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Criminal Defense FAQ's

What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?

What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?

Felonies are a more serious class of crime and carry heavier penalties. Generally speaking, felonies may be punishable by a year or more in prison, while misdemeanors are punishable by incarceration for less than a year, usually in a local jail. In Iowa, an aggravated misdemeanor is punishable for up to two years in jail. However, even conviction of a misdemeanor can result in serious consequences, such as ineligibility for some jobs or revocation of a drivers' license. It’s best to consult an attorney about your particular situation.

I’ve been charged with a crime – what do I do?

Call an attorney immediately. Do not make any statements to police or to anyone else until you have consulted with an attorney. The criminal justice system is complicated, and it is easy to inadvertently do or say something that will cause you serious problems down the road unless you have an attorney to help you present your story and protect your rights.

I’m innocent, do I need a lawyer?

You may think that if you can just explain your side of the story, everything will resolve itself. Unfortunately, anything you say really can be held against you in a court of law. Once you’ve made a statement, it’s difficult or impossible to take it back without causing further problems and damage to your credibility.

If you are innocent, refrain from making any comment to anyone until you’ve consulted with an attorney.

It's important to bring all paperwork concerning your case, such as tickets, court papers, and search warrant documents. It's also very helpful if you bring photos, recordings, or other important evidence, as well as a list of witnesses and their contact information.