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Domestic Violence Defense Attorney in Council Bluffs, Iowa

There are few crimes that carry with them such a stigma as domestic violence charges, which can include acts like domestic abuse and sexual abuse. If you’ve found yourself arrested for a crime like this, you need to do everything you can to defend yourself— especially if you feel the charges are unwarranted or being blown out of proportion. 

If you’d like to meet with a criminal defense attorney in the Council Bluffs area, reach out to me at Jay W. Mez, Attorney At Law. I bring with me over 20 years of experience practicing law and assisting individuals throughout the entire state of Iowa, including Pottawattamie, Cass, Fremont, Montgomery, Page, Shelby, and Mills counties. When you’re ready to strategize a defense against domestic violence charges, I’m ready to help. 

Domestic Violence in Iowa 

Domestic violence crimes (also called “domestic abuse” crimes in Iowa) refer to violent actions committed between family members, intimate partners, or household members. Notably, Iowa’s law covers both acts of physical contact as well as non-physical assault such as threatening someone with a weapon, although verbal abuse on its own typically won’t qualify for a domestic violence arrest. It can also include attempts at physical assault and physical acts that are meant to hurt another person.  

Under the law, the definition of “family” and “household members” is also quite broad and includes: 

  • Someone that you either live with now or have lived with in the past 

  • Anyone you have a child with, regardless of whether you live with them or have lived with them 

  • A current or former spouse 

  • A current or former intimate partner 

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Possible Consequences and Penalties 

The possible consequences of a domestic violence conviction can be far-reaching, but will also depend on the exact crime you’re accused of. Your penalties will also be contingent on how many (if any) prior convictions you have, whether the charges involve using a weapon, and whether you are accused of any other crimes concurrently. Penalties might include:

  • Jail Time 

  • Fines 

  • Loss of firearms or the inability to purchase and register any new firearms 

  • Required completion of anger management classes or drug abuse treatment programs 

  • Loss of parenting privileges which could include losing custody of your child 

  • Being deported if you’re currently in the country undocumented 

  • The requirement to add your name to the National Sex Offender Registry if you’re convicted of sexual abuse charges or certain other crimes of a sexual nature 

Possible Defenses 

Domestic violence charges in Iowa can be some of the most complicated crimes to defend in court since they are often born out of interpersonal conflicts between family members or romantic partners. When emotions are charged, people can often act and speak in ways they later regret. Many times, what seems like a fairly ordinary argument can get blown out of proportion, or there is context to the altercation that’s crucial to understand.  Below are three common defenses you may consider with the guidance of your attorney: 

  • Falsely Accused: Unfortunately, some people who are facing crimes like a physical assault against a family member have been falsely accused by the alleged victim. This may be due to the person seeking some kind of revenge against you, acting out of anger, or trying to damage your reputation in some way. In some of the most insidious cases, this could be a co-parent who is trying to win custody of your child by painting you to be a violent person. This extremely harmful act must be addressed by a legal professional because the penalties that come with a conviction can be devastating.  

  • Self-Defense: Another very common defense in cases like this is that you were only acting out of self-defense and you would have never assaulted the other person had they not threatened or attacked you first. If this has happened to you, you have a sound defense if you can show that you only acted because you were threatened, perceived a threat, or were actually assaulted by the other person and your actions were proportionate to the threat. 

  • Lack of Intent: Finally, a lack of intent defense strategy may be the right approach for you. As is often the case, in an argument or heated discussion with a loved one, tensions and emotions run high. It could happen that there was physical contact between you and the other person that resulted in an injury, but you never intended to hurt them. In short, the “abuse” or “assault” was accidental and you never meant to cause harm to the other person. 

No matter your situation, always work with a lawyer who will give your case the individualized attention it deserves.

Domestic Violence Defense Attorney in Council Bluffs, Iowa

Any kind of domestic violence charge can alter your future forever. If you live in or around the Council Bluffs, Iowa area and have been accused and charged with a domestic violence crime, you need to act immediately to protect your rights. Reach out to me—Jay W. Mez, Attorney At Law—right away to start discussing your options.