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Understanding Criminal Assault in Iowa

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The law of assault in Iowa is statutory, meaning there is a written law on how a person should be charged.

An assault in Iowa includes all of what people commonly used to refer to as “assault and battery.” Under Iowa Code § 708, an assault is any act intended to cause pain or injury to, or which is intended to result in physical contact which will be insulting or offensive to another, coupled with the apparent ability to execute the act; (2) any act which is intended to place another in fear of immediate physical contact which will be painful, injurious, insulting, or offensive, coupled with the apparent ability to execute the act; (3) that includes the intentionally pointing of any firearm toward another, or display in a threatening manner any dangerous weapon toward another.

Assaults, therefore, include the context leading up to physical contact, if any, but notably do not require actual physical contact.

An assault between an assailant and an uninjured, unrelated victim with no children, not living together, and never having engaged in a physical relationship is a simple misdemeanor punishable by at most 30 days in jail and a $650 fine.

It is a probationable and deferrable offense but the wisdom of seeking probation or a deferred judgment on a simple misdemeanor should be discussed with a qualified attorney.

An assault causing bodily injury is a serious misdemeanor punishable by at most one year in jail and a fine ranging from $315 to $1875. A bodily injury is typically any injury that will heal and carries no risk of death nor permanent disfigurement. It can also include mental trauma.

An assault causing a serious injury is a Class D felony punishable by an indeterminate prison sentence of five years. A serious injury is typically an injury that carries with it a risk of death or permanent disfigurement.

An assault with the intent to commit a serious injury is an aggravated misdemeanor punishable by at most two years in prison.

An assault while displaying a dangerous weapon is also an aggravated misdemeanor. A blog is not legal advice. If you or a loved one have been arrested for assault or any other criminal offense in Cedar Rapids or other Iowa community, contact David A. Cmelik Law PLC at 319-389-1889 for a free initial consultation.

However, remember that a blog is not legal advice and that sending unsolicited information to an attorney over the Internet does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

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