587 total criminal offenses. If you are facing a criminal charge, you will need help from an experienced Iowa criminal attorney. Criminal attorneys, who are knowledgeable about the criminal justice system, can dramatically affect the outcome of your case in a court of law. The criminal defense attorney must be licensed to handle criminal cases in Iowa and be able to handle cases within the jurisdiction.

Crimes include both felonies and misdemeanors, but can be generally defined as any act or behavior in violation of a law prohibiting it. Felonies are more serious, and can include, but are not limited to: rape, aggravated assault and/or battery, kidnapping, torture, grand theft, extortion, espionage, embezzlement, fraud, grand theft, and murder. Misdemeanors are less serious offenses, like petty theft, disorderly conduct, trespassing, vandalisms, robbery, prostitution and simple assault and/or battery.

There is a range of punishments for those who have either pleaded guilty or been convicted of a crime by a court of law. These punishments can be as minor as a fine, or as severe as life imprisonment without parole or the death sentence. Other possible punishments include community service, probation or parole, a suspended sentence pending the completion of some mandated rehabilitation program, and the revocation of professional licenses and/or civil rights such as the right to vote or the right ot hold public office.

The only thing worse than being accused of a crime is being accused of a crime you did not commit. Whether or not you are guilty, if you have been charged with a crime, you need the best criminal attorney you can afford on your side. In the United States justice system, you will have an attorney assigned to you if you cannot pay.

It is the primary responsibility of a criminal lawyer to protect the best interests of the client, irrespective of his or her guilt. This client-centered, rather than system-centered, legal approach means that client's best interest is paramount as long as the defense counsel is not committing a crime or fraud on the court.

Most ordinary crimes are covered by state criminal laws. For instance, a burglary that took place within Iowa jurisdiction and was committed by a local resident is governed by the state laws and handled by local prosecutors. An effective criminal defense lawyer is committed to protecting the rights of the accused and is well-versed in the criminal process, such as jury selection and pretrial hearings, as well as the actual trial proceedings and evidence presentation. An attorney will also set pretrial motions, form pleas as necessary and assist in getting bail.

Criminal offenses may be felonies or misdemeanors, depending on the severity of the deed. Serious crimes punishable by more than a year's imprisonment are termed as felonies. An individual charged with a felony has the right to a jury trial. Misdemeanors are crimes generally punishable by less than one year's imprisonment. No matter how serious the charges, the state must be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the deed he/she is accused of and with a guilty mind.

A professional criminal defense attorney will understand the criminal justice process as defined in the state of practice, as well as be proficient in the guidelines of the state laws, the specific criminal rules and procedures, and the stages of the proceedings applicable in a case. A certified lawyer can provide a quality legal representation and ensure a just trial. The Iowa Bar Association can help you locate a lawyer who will fight on your side. The American Bar Association (ABA) website is free to access, and can help you locate a qualified professional in your area.