Criminal Law Questions? Ask a Criminal Lawyer.
While it is only a misdemeanor, it is likely charged as a Battery or Assault upon a Household Member, due to the family relationship. It is more serious than other misdemeanors, because it also carries restrictions on firearm ownership. These cases also typically come with mandatory counseling.
When you go to the initial appearance, plea not guilty and request the appointment of an attorney, if you can't afford one.
You do have exposure to jail time, but with a first offense and no other convictions, it is likely that you would receive probation. However, given the other consequences, it would be far better to negotiate the case down, beat the charge, or otherwise,have it dismissed. Domestic violence is being taken very seriously by prosecutors, but in your situation, (self defense), it sounds as though you will be fine.
For now, don't make any further statements and follow the advice of your attorney. In the meantime, obey the no contact restrictions, if any are in place. Your attorney can seek to have the charges dismissed.
This time - 708.2(6) Assault (SMMS)
Last time - 708.2A(2)(B) Dommestic Abuse Assault w/o intent causing injury (SRMS) that was in 1995 and it was an adult involved.
Isn't that section applicable to the old charge only? It has the A in the code, but this new charge does not. Yet, when I look up just 708.2 (no A) there isn't a whole lot of information http://www.legis.state.ia.us/IACODE/1999/708/2.html I am confused as to which link applies to me right now, and if it is the one I've included here - then it doesn't really explain what I'm facing. Sorry to be having so much trouble "getting it".
Nope. I quoted you the right section. First, there is no Iowa section 708.2(6) other than the one found within 708.2A. The (6) that the officer wrote down is a subpart found within Domestic Assault 708.2A. The 708.2, (without the A), doesn't have a subpart 6.
Second, the charge has to be the one that is closest in terms of the facts. Please note that at the beginning of 708.2A, it calls for assault as defined in 708.1 and "domestic abuse" defined at 236.2. Put the two together, and you are being charged under Domestic Assault 708.2A of the Iowa Code.
Even though the officer messed up the subpart, your charge will ultimately be decided under 708.2A(2), a first offense. Your old charged cannot be used due to its age.
So, when we put it all together, you could be facing a minimum of two days incarceration. However, you will be given first offender status with the age of your old charge. This means that you will be ultimately charged and faced with 708.2A(2) exposing you to a simple misdemeanor. On the bright side, you are still eligible for a deferred sentence. Again, work closely with your lawyer to avoid 708.2A altogether based upon self defense, or just good negotiating skills.
I wish you the best.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).