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Criminal Law Archives

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. 

Is it robbery, burglary or theft?

People often use burglary, robbery and theft all in the same context, but in the legal world, robbery and burglary are two separate crimes. Theft is a crime which occurs when a person takes property from another person without authorization or consent with the intent to deprive the owner of the use of the property. Robbery also involves taking another person's property, but the theft occurs by use of physical force or fear. Crimes of robbery are generally more serious than theft. 

Social media posts can be used to prosecute defendants

The Atlantic reports that police and prosecutors are increasingly using social media to track criminals. Using Facebook, Twitter or Snapchat, police can find networks of drug traffickers or gangs. Some users have gone as far as to livestream their escapades, allowing police to have a clear picture of the crime. When it comes to driving while intoxicated, law enforcement might use social media to prove their case. 

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.

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.

The Bail and Bond Process in Iowa

You've been arrested on multiple drug charges and taken into custody.  You've been charged with four counts of possession of controlled substances, two counts of unlawful possession of prescription drugs, and one count of keeping a drug house. You post $8,000 in bail and are let out of jail.