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J.Hazelbaker
J.Hazelbaker, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 4385
Experience:  Extensive training and experience in criminal law matters, both prosecuting and defending.
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What are possible judgments when a person pleads guilty to

Customer Question

What are possible judgments when a person pleads guilty to false imprisonment in Iowa?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  J.Hazelbaker replied 2 years ago.

J.Hazelbaker :

Hello. Thank you for using JustAnswer./

Customer:

Hi

J.Hazelbaker :

Under Iowa law, false imprisonment is considered a "serious misdemeanor".

J.Hazelbaker :

The maximum penalty of which is:

J.Hazelbaker :

Up to one year jail.

J.Hazelbaker :

and

J.Hazelbaker :

Up to $1500 fine.

Customer:

And the minimum?

J.Hazelbaker :

plus 32% surcharge added to any fine.

J.Hazelbaker :

The minimum is 48 hours jail and $1250 fine.

Customer:

Do you know what they usually sentence?

J.Hazelbaker :

There are so many factors that go into the determination, including: the serious of the particular facts, the person's criminal record (if any)

J.Hazelbaker :

Typically, if the facts are not too serious, the charge would be negotiated down to a lesser offense.

Customer:

I see. This individual is an habitual liar and was just arrested about a month ago with a first count-2nd degree theft charge and a second count of 3rd degree burglary. But I just read that they may have brought the 2nd count of 3rd degree burglary down to a trespassing. He also has two other domestic abuse cases against him and two other small claims against him.

J.Hazelbaker :

If the circumstances involve domestic abuse, and he has previous, unresolved charges against him, I don't see the prosecutor going easy on him.

Customer:

The latter two that I shared with you may be over with but one was last fall and the other was up to two years ago.

Customer:

That would be nice but he is a charmer.

J.Hazelbaker :

If he has a criminal record with domestic violence and the circumstances of the new charge involve a domestic situation, then I would be surprised if he didn't get more than the minimum.

J.Hazelbaker :

When I was a prosecutor, in a situation like that, I would have sought at least 30 days.

J.Hazelbaker :

With the maximum sentence "suspended" with two years probation, so that

J.Hazelbaker :

, if there were any future charges, he would have to serve the remainder of the suspended sentence.

Customer:

He hasn't received sentencing yet, the arraignment is scheduled for 4/16/2012. But on the "Iowa courts Online" information, I read that they lessened the 2nd count of 3rd degree burglary as a trespassing charge. So I'm wondering if that is what it will be or if it is what the defendant's attorney is trying for?

J.Hazelbaker :

If the charge was lessened to trespassing, then it was done by the prosecuting/district attorney. They are the only ones with the authority to reduce a charge prior to arraignment.

Customer:

Regarding the domestic abuse cases, his wife stayed in a shelter for battered women and is getting divorced. I'm curious about all of this as my son is now dating/living with another woman who has a 2 year little girl living with them. She never married him but he has custodial rights and wow is he a case! Yikes... sounds like they went a little easy on him then?

Customer:

Not me son the biological father

Customer:

my/ne

Customer:

my/me... sorry

Customer:

typos

J.Hazelbaker :

They must not have had the evidence to support the original charge (e.g. witness recanted)

J.Hazelbaker :

no problem

Customer:

He was charged with the felonies two days after it happened. He crashed his car and then stole someone else's car to get where he "needed" to be. He lied to the officers and told them that his car was stolen and that he didn't steal the other car, but the police found the keys to that car in his pocket.

Customer:

The case regarding his wife where he admitted guilt to false imprisonment is not showing up on the Iowa Courts Online site. Regarding the little girl who is living with her mother and my son, he has been tested for and tested positive for cocaine through DHS. Does any of this help in a case where a woman wants full custody of her child?

J.Hazelbaker :

All of it would help. It all goes to character and fitness and in the context of a custody battle is fair game. That is, as long as there is a plea or finding of guilt.

Customer:

OK, well he also is on record with DHS to smoking marijuana and the wife/ex wife is also on record with DHS that he was abusive to the little girl. But, Iowa seems to want to "keep families together" even if it is not in the best interest of the children. Does that make any sense?

J.Hazelbaker :

Each county/region is different. It depends a lot on the personalities in the current local administration. Where I currently live, they seem to err on the side of removing the children from homes on the faintest of evidence. But, in the case you describe with evidence of significant drug use on multiple occasions, a criminal records involving charges of domestic violence, charge(s) involving the particular child at issue, and current, unresolved charges, I would find it hard to believe that the mother did not now have the upper hand (assuming she has competent counsel).

Customer:

That which you have just typed in the parentheses is what I'm wondering about. She's 24 and is a cosmetologist. Can't afford much and her family can't help with funds etc. Therefore, I am curious as to the competency of her attorney. I don't mean that in a bad way, I just believe that her lacks experience - combined with lack of funds from my son's girlfriend - seems compounded by the fact that she is just a really nice young gal- it seems that it is difficult for her to get some b____ in order to really get this going/moving forward. Does my read seem correct? Her attorney has informed her that she just needs to keep waiting for more. As a backseat observer, I'm wondering what the H he's waiting for. Ya know?

Customer:

oops - he lacks not her lacks

J.Hazelbaker :

It's hard to analyze another attorney's strategy without the benefit of full knowledge of the facts and circumstances. However, based on what we discussed, I would think that she would have a strong case. In addition, her attorney should be proactive/aggressive and pushing for her rights, though it is important to balance that with prudence and not irritating the judge/magistrate.

Customer:

So, there's a fine line. I fully understand that. I guess that I just get frustrated with the whole system. I really don't feel that her attorney is being as proactive/aggressive as he could be in her case. Could it have anything to do with money?

J.Hazelbaker :

It could. But, more likely lack of experience. Most family law attorneys I know would relish a situation like this. Go on the offensive while the person is bogged down in other relevant legal proceedings. Make them want to settle. In cases like that, you know you will ultimately get paid because the client will be happy with the results.

Customer:

Oh wow... that's really good information! I'll have to make sure to let my son and his girlfriend know. It's so difficult thought because they are trying to do this on their own (he's not paying anything- no ring etc.) but he really knows having this BF (biological father) in this little girl's life is not good. It just seems so common sense that an individual like that (I don't even want to call him a man - he's in his mid 30's for heaven's sake and owes her at least $1,500 in child support) should not have contact with any child let alone his own.

Customer:

though - not thought

Customer:

bad typing skills evidently

J.Hazelbaker :

I don't think--based on what has been described thus far--that a court would terminate his parental rights completely. I do think that she should not have trouble gaining custody once she is married to your son and as long as she can demonstrate good character and fitness.

Customer:

So, even if my son were to marry her, the BF would still have all kinds of rights?

J.Hazelbaker :

Yes. If he is the biological father and his rights have not been fully terminated, he will still have visitation rights at the very least.

J.Hazelbaker :

The only way to avoid that is for the biological father's parental rights to be fully terminated in an adversary proceeding. This usually only happens in cases of abuse or serious neglect.

J.Hazelbaker :

A biological parent can voluntarily give up those rights, but that doesn't seem like something this BF would do.

Customer:

OUCH! That's sad. Well, he did with another little girl he fathered 2 years before with a different woman. That woman took her little girl and moved to California. He just eventually quit trying to see her. And, the wife, that I spoke about earlier, had an abortion (of his child_) when she was in a women's shelter because she feared for her and her children's and unborn child's lives.

Customer:

I don't know if that last part is in the DHS information or not.

J.Hazelbaker :

It sounds like it is going to be a battle. Hopefully, the criminal matters will result in some type of conviction and further diminish his character. The more trouble he gets into, the better her chances.

Customer:

She has said that she would be a witness on my son's girlfriend's behalf.

J.Hazelbaker :

That's good.

Customer:

I wonder if that's what her attorney is "waiting" on. However, I do like your idea of being more aggressive when things aren't going that well for him.

Customer:

Oh my word, this sounds like such a soap opera. Never thought I'd be in something like this.

J.Hazelbaker :

The joys of parenthood.

Customer:

LOL you've got that right!

J.Hazelbaker :

I think you should have a talk with your son and future daughter-in-law and convey what we have discussed, particularly about being aggressive when he is already under pressure.

J.Hazelbaker :

That's the best advice I can give you at this point.

Customer:

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX my next question

Customer:

you were thinking ahead! You assistance is greatly appreciated! I'll ask for you in the future! Is there anything else you feel I should be aware of?

J.Hazelbaker :

Not at this time. I wish you and yours the best of luck in this unfortunate situation. Please let me know, if I can be of further assistance in the future.

J.Hazelbaker :

Please let me know what follow-up questions you have. If my above responses have been helpful, please click Accept so that I get credit for the time/effort. You may always restart the thread and ask follow-up questions at any time by clicking the “Reply” button at the bottom of the question/answer thread. You can access this thread later in your profile under the “My Questions” tab.

Customer:

Thank you so much and may you and yours have a blessed Easter!

J.Hazelbaker, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 4385
Experience: Extensive training and experience in criminal law matters, both prosecuting and defending.
J.Hazelbaker and other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi There, I just looked at Iowa Courts Onlineand saw something a little different in one of the cases against the biological father. Could you help me understand what this (AGG) before his name means? ST V (AGG) BIOLOGICAL FATHER'S NAME

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