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Cedar Rapids Criminal Lawyer: Iowa Prosecutions and What You Should Know

by David A. Cmelik Law PLC

Probation has a legal definition that tracks what most of us think it is. Under Iowa Code Sec. 907.1, probation is defined as follows:


"Probation means the procedure under which a defendant, against whom a judgment of conviction of a public offense has been or may be entered, is released by the court subject to supervision by a resident of this state or by the judicial district department of correctional services."


In short, probation is supervision following conviction and release. In Linn County and, generally, the Sixth Judicial District of Iowa, probation may be unsupervised (no fee, no probation officer, stay out of trouble, pay your fines, surcharges, and costs), self-supervised, (probation fee, generalized supervision of a 'self-supervised' probation officer who conducts compliance and background checks periodically and definitely prior to discharge), and supervised (assigned probation officer, meets regularly as required).


Probation officers in Iowa have a rather simple legal job description under Iowa Code Sec. 907.2. They must investigate all persons referred to them by the dirtector of the judicial district department of correctional services, furnish each probationer or inmate at a residential correctional facility (RCF, or, halfway house) with a written statement of conditions of probation, and keep the department and themselves informed of the probationer's conduct and condition. They must make reports to the court when necessary, including violations of probation, and they must make a report before discharge, e.g., expiration of probation, especially if there are violations during probation. Probation officers must also coordinate with other agencies including those tasked with providing for the welfare of the probationer and others.


If  the merits of a Cedar Rapids, Iowa, criminal prosecution are not in question, defendants and their lawyers often try to mitigate outcomes by preventing prison sentences with probation. Probation can include as a special condition stay at a residential correctional facility, RCF, or halfway house, "for 365 days or until maximum benefits achieved." This language allows the department of correctional services to extend what is typically a six month program (with levels of achievement) if a defendant stumbles on the path to rehabilitation by violating rules that do not warrant an application to revoke probation.


If you or a loved one has been arrested for OWI (DUI) in Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Anamosa, Vinton, Waterloo, or anywhere else in Linn, Johnson, Jones, Benton, Black Hawk, or other Iowa counties, please contact David A. Cmelik Law PLC, 319-389-1889,, for a free ½ hour initial consultation today. Remember that a blog is not legal advice and no attorney-client relationship is established by reading a blog or sending unsolicited information to an attorney over the Internet.

Linn County Courthouse Facade_edited_edi

​Correctional Institutions probation in the State of Iowa is a rehabilitative criminal sanction intended to allow the State of Iowa to enforce financial obligations and, potentially, the threat of suspended jail or prison sentences, while keeping probationers on the path toward a completely law abiding lifestyle. When the merits of a criminal offense are not in question, your criminal defense lawyer will shift gears from the merits phase to the dispositional phase-- and to mitigation to try to prevent or diminish a jail or prison sentence. That mitigation might include probation. If you a or a loved one has been arrested for a criminal offense in Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, or other Iowa community, contact contact us today for an initial consultation. 


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