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West Des Moines Iowa Criminal Defense Law Blog

3 ways to prepare for your day in court

Following an arrest, you will have to appear in court before a judge on numerous occasions. Whether it will be your first or fifth time walking into a courtroom, it is imperative that you prepare and behave appropriately at all times. You have a duty as a litigant to show the judge that you can follow the rules of courtroom etiquette, but first you must know what they are.

Drunk driving, hit-and-run charges against celebrity rapper

Many people in Iowa may enjoy the music and rap stylings of popular artist Mac Miller, who is now dealing with the legal system after an arrest on drunk driving charges on May 17. Miller, a 26-year-old performer, was arrested in the early morning hours from his California home. Earlier in the night, he allegedly hit an electrical utility pole in the San Fernando Valley. While he reportedly drove away from the scene, the license plates on his Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon were traced to his home address.

Police came to his home where they arrested the performer and accused him of drunk driving and hit and run after leaving the scene of the one-car crash. He paid a $15,000 bail in order to be released a few hours later and was ordered to appear in court on June 7. Reportedly, Miller told police that he had driven away from the scene after crashing into the power pole while drunk; his blood-alcohol concentration was allegedly .15. This is well above the California legal driving limit of .08.

Three Iowa men convicted of drug trafficking in Davenport

On May 3, an Iowa jury found three men guilty of multiple drug and firearms crimes. The trio will be sentenced on Sept. 12.

According to the Davenport Police Department, the defendants, ages 22, 23 and 26, were sitting in a rented Jeep Compass at a gas station on West River Drive when the 26-year-old waved a gun at another man. Someone notified the police of the incident, and the Jeep was later pulled over by officers. At this point, the 22-year-old and 23-year-old took off running, but the 26-year-old was apprehended while trying to climb out of the vehicle.

Iowa father and sons convicted of cocaine distribution

A Waterloo father and his two sons were charged for conspiring to distribute cocaine. The three were convicted by a jury in federal court following a trial that lasted for five days.

The 64-year-old man and his sons were convicted of conspiracy to distribute crack and powder cocaine. The father was also convicted of the distribution of crack cocaine. The 43-year-old son was convicted of distributing crack cocaine and of distributing powder cocaine while the 34-year-old son was convicted of possessing cocaine with the intent to distribute.

How legal is marijuana in Iowa?

Much of the United States has taken a more relaxed stance on marijuana in the last few years. Many states, including Minnesota and Illinois, have approved the use of medical marijuana. Others, like Nebraska and Missouri, have revised possession laws, reducing the penalties.

Iowa seems to be sitting in the center of a movement toward accessible cannabis. It raises the question: how legal is marijuana in our state?

Iowa police seize 14 pounds of marijuana

Iowa police have reported that marijuana with a street value of $56,000 was discovered during the search of a Hancock County residence on April 19. Media reports indicate that a 28-year-old man was taken into custody at the scene in connection with seized drugs. He has been charged with both misdemeanor and felony drug possession and faces a sentencing enhancement because the narcotics were discovered with 1,000 feet of a public park. He was released from the Winnebago County Jail on April 19 after paying a $10,000 bond.

The search warrant was executed by officers from the Forest City Police Department at a residence on Grove Avenue in Garner. The FCPD investigation was assisted by the Iowa State Patrol. Police claim that the man who answered the door told them that he has about 10 pounds of marijuana and marijuana dabs in the house. Dabs are a type of highly potent marijuana extract.

DUI diversion program could avoid criminal record for TV host

Iowa television viewers may be most familiar with TV talk show host Steve Wilkos' on-camera demeanor and approach to criminal justice issues. His tough-guy style that dates from his days as head of security for the Jerry Springer program has won him fans and foes of his television style. However, Wilkos is taking a more moderate approach to criminal justice in his own life, receiving admission to a DUI diversion program that can lead to drunk driving charges being erased from his criminal record.

He was arrested and charged with drunk driving in Darien, Connecticut, in January 2018 after he flipped over his vehicle while driving. He originally claimed that he found it difficult to see without his glasses and that he was reaching to put his glasses on when he ran into objects along the side of the road before the car flipped over. The one-car accident injured only Wilkos, who took a break from his talk-show filming schedule. However, police challenged his account of the accident and he was charged with drunk driving.

Man faces drug charges after high-speed chase

The Iowa State Patrol took a 21-year-old man into custody on April 5 following a high-speed chase. While the man was charged with a number of offenses in Iowa, he is also wanted in Florida on a second-degree murder charge. He is awaiting extradition to Florida.

Court records and a press release say that a trooper initially tried to stop the man as he was traveling southbound on U.S. Highway 218 near Nashua in a 2003 Chevrolet Impala. In the chase that followed, the man reportedly reached speeds of more than 100 mph. The chase carried on into Bremer County where a deputy attempted to stop the man using stop sticks. This was unsuccessful, and officials claim that the man tried to run over the deputy although he was unable to. The chase continued into Black Hawk County where the man was eventually detained while on foot.

Transient Iowa man faces up to 30 years for drug and gun charges

A domestic dispute that erupted on the 800 block of Fairchild Street in Iowa City resulted in police arresting a man on drug and firearm charges. The combined penalties for the felonies and misdemeanors aimed at him could add up to a 30-year prison sentence.

Court documents described the 31-year-old man as a transient. According to the police report, officers found him in possession of marijuana packaged for sale, small bags of cocaine and methamphetamine pills. The police search also located a loaded handgun inside a cereal box along with another large bag of marijuana. Altogether police confiscated 54 grams of marijuana

Men accused of drug crimes after police raid

Three men are facing charges after a police search in an apartment in Iowa City led to the seizure of approximately pounds of marijuana and thousands of dollars. Local police obtained a state narcotics warrant and searched a Johnson St. home on Feb. 27. There, they claim that they discovered $25,000 in cash as well as more than two pounds of marijuana. Police also say that they found pills in the apartment, including Xanax, methadone and Adderall. During the search, two men in the apartment were arrested.

The 21-year-old and 20-year-old men were accused of possession of a controlled substance, failure to affix a drug stamp and a controlled substance violation, all of which are Class D felonies. The 21-year-old allegedly had 1.84 pounds of marijuana in his bedroom as well as $23,325, packaging materials and smoking devices. In the 20-year-old's room, police say they found 167.5 grams of marijuana and $1,115 in cash. They also say they searched the men's phones and found descriptions of selling drugs. The 21-year-old could face 15 years in prison and the 20-year-old a 12-year prison sentence if convicted.

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