I was charged with felony assault on a peace officer. For leaving a message on his voice mail in which the dispatcher suggested I do and transfer my call to his voice mail. I was arrested at my house a day later and had to bail out. My public defender agrees it is not assault according to the Iowa Code. And I agree it might fall under Harrassment. He asked if they dropped the charge to that would I take that plea? I sad No. He asked if that was me on the voice mail? I said Yes. Well why wouldn't you take that plea then? I said because he charged me with felony assault knowing it wasn't just so they could file an arrest warrant and put me in jail. Then he says well then the county attorney would made drop the assault and charge me harrassment. My question is if he charged me with assault already, how can I be charged again for the same crime? And why offer a plea if you can just do this. I feel like who's side is my attorney on here. They can't really do something like that can they?
Country relating to Question: United States
State (if USA): Iowa
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I certainly understand your concern. It is not uncommon for the State to over charge a person and then once the facts are looked into, showing what can actually be supported and proved at trial, to have the charge amended to a lesser crime. It appears that is what is happening here, where the prosecutor is seeing there is no legal basis to proceed or evidence to support, a Felony assault charge. As such, in their opinion, the facts/evidence suggest a lesser charge of harassment. They can amend it and proceed on that, if they wanted to. The decision would then amount to proceeding to trial and if the State would be able to prove the charge beyond a reasonable doubt, based upon the context of the phone and anything else, which you are alleged to have done. The decision is up to you if you want to take a plea or go to trial. Your attorney is supposed to act in your best interest and properly advise you of your options. However, the final say is up to you.
My thing is I was arrested, thrown in jail, had to bail out. The harrassment charge would have been a mistimeaner, just a ticket. What about everything they put me through knowing it wasn't assault. I don't see how they can just say OPPs. and lesser the charge. That would be charging me twice for the same crime. Thought that was double jepordy. And what about my arrest, time in jail, the money I am out for having to bail out that I can't get back? Thats just to bad for me your saying? Lost my job because of the arrest. They can just say oh our fault sorry. The county attorney new it wasn't assault being on a voicemail.
I certainly understand your concern. Double Jeopardy applies once the jury is sworn in. The fact that a person is charged, then has the charged amended, would not be double jeopardy. Moreover, the bond that was posted should be returned once the case is complete. Any fee that you paid to a company, would be theirs for the service but if it was posted yourself, it should be returned. I know everything you went through was tough but you would need to prove they intentionally did what they did with the intent to harm and damage you. It is a civil issue, not something which the criminal court could address.
Experience defending misdemeanor and felony cases.
It seems to me a county attorney should know the difference in a simple mistemeanor and a felony charge. This arrest which caused me to lose my job, has put me in a bad place. No more income and now about to lose my house. And they can just say opps sorry. What a system. Let me get back to ya. I need to make some calls and see if I am still in the USA or I moved from there without knowing it.
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