In Iowa, the crime of Domestic Abuse Assault is defined by Iowa Code section 708.2A as the crime a person commits when they commit an assault against a person with whom they are in a domestic relationship.
“Assault” itself is defined by Iowa Code Section 708.1 as:
- Any act which is intended to cause pain or injury to, or which is intended to result in physical contact which will be insulting or offensive to another, coupled with the apparent ability to execute the act.
- Any act which is intended to place another in fear of immediate physical contact which will be painful, injurious, insulting, or offensive, coupled with the apparent ability to execute the act.
- Intentionally points any firearm toward another, or displays in a threatening manner any dangerous weapon toward another.
The “domestic” component of domestic abuse assault in Iowa is defined by Iowa Code 236.2 as follows:
- Family or household members who resided together at the time of the assault.
- Separated spouses or persons divorced from each other and not residing together at the time of the assault.
- Persons who are parents of the same minor child, regardless of whether they have been married or have lived together at any time.
- Persons who have been family or household members residing together within the past year and are not residing together at the time of the assault.
Domestic abuse assault in Iowa is often charged as a Simple Misdemeanor on a first alleged offense if there is no injury, no obstruction of the airway/bloodflow, and not other such aggravating circumstances. However, it is possible for a first offense to be charged as a felony under certain circumstances.
A person convicted of domestic abuse assault in Iowa must be sentenced to at least 2 days in the county jail, and that sentence cannot be suspended by the court. For those who receive a prison sentence on certain domestic abuse assault convictions, there is minimum term of time in prison that must be served before parole or work release can be granted.
A conviction for domestic abuse assault under Iowa law also prevents a person from owning or possessing firearms by state and federal law.
The penalties and other consequences of domestic abuse assault convictions in Iowa can be quite severe, as the foregoing makes clear. Anyone who is accused of or charged with domestic abuse assault in Iowa is well advised to exercise their right to remain silent and seek an attorney at once.