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February 2018 Archives

Iowa drug possession penalties may be eased

Under current Iowa law, a person found in possession of a marijuana joint can be sentenced to up to six months in jail. That may be in addition to a $1,000 fine for a first offense. However, Senate File 432 is the most recent effort to relax penalties for first offenders in the state. If passed, those in possession of less than 5 grams of marijuana would be charged with a misdemeanor.

Gun possession leads to 15-year prison sentence for Iowa man

A 48-year-old man from Rockford has learned that not following proper firearm safety protocols can have severe consequences. The man was sentenced to 15 years in a federal prison on Feb. 12 on drug trafficking and firearms charges, but police only became aware of his alleged activities because of an injury he suffered while cleaning one of his guns. The Rockford resident was sentenced after entering into a negotiated plea agreement with prosecutors.

Car accidents rise on annual cannabis holiday

Drivers in Iowa may be concerned about the dangers posed on the roadways by drunk and distracted drivers. While the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol are well-known, there are also dangers to using other kinds of drugs before getting behind the wheel. One study indicates that April 20, a self-declared holiday for marijuana users, is linked with a slight jump in fatal car crashes across the United States.

Man facing array drug charges in different courts

A parolee arrested in Iowa is facing a series of drug charges, including distribution of heroin, possession of marijuana and possession of hydrocodone. While he was arrested by police in Bettendorf in October 2017, he also has criminal cases pending on drug charges in Muscatine and Rock Island counties.

Reasonable suspicion and probable cause in DUI stops

When an officer pulls over a driver, he or she must have reasonable suspicion that the driver is committing a crime. If the officer violates this standard, the traffic stop may not hold up in court, even if the stop resulted in criminal charges, like a DUI. Similarly, in order to justify arresting a driver, an officer must assess enough evidence to reasonably claim the driver committed a crime.

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