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Harassing, following or doing any actions that could be stalking can lead to criminal charges in Iowa. Stalking is listed under the Iowa statutes as a felony-level crime, which means expensive fines in the thousands and even time spend in prison. It’s important you don’t take the charges lightly when it comes to stalking and act right away. 

If you or someone you know has been charged with stalking, it’s time you find trusted legal representation as soon as possible. An accomplished and experienced attorney can overlook your case and develop a defense plan to fight your charges. They can utilize collected evidence, call on expert witnesses and do whatever’s possible to fight for your freedom. Do what’s best for your future and contact an experienced criminal defense attorney today.

Defense Attorney for Stalking in West Des Moines, IA

Have you been arrested for the crime of stalking the West Des Moines area? If so, then it’s important you have legal counsel that you can trust. Our suggestion is to call McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C.. Their experienced violent crimes attorneys understand how stressful a charge can be and have years of practice representing people accused of all types of crimes including stalking.

Contact us by calling (515) 279-9700 and we will set up your first consultation free. There we can discuss your legal options, defense plan and what to do next. McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. represents people throughout the greater Polk County and Dallas County area including Adel, Altoona, Waukee, Polk City, West Des Moines and Miniburn.

Overview of Stalking in Iowa

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Iowa’s Laws on Stalking

Before you can fully understand the penalties for stalking you must learn some legal definitions first. Certain terms such as “repeatedly” are used in a legal sense and may have a different meaning than how you use it colloquially. Under the Iowa Code Section 708.11, the term “accompanying offense” refers to any public offense committed alongside the original crime of stalking. The legal definition for “repeatedly” means two or more occasions.

Iowa defines “course of conduct” as repeatedly maintaining a visual or physical proximity to a person without a legitimate purpose. It can also mean repeatedly utilizing an electronic device to locate, listen, watch or harass the victim or their immediate family members.

 Iowa statues state you’re guilty of stalking if you:

  • Purposefully engage in a course of conduct directed at the victim that would cause a reasonable person to be in fear, feel terrorized, intimidated or threatened that you will inflict bodily injury or death on the victim or their loved ones; and
  • Have knowledge or should have knowledge that a reasonable person would feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, or threatened that you intend to cause bodily injury or death on the victim or their loved ones

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Penalties for Committing Stalking in Iowa

Iowa has established harsh penalties for people convicted of stalking. A first-time stalking offense is an aggravated misdemeanor, which can lead to a fine between $625 and $6,250 and a jail sentence of up to two years. The charge, however, can be classified as a class D felony if the following occur: 

  • You were under the restrictions of a civil or criminal injunction or protective order;
  • You committed the crime with a dangerous weapon in possession;
  • The victim was under the age of 18 years old; or
  • You have a prior stalking conviction. 

A dangerous weapon under Iowa Code is any device or instrument that was designed to or can easily be used to inflict serious injury or death. Some examples include firearms, knives with a blade longer than five inches and razors. Committing stalking a third or subsequent offense is a class C felony, which can lead to a fine of between $1,000 and $10,000 as well as a prison sentence of up to 10 years.

It’s important to remember that if you have already received deferred judgement for stalking, it can be used against you in court as a prior offense. It’s also imperative you understand that Iowa’s courts do not send out a summons when you’ve been charged with stalking. An officer will come to your door and arrest you instead. Not only this, but you will be unable to be released pursuant pretrial release guidelines or a bond schedule until you have your initial appearance in front of a magistrate. 

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Additional Resources 

Crime Victim Assistance Links – Visit the official website for the Iowa Department of Justice and Office of the Attorney General Tom Miller to access some victim assistance links. Find more information pertaining to domestic abuse, sexual assault, shelters, human trafficking and how to prosecute your abusers.

Stalking Laws in Iowa – Visit the official website for the Iowa Code to learn more about how stalking laws work in Iowa. Access the site to learn more about the elements, inadmissible defenses, legal definitions and other related assaultive crimes.

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Stalking Defense Lawyer in Polk County, IA

If you or someone you know has been arrested for stalking, then it’s crucial you have a strong legal team behind you. Stalking can be a felony-level charge and if you have a deferred judgement related to it the court can use that as a prior conviction. Don’t wait another day to figure out how you’re going to fight back. Call McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. now for legal counsel.

Our criminal defense lawyers at McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. will do whatever it takes to defend you. Let us guide you through this process with a sturdy defense plan. Call (515) 279-9700 to set up your first consultation free in the West Des Moines area including Altoona, Adel, Miniburn, Waukee, and Polk City.