Culp, Doran & Genest, P.L.C
Contact Us Today
Phone: 515-288-3333
Toll Free: 877-515-6615

Des Moines Criminal Defense Blog

Do I need an Attorney If I'm Innocent?

Many defendants believe they can save money by representing themselves in criminal matters, especially when they know they did not commit the crime with which they've been charged. However, while it is possible to represent yourself, you will find that, often, the assistance, guidance, and experience offered by an attorney is crucial to your defense, even if you're innocent.

Preparing to Meet a Criminal Defense Attorney

If you are facing criminal charges, you are under a lot of stress. The last thing you want to do is hinder your defense team by being unprepared for your initial consultation- this only results in a waste of precious time. By preparing yourself to meet with an attorney, you can improve your experience in the criminal court system.

Child Custody and Visitation 101

Many of the cases we deal with involve questions regarding custodial issues surrounding children. These issues generally include where and who the children will live with and, if they are going to live primarily with one parent, what access the other parent will have to the children.

Is it ever a good idea to refuse a breath test?

Given what is known about the unreliability of handheld breath devices like the Datamaster, it is easy to understand why some people mistakenly believe that refusing to take a breath test will come with fewer penalties than taking one and failing. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Iowa, like every other state in the union, has an implied consent law on the books for licensed drivers. This law makes it dangerous for anyone to refuse a police officer's request to test for alcohol.

Know Your Rights

If you are detained or searched:

When you are stopped or searched by the police, it is important for you to understand your legal rights. The best way to do so is to speak with an attorney as soon as possible. An attorney understands how to handle your situation and help you make an informed decision.

The Legal Side of LGBTQ Relationships

Major recent shifts in Iowa legislation and case law have led to expanded rights and benefits for LGBTQ individuals. Now, the task lies in harnessing and taking advantage of that equality. LGBTQ individuals face a number of challenges that cisgender, heterosexual individuals have never had to stop and think about. This is especially true for personal issues, whether that be marriage and separation issues, adoption issues, estate planning issues, or name and gender changes.

Mediation Questions Answered

Family law issues are generally not open and close cases. Things are very rarely black and white. When families are in turmoil, emotions run high and people are willing to fight. That naturally will bog down a court system, making cases last longer and cost more.

To help alleviate that problem, many courts in Iowa order parties to participate in mediation. Mediations can be useful. They offer an easier, less formal, less stressful, and less expensive way to settle whatever conflict is plaguing a family. However, they often do not satisfy the person who only wants to fight. This is the nature of mediation.

Do hygiene products affect breathalyzer tests?

People have been trying to beat the breathalyzer test for many years. There is a myth that sucking on a copper penny causes a chemical reaction in your saliva to make you pass a breathalyzer test if you have been drinking and driving. There is no scientific basis at all for this claim, and today's pennies are made mostly of zinc. Do not try this. Another myth is that breath fresheners, mouthwash, or strong and stinky foods can mask the alcohol in your breath and lower the blood alcohol content (BAC) readings.