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Des Moines Legal Issues Blog

Iowa woman faces child endangerment, OWI charges after wreck

It is not uncommon for additional criminal charges to be filed alongside allegations of drunk driving. This can exacerbate a person's legal situation, making their criminal defense needs more complex. An Iowa woman is currently facing this type of complex legal matter, with OWI charges and allegations of child endangerment.

Police initially responded to an accident report at around 9 a.m. on a recent Sunday. When they arrived, they apparently discovered a vehicle that had heavy damage to its front end. The 25-year-old driver told authorities that her children -- aged 2 months and 6 years old -- had distracted her, and that, because of them, she had crashed into a retaining wall.

Iowa mother's criminal defense plans unclear

Charges for child endangerment were recently filed against an Iowa mother. According to police, she left the country while her four children remained at home without adult supervision. Charges involving minors are taken understandably seriously by law enforcement officials, and establishing a solid criminal defense can be crucial for either maintaining or regaining custody of involved children.

Police claim that the mother planned a 12-day trip to Germany to visit her brother and niece. She had allegedly tried to arrange childcare with family members, but after none of them were able to do so she indicated that she had found other arrangements. The children -- 12-year-old twins, a 6-year-old and 7-year-old -- were instead left at home, presumably with the eldest two in charge of their younger sisters.

Iowa criminal defense: man facing multiple charges after chase

Being accused of stalking in the state of Iowa is a serious charge on its own. However, when it is only one of the charges someone is facing, the situation is even more dire. A Davenport man most likely needs to mount a criminal defense to fight the alleged charges against him following a recent incident.

According to reports from the Davenport Police Department, a 20-year-old man was having an argument with a woman he had allegedly been calling and messaging. Early one morning, the man apparently threatened the woman's life, then drove his truck toward her. The man fled the scene after he had collided with a vehicle, causing it to hit another one. Later that night, the man came back to continue arguing with the woman. He reportedly hit the windshield with a pipe and also rammed her car with his truck.

3 social media tips to avoid unnecessary divorce drama

Divorce is painful, and discussing your experience with friends and family can help you through the pain. But confiding in a few trusted people over coffee is different from sharing all your details with hundreds of acquaintances online. If you are not careful with what you post on social media, you could start unnecessary drama and even create legal trouble for yourself.

If you are heading toward divorce, keep it as civil as possible by restraining yourself online. Keep these tips in mind, so you do not make any regretful mistakes.

Watch out for these tax changes after a divorce

When a marriage comes to an end, there are numerous issues that couples in Iowa or elsewhere in the country must address. While financial concerns such as asset distribution, child custody or spousal support are often discussed during the divorce process, dealing with potential tax consequences is not likely at the forefront in discussions. However, financial advisors recommend paying close attention to how taxes will change following a divorce.

First, the filing status should show that someone is unmarried if the divorce was final by the last day of the year. A person still may be able to file as head of household, only in a different bracket than when married. If a couple has children, decisions must be made regarding which spouse will claim the children as dependents on a tax return. Typically, the parent with whom the child resides is able to claim the dependent exemption.

Consider co-parenting after divorce

There are a myriad of issues to address when an Iowa marriage or others around the country come to an end. While many questions arise around finances and division of property, the focus changes quickly if a couple has children. Family experts agree that children cope more effectively following their parents' divorce if the ex-couple agrees to a co-parenting relationship.

In many situations, ex-spouses have difficulty communicating with each other or even use their children as messengers between them. Children then possibly observe both parents in a negative light. However, it is best if parents can do whatever they can to meet the emotional, physical and psychological needs of their children.

Woman facing OWI charges after accident

Police officers in Iowa and elsewhere around the country often investigate a situation after observing or hearing reports of potentially dangerous activity. In many stances, the police may be ensuring the safety of those involved in an accident. However, in some cases, officers may meet with resistance and discover alleged illegal activities. A woman is facing OWI charges after apparently failing to respond to police commands following a recent car crash.

According to police reports, a 35-year-old Waterloo woman was driving north on a state highway late one evening. Witnesses say that she seemed to lose control of her car as it slid from the center lane to the left lane. The woman apparently overcorrected and hit the guardrail on the right side of the highway. After the impact, the car apparently went back across three lanes of traffic before hitting the center guardrail.

Before you seek a custody modification, read this

After a divorce, you may not have the burden of living under the same roof as your ex-spouse, but you are forever linked as parents. This means that the problems with co-parenting that you may have had during your marriage may not go away. As such, a frustrated parent may want to seek court intervention to set a troubling parent straight.

However, before filing a motion to modify custody, or a request to limit parenting time, a frustrated parent must understand that courts are reluctant to get involved with certain issues between parents. This post will identify a few. 

Understanding "attempt" charges in Iowa

You may have heard of criminal convictions happening based on the defendant's attempt to commit a crime. In some cases, taking steps to commit a crime without actually carrying it out can still result in criminal penalties.

The area of attempted crimes can present complex legal questions. Speaking with your defense attorney can help you further understand how this area of law may relate to your case.

Returning rental equipment late could result in a theft charge

In April, the Iowa code for theft was amended to include rental equipment. Now, a renter can face a theft charge if he or she rents equipment with the intent to deprive or if the renter does not return the equipment by the agreed upon time. It is imperative to read a rental agreement and make sure you know when you must return the equipment to avoid a theft charge. 

The consequences for theft are severe. You may face prison time and restitution if convicted of theft, but it will depend on what type of charges you face. The degree of theft that a person can be charged with depends on the value of the item: 

  • Theft of property amounting to $10,000 or more is a Class C felony
  • Theft of property with a value of $1,000 to $10,000 is a Class D felony
  • Theft of property valued at $1,000 or less is generally charged as a misdemeanor