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Timothy McCarthy II
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Criminal Defense Attorney in Des Moines, Iowa
Criminal Defense Attorney in Des Moines, Iowa

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Court orders that prohibit people from contacting certain individuals, refrain from certain actions, or comply with certain conditions are commonly referred to as restraining orders. Iowa essentially has two different types of restraining orders: Domestic Abuse Protective Orders and No Contact Orders.

The primary difference between these two types of orders is that Domestic Abuse Protective Orders are civil matters while No Contact Orders are attached to criminal charges. Both orders may stem from alleged crimes such as domestic violence, harassment, stalking, or sexual assault.

In alleged domestic violence cases, the party seeking a protective order must prove that an alleged offender committed domestic abuse by a preponderance of the evidence—meaning it is more likely that not that the alleged offender committed a domestic abuse against the alleged victim. People who have protection orders sought against them may be able to avoid having the orders issued if the court concludes that the evidence is insufficient.

Whether a restraining order is a civil or criminal matter, the person named in the order is obligated to comply with all requirements contained therein. Any violation of a restraining order in Iowa is a criminal offense punishable by possible imprisonment and fines.

Iowa Code § 236.3 establishes that a temporary or emergency order will be based on a showing of a prima facie case of domestic abuse, but the court will issue a protective order based upon a finding of domestic abuse by a preponderance of the evidence if the factual basis for the alleged domestic abuse is contested. Under Iowa Code § 236.2.2, domestic abuse is defined as committing assault as defined in Iowa Code § 708.1 under any of the following circumstances:

• The assault is between family or household members who resided together at the time of the assault.

• The assault is between separated spouses or persons divorced from each other and not residing together at the time of the assault;

• The assault is between persons who are parents of the same minor child, regardless of whether they have been married or have lived together at any time;

• The assault is between persons who have been family or household members residing together within the past year and are not residing together at the time of the assault; or

• The assault is between persons who are in an intimate relationship or have been in an intimate relationship and have had contact within the past year of the assault. In determining whether persons are or have been in an intimate relationship, the court may consider the following nonexclusive list of factors: The duration of the relationship; the frequency of interaction; whether the relationship has been terminated; and/or the nature of the relationship, characterized by either party’s expectation of sexual or romantic involvement.

Iowa Code § 236.2.2(2) states that a person can be involved in an intimate relationship with more than one person at a time. In most cases, emergency orders are valid for 72 hours, temporary orders last until the court holds a full hearing (usually up to 15 days), and final orders remain in effect for up to one year—although those orders can be extended.

If another party is seeking any kind of protection order against you, it is in your best interest to make sure that you have legal representation for any hearing. West Des Moines criminal defense attorneys Timothy McCarthy II and Aaron Hamrock represent clients at protective order hearings and also defend individuals accused of violating protective orders. McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. can fight to help you achieve the most favorable outcome to your case that results in the fewest possible penalties.
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In State v. Propps, No. 15–0235 (2017), the Supreme Court of Iowa reviewed the appeal of a juvenile sentenced to four consecutive, indeterminate sentences of 10 years in prison for four counts of willful injury causing serious injury. While no mandatory minimum sentence was imposed, the sentencing judge was unable to consider a deferred judgment or probation as a sentencing option because willful injury causing serious injury is classified as a forcible felony.

After firing four shots at a man standing outside his home, hospitalizing the man for three weeks, the State charged the juvenile with attempted murder. The juvenile entered into a plea agreement with the State whereby he agreed to plead guilty to four counts of the lesser charge of willful injury causing serious injury, and the State amended the trial information to charge the juvenile with four counts of willful injury causing serious injury, a forcible felony for which probation is not an option under Iowa Code § 702.11(1) and Iowa Code § 907.3.

The juvenile filed a motion to correct an illegal sentence, but the court of appeals affirmed the district court’s denial of the juvenile's motion to correct an illegal sentence. The Supreme Court of Iowa ultimately concluded that the sentence the juvenile received was not categorically unconstitutional, and thus there was no constitutional infirmity with the statute. The Supreme Court held that the forcible felony sentencing statute is not unconstitutional as applied to juvenile offenders.

Iowa Code § 907.3 establishes that a trial court may, upon a plea of guilty, a verdict of guilty, or a special verdict upon which a judgment of conviction may be rendered, exercise any of the deferred judgment, deferred or suspended sentence, or probation options contained in this section of the Iowa Code. Iowa Code § 907.3, however, does not apply to a forcible felony.

A forcible felony is defined under Iowa Code § 702.11(1) as "any felonious child endangerment, assault, murder, sexual abuse, kidnapping, robbery, human trafficking, arson in the first degree, or burglary in the first degree." Iowa Code § 702.11(1) states that the following offenses are not forcible felonies:

• Willful injury in violation of Iowa Code § 708.4, subsection 2;

• Sexual abuse in the third degree committed between spouses;

• Sexual abuse in violation of Iowa Code § 709.4, subsection 1, paragraph “b”, subparagraph (3), subparagraph division (d);

• Sexual exploitation by a counselor, therapist, or school employee in violation of Iowa Code § 709.15;

• Child endangerment subject to penalty under Iowa Code § 726.6, subsection 6;

• Assault in violation of Iowa Code § 708.2, subsection 4;

• Domestic abuse assault in violation of Iowa Code § 708.2A, subsection 5;

• Removal of an officer’s communication or control device in violation of Iowa Code § 708.12, subsection 3, paragraph “f”.

Anyone who has been arrested or is under investigation for an alleged forcible felony will want to immediately retain legal counsel. Timothy McCarthy II and Aaron Hamrock are experienced criminal defense lawyers in West Des Moines who aggressively defend clients accused of violent crimes all over the greater Polk County area. Contact McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. to receive a free, confidential consultation that will allow our firm to review your case and answer all of your legal questions.
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State and federal officials arrested nine people last week after a months-long investigation. Charges were for methamphetamine and firearms. The investigations involved confidential informants and at least one GPS tracking device attached to a vehicle.
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Allegations of domestic violence in Iowa are taken extremely seriously and can lead to jail time, along with large fines. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for a person to falsely accuse their spouse of domestic violence to get ahead in a child custody proceeding or divorce hearing.

Regardless of the situation, it is important to have an experienced defense team on your side. The attorneys at McCarthy & Hamrock proudly represent individuals arrested in Des Moines or the surrounding areas and will aggressively fight to prove your innocence. #domesticviolence   #DesMoines   #Iowa  
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Both congressional and Iowa lawmakers will launch a hearing today to discuss the use of asset forfeiture by law enforcement agencies. These hearings are a result of the Des Moines Register’s “Finders Keepers” series which concluded that law enforcement agencies have received at least at $43 million in profit from forfeitures. Oftentimes, the cases showed no indication of either criminal charges or convictions.

Critics of forfeitures claim that it often turns into “legal thievery” due to the fact that there is no property owner protection and that it goes against the “innocent until proven guilty” foundation of America's legal system. #forfeiture  #Iowa 
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Over the past few decades, the rise of internet and online purchases has resulted in an increase of credit card use across the nation. With this increased credit card use comes more accusations of both credit card fraud and debit card fraud. Under Iowa law, it is illegal for a person to use a credit card or a debit card to buy something or attempt to buy something if that person knows the card is fake, stolen, been revoked or canceled, or if that person knows that he or she is not legally authorized to use the credit or debit card. 

The punishment resulting from credit card fraud depends on how valuable the prosecution can prove the property you stole or attempted to steal was. That is why it is important to consult with an attorney experienced in financial crimes. An attorney can fight hard to help you avoid any jail time and keep your freedom. #creditcardfraud   #DesMoines   #PolkCounty  
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It is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to consume alcohol in general. If an underage person is accused of driving under the influence of alcohol, they will face extremely harsh penalties and punishments due to Iowa’s “no tolerance” policy. By having even a slight amount of alcohol or drugs in your system you can face jail time and steep fines. An experienced defense attorney can find weakness in the prosecution’s case and fight for a favorable outcome such as case dismissal. #under21OWI #OWI #PolkCounty
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On Monday, the Iowa Board of Pharmacy met to discuss a request to re-classify marijuana to a schedule II drug. The board decided to keep marijuana as a schedule I drug but recommended that cannabis oil be classified as a schedule II drug, or a drug with accepted medical treatment. This recommendation will be voted on by the legislature. While this isn't the exact outcome that many were hopeful for, it is a step in the right direction towards reclassifying the substance. #Iowa #marijuana
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With the holiday season in full swing, the incidence of thefts is likely to increase, especially with delivery packages left outside residences. The #DesMoines Police Department has offered some useful tips on preventing #thefts during this holiday season.
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The #Iowa Board of Pharmacy is considering whether they should make a new recommendation to legislators to allow for medical uses of #marijuana.

Last year, Iowa Legislature passed a law that allows for the possession of a marijuana extract to treat people with severe epilepsy. In a poll done last spring by the Des Moines Register, 59% of Iowa adults supported legalizing marijuana for medical purposes.

There is a pharmacy board hearing scheduled for Nov. 17th to further discuss the issue. #medicalmarijuana  
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