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cedar rapids / iowa city criminal defense

What's the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor in Iowa?


By David Cmelik
Good question. Felonies are more serious offenses than misdemeanors. Among felonies, there are classes A, B, C, and D. A Class D felony is typically punishable by an indeterminate prison sentence of five years and a fine ranging from $750 to $7,500.  A Class “C” felony is typically punishable by an indeterminate prison sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine ranging from $1,000 to $10,000. A Class “B” felony is typically punishable by a prison sentence of 25 years. Some Class B felonies require the imposition of a mandatory minimum of seven tenths of the sentence. A Class “A” felony is typically punishable by life in prison. Felonies result in the revocation of certain civil rights including the right to vote and the right to possess a firearm, although some misdemeanors also result in the revocation of the right to possess a firearm. The right to vote may be restored upon petition to the Governor of the State of Iowa but it is not automatic. A felon was recently prosecuted for voting but found not guilty because, the defense argued, that she mistakenly believed her right to vote was automatically restored.  Misdemeanors in Iowa are: simple misdemeanors, serious misdemeanors, and aggravated misdemeanors. Simple misdemeanors are charged by citation or complaint. They are typically punishable by fines and/or jail sentences no greater than 30 days. Serious and aggravated misdemeanors are indictable offenses charged by Trial Information. Serious misdemeanors are typically punishable by no more than one year in jail and fines ranging from $315 to $1,875. An aggravated misdemeanor is the only misdemeanor punishable by a maximum two year prison sentence and fines typically ranging from $625 and $6,250. Certain misdemeanor offenses, like OWI (DUI), have higher minimum fines. A blog is not legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is established by reading a blog or sending unsolicited information to an attorney over the Internet. 

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