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Domestic Abuse Assault

Assaulting any person is a crime. But if accused of assaulting a member of your household or family, you may face heightened penalties and protection orders that may dramatically impact your life. Domestic violence claims, like domestic abuse assault, can often be based on misunderstandings, or even allegations that are outright false. Your attorney can represent you on all matters and point out the flaws in the case against you.

Attorney for “Domestic Abuse Assault” in Des Moines, Iowa

At McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C., our criminal defense attorneys have nearly 50 years of combined experience representing clients in all kinds of tough cases, including domestic violence. Your Des Moines domestic abuse assault lawyer can aggressively defend you, as well as represent you in protection order hearings. We will be on your side during this challenging time. Call us today at (515) 279-9700 to set up a free consultation to discuss your domestic assault charges.

Our attorneys represent those accused of domestic abuse assault in Polk County, Dallas County, and throughout the Des Moines area, including Ankeny and Urbandale, as well as anywhere in the state of Iowa. We are based in West Des Moines.

Domestic Abuse Assault Charges in Iowa

In Iowa Code 708.1, assault is defined as an act committed by the accused that causes pain or injury to another, is intended to cause physical contact that is offensive or insulting, or puts another in fear of immediate physical contact that will be painful, injurious, insulting or offensive with the apparent ability to fulfill the threat, or pointing a gun or displaying a weapon in a threatening manner at the victim.

When such an act is performed against a person the accused has a relationship with that is included in Iowa Code 236.2, it is domestic abuse assault. Those relationships can include people who:

  • Live in the same household, or have in the past year;
  • Are family, or have been in the past year;
  • Were spouses, but are separated or divorced;
  • Have a child together; or
  • Are in an intimate relationship, including a sexual relationship, or have been in the past year.

This includes husbands, wives, children, brothers, sisters, grandparents, ex-husbands, ex-wives, boyfriends, girlfriends and others. A parent may spank a child, but the line can be fine and lead to child abuse allegations.

You do not have to lay hands on anyone to be convicted of domestic abuse assault. A simple threat is sufficient if there is reason to believe you have the capability of carrying the threat out.

Punishment for Domestic Abuse Assault Charges in Iowa

The first domestic abuse assault conviction is a “simple misdemeanor,” if the incident did not cause injury or mental illness. A simple misdemeanor is punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a fine from $65 to $625.

If there was injury or mental illness, the charges become a “serious misdemeanor” which is punishable by a year in prison and a fine from $315 to $1,875. For a serious injury, the charges become an aggravated misdemeanor, with up to two years in prison and a fine from $625 to $6,250.

Under Iowa Code 708.2A, the potential punishments escalate after the first offense, but for either a first or second offense, you will spend a minimum of two days in jail.

  1. If the first offense was a simple misdemeanor, then a second offense that would be the same charge becomes a serious misdemeanor.
  2. If the first charge was a serious or aggravated misdemeanor, or the second charge would normally be a serious misdemeanor, then the second charge is an aggravated misdemeanor charge. For a first or second offense, you will spend a minimum of two days in jail.
  3. Any third or subsequent offense, even if it would normally be classified as a simple misdemeanor, is a Class D felony. A Class D felony is punishable by up to five years in prison, with a minimum of one year, and a fine of $1,000 to $10,000.

Additionally, you may be subject to a protection order. The protection order can severely disrupt your life, and any violation of the order could lead to jail time.

Your Des Moines domestic violence attorney can represent you both in the criminal matter and in a protective order hearing.

Domestic Abuse Assault by Strangulation in Iowa

Under Senate File 93, the new legislation enhanced the penalty for certain types of domestic abuse assault cases. The new law provides that a person commits an aggravated misdemeanor if the person commits domestic abuse assault by knowingly impeding the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of another by applying pressure to the throat or neck of the other person, or by obstructing the nose or mouth of the other person.

If such a domestic abuse assault causes bodily injury, the person commits a class “D” felony.

A law enforcement officer shall arrest the person performing acts that violate this statute and whom the officer believes to be the primary physical aggressor just as in other domestic abuse assault situations. The offense is classified as a class “D” felony but is exempted from the definition of a forcible felony.

An offense exempted from the definition of a forcible felony allows a person convicted of such an offense to be eligible for a suspended or deferred sentence, or a deferred judgment.

Attorney for “Domestic Abuse Assault” in Polk County, Iowa

If you face charges of domestic abuse assault, you can have a skilled attorney on your side. Have an experienced Des Moines domestic abuse assault lawyer from McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. represent you. We will fight for your rights throughout this difficult time. Contact us today at (515) 279-9700 for a free consultation.

Contact us today at (515) 279-9700 for a free consultation.