Criminal Proceedings
Share |
Once you've turned 18 you will enter the world of adult criminal court. You can no longer be prosecuted as a juvenile delinquent under the Juvenile Code unless you have been waived back from adult court.

You can be arrested if a peace officer has probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed and that you have committed it. A peace officer can make the arrest with or without a warrant.

When making an arrest, a peace officer must inform you of the following:
  • The intention to arrest
  • The reason for the arrest
  • That the person making the arrest is a peace officer
  • The requirement that the arrested person must submit to the peace officer’s custody
Resisting Arrest
If you knowingly resist or interfere with a peace officer acting within their lawful duty, you may be cited for resisting arrest, which is a separate criminal violation. If you resist arrest and cause bodily injury, you have committed a serious misdemeanor. If you resist arrest and cause serious injury or display a dangerous weapon, you have committed an aggravated misdemeanor.

In addition, though you cannot resist an arrest, a police officer may use force to prevent you from escaping from custody.

Right to Remain Silent
Under the Miranda rule, if you are put under custodial interrogation by a peace officer, then you must be informed that you have:
  • The right to remain silent;
  • Any statement you make may be used against you;
  • You have right to counsel; and
  • If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to represent you.
You do not have to be read your Miranda rights if you are not under custodial interrogation. For example, if you are stopped for a routine traffic stop you do not have to be read your Miranda rights. If you are confused about any of your rights, the best thing to do is request an attorney and remain silent until you speak with an attorney.

Right To An Attorney
The Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees an accused person the right to the assistance of an attorney. If an accused person is determined to be indigent (too poor to afford an attorney), then an attorney will be appointed at the State's expense. However, only those persons charged with felonies and indictable misdemeanors will be appointed a court-appointed attorney. An accused person may waive their right to counsel if the waiver is voluntarily and intelligently made. Court appointed counsel is no longer free in Iowa. You must reimburse the State for the cost of your representation.

Initial Appearance
If you are arrested, then you must be brought before a magistrate or judge within 24 hours. At an initial appearance, you will be informed of your right to counsel and will be appointed an attorney if you can demonstrate that you are indigent. You also will be given a copy of the complaint made against you and your bond conditions will be set.

At your initial appearance, the judge will set your bail or bond conditions. In setting your bond, the judge will consider:
  • Length of time in the community
  • Whether you have property ties in the community
  • Your employment
  • Whether you have a past record of failing to appear
  • Prior criminal record
  • Crime being charged
If you are not satisfied with the conditions of your bond, you can ask the court for a bond-reduction hearing.

Preliminary Hearing
At the initial appearance, you can either request or waive a preliminary hearing. If you request a formal preliminary hearing, then the State must prove that there is probable cause to believe that a crime was committed and that you committed it.

If you are charged with an indictable offense, then you must be arraigned either in open court or in writing. At an arraignment, you must enter one of three pleas:
  • Guilty
  • Not guilty
  • Former conviction or acquittal