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What are the penalties for domestic violence in Iowa?

On Behalf of | Jun 5, 2024 | Criminal Defense |

Domestic violence in Iowa carries serious consequences for those found guilty. These penalties vary depending on the severity of the assault and whether the individual has prior convictions.

Besides criminal penalties, offenders face significant personal and social repercussions. It is important to understand all of these consequences if you face accusations of domestic violence or abuse.

Criminal penalties for domestic violence

Iowa’s domestic abuse assault laws outline the penalties for domestic violence crimes of various severities:

  • Simple misdemeanor: A first-time offense usually qualifies as a simple misdemeanor. The offender can face up to 30 days in jail and a fine ranging from $105 to $855.
  • Serious misdemeanor: If the assault results in bodily injury or mental illness, it becomes a serious misdemeanor. Penalties include up to one year in jail and a fine between $430 and $2,560.
  • Aggravated misdemeanor: If the offender uses or displays a weapon, or if the assault results in serious injury, it escalates to an aggravated misdemeanor. This carries up to two years in prison and fines between $855 and $8,540.
  • Class D felony: Repeated offenses or particularly severe assaults may be classified as a Class D felony. This results in up to five years in prison and fines ranging from $1,025 to $10,245.
  • Class C felony: In cases involving extreme harm or repeated violations, charges can rise to a Class C felony. This carries up to ten years in prison and fines from $1,370 to $13,660.

Keep in mind that penalties can differ based on the nature of the assault and the offender’s criminal history.

Additional consequences

The impact of a domestic violence conviction extends beyond criminal penalties. Having a serious criminal history can damage your reputation and career, making it difficult to secure employment. It will also become a factor if you ever vie for child custody.

Restraining orders

Those affected by domestic violence can seek restraining orders for protection. There are two types of restraining orders in Iowa – a temporary protective order that lasts until a full court hearing can occur, and a permanent protective order that can last up to a year or longer. These orders prohibit the offender from contacting or approaching the protected individual, ensuring their safety.

Understanding the severe consequences of domestic violence in Iowa highlights the importance of taking every measure to defend yourself against such an accusation. The legal system imposes strict penalties to deter offenders and protect victims, emphasizing the gravity of these offenses.