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McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C.

Many questions pass through your head when the handcuffs click shut as you are arrested. Will I be going to jail? What will this mean for my job? What will this mean for my family? What is happening to me right now, and what will it take to get things back to normal?

Whether you are facing criminal charges for the first time or the 10th, being arrested is an event that will fill you with uncertainty and fear. A skilled criminal defense attorney can not only help you understand what your situation is and what your options are, but can represent you throughout your ordeal  and advocate for your best interests.

Des Moines Criminal Defense Lawyer

You can turn to more than four decades of combined experience representing those accused of criminal charges by hiring a Des Moines criminal defense lawyer from McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C.. We will use the knowledge and the skills we have earned in those decades of practice to zealously represent you, whatever charges you might be facing, and whether those charges are in Polk County, Dallas County or in federal court.

We are dedicated to guarding the rights of those faced with losing their liberty, and it's a job we take very seriously. The passion we have for our job and the experience we have doing it are what makes us such capable advocates. Call McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. today at (888) 317-4978 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your criminal accusations.

We represent clients throughout the state of Iowa. We are based in West Des Moines, and practice frequently the Des Moines area, including in Ankeny, Urbandale, Johnston, Altoona and throughout Polk County and Dallas County. We are licensed in the U.S. District Courts in both the Southern District and the Northern District of Iowa, covering the entire Hawkeye State.

Dedicated Polk County Defense With the Experience It Takes

Our lawyers have spent, together, nearly half a century fighting for the rights of those accused of crimes in Des Moines. They are licensed in both state courts and federal courts, and have practiced extensively in both.

Timothy McCarthy II has been a licensed attorney since 1983, and is eligible to practice in courts ranging all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court. Criminal defendants are not the only people seeking Tim's experience: He has also taught law students at Drake University and other lawyers at various seminars.

Aaron Hamrock has practiced law for nearly two decades, and is licensed in both state courts and federal courts in Iowa. 

The High Bar Des Moines Prosecutors Must Meet

When the government accuses a person of a crime, it becomes the government's responsibility to prove that person committed the crime. To do this, they must prove every element of their charge beyond a reasonable doubt, and must convince a jury they have does this. "Beyond reasonable doubt" means that there can be no other possibilities of what happened other than the one they present, save some completely far-fetched and unlikely scenario.

Every criminal charge has multiple elements, and prosecutors must bring evidence to meet the same standard of proof for every one. For instance, for the drug charge of simple possession, prosecutors must prove not only that you possessed the drugs, but that you did so knowingly and willingly. If they can't prove that you had it knowingly and willingly, they can't prove their case.

The Role of a Defense Attorney in Iowa Criminal Cases

The defense attorney does not have to prove the accused is innocent — in fact, the defense attorney doesn't have to prove anything at all. There are a few important roles that a criminal defense lawyer does have.

First, the defense attorney is there to protect the rights of the defendant. Police and prosecutors have various ways of obtaining evidence, from searching your home or car to wiretapping your phones to tracking your cell phone to hacking into your email. These are called "searches." The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution protects you from unreasonable searches and seizures.

Your Des Moines criminal defense lawyer can challenge the constitutionality of the searches and whether police had sufficient probable cause to conduct the search, and had followed the right procedures. If they did not, the evidence might thrown out, leaving the prosecution with little evidence to pursue their case.

For instance, you are facing charges of marijuana cultivation. Police said they found a marijuana growhouse in your backyard. However, the way they found that is by breaking open a locked gate in an 8-foot privacy fence. Police need a warrant to do that, and the police did not have one. The marijuana and the growhouse equipment is deemed inadmissible and suppressed by a motion from your attorney, leaving prosecutors with no evidence. The charges are dropped.

A Defense Attorney Pokes Holes in the Polk County DA's Case

Second, your Des Moines criminal defense lawyer will show the holes in the prosecutor's case, exposing the reasonable doubt. If there is any reasonable doubt in any of the elements of the charge, the jury has no choice but to acquit.

For instance, you are facing charges of a sex crime. A critical piece of evidence of sexual abuse, in your case, is the so-called victim's testimony that she refused consent. Your lawyer can vigorously cross-examine the victim and expose inconsistencies in what she says. If the jury does not completely believe her, it may lead to a Not Guilty verdict.

Federal and Iowa Criminal Charges

There are both federal and state criminal laws. Federal laws cover a gamut of different topics. Many of them are financial crimes involving fraud accusations where the alleged fraud crossed state borders. However, the feds are frequently also involved in prosecuting drug crimes, particularly drug trafficking.

Federal criminal accusations are heard in federal court. While the same principles of justice apply, there are different rules and different procedures. It is critical for your attorney to be both licensed and knowledgeable in federal court hearings.

At McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C., our defense lawyers have extensive experience in Iowa federal courts. They are licensed in both the Northern and Southern Districts of Iowa, as well as in the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. They have represented many Iowans against federal criminal charges.

Seeking Justice for an Iowa Personal Injury

If you have been injured due to another person's negligence, you can seek compensation for your injuries in civil courts. Negligence means that someone had a responsibility to act a certain way, and failed to act accordingly. Negligence can be involved in auto accidents, slip and falls, workplace accidents and other instances where a person might be injured.

Aaron Hamrock, of McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C., represents victims of negligence in Des Moines, in addition to those accused of crimes. Everyone should get their fair shot in court, whether they are accused of a crime or seeking to be compensated for their losses due to an injury. A hard-working Des Moines personal injury lawyer can help those victims get justice.

McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. | Polk County Criminal Defense Attorney

If you're facing criminal charges, you don't have to face them alone. You can have an experienced Des Moines criminal defense lawyer from McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. representing you. Our defense attorneys have more than 40 years of experience fighting for the rights of people in Iowa accused of committing crimes. They will put that experience to work for you. Call us today at (888) 317-4978 to set up a free consultation.

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1200 Valley West Drive
Suite 400
West Des Moines, IA 50266
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" I want to again thank you both for the deft, calm and professional manner in which you handled my case. Legal competence is often lacking these days, but you folks are truly skilled in representing a client, at least in my book. You made a potentially horrible situation bearable. I would highly recommend you to anyone, should that situation present itself. "

-Greg R.

" I just wanted to thank you for representing me in my criminal case. Honestly, I probably wouldn't be where I am if it wasn't for you! So THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart! "

-Jamie H. Read More ›