Misdemeanors charges may be less serious than felony charges, but a conviction could affect your life in various ways. There is a possibility of doing time behind bars, fines and the inevitable criminal record.
In Iowa, misdemeanor crimes are designated as simple, serious or aggravated. The potential legal penalties of each class vary, as discussed below.
Understanding the differences
Simple misdemeanors are the least serious. They include offenses like assault without bodily harm, trespassing, and possession of drug paraphernalia, among others. If convicted, you face up to 30 days in jail, a fine ranging from $105 to $850 or both.
Serious misdemeanors in Iowa are punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of between $430 and $2,560. Some offenses under this class of misdemeanors include first-time DUI or drug possession, second-time domestic assault and fourth-degree fraud or theft.
An aggravated misdemeanor is the most severe class of misdemeanor in Iowa. A conviction could send you to jail for up to two years, and the fines are higher, between $855 and $8,540. Offenses considered aggravated misdemeanors in Iowa include assault with intent to inflict serious injury, a second-time DUI or drug possession, carrying a gun without a permit and indecent contact, among others.
Are you facing misdemeanor charges?
There are various legal strategies that can be used when facing these charges. However, it requires an extensive understanding of the criminal justice system and the legal nuances that could make a huge difference in your case. It is worthwhile to seek the proper help and guidance that will help protect your interests to increase your chances of a desirable outcome.