Attorney Eric D. Puryear

Willful Injury Charges in Iowa

Puryear Law » Legal Blog » Iowa Criminal Law » Willful Injury Charges in Iowa

The crime of Willful Injury is defined by Iowa Code section 708.4 as follows:

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Any person who does an act which is not justified and which is intended to cause serious injury to another commits willful injury, which is punishable as follows:

1. A class “C” felony, if the person causes serious injury to another.

2. A class “D” felony, if the person causes bodily injury to another.

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The Class C felony version of willful injury in Iowa is punishable by 10 years in prison, while the Class D felony version of willful injury carries a 5 year prison term.  Since the Class C felony version of willful injury is a forcible felony in Iowa, a conviction requires that the court sentence the defendant to prison and that the defendant serve 70% of the conviction before being paroled.  However, the Class D felony version of willful injury is not a forcible felony under Iowa law.

The definition of “serious injury” in Iowa is provided by Iowa Code section 702.18, which states as follows:

1. Serious injury means any of the following:

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a. Disabling mental illness.

b. Bodily injury which does any of the following:

(1) Creates a substantial risk of death.

(2) Causes serious permanent disfigurement.

(3) Causes protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.

c. Any injury to a child that requires surgical repair and necessitates the administration of general anesthesia.

2. Serious injury includes but is not limited to skull fractures, rib fractures, and metaphyseal fractures of the long bones of children under the age of four years.

As can be seen from the above code sections, more serious Class C felony version of willful injury in Iowa can result from a variety of circumstances.  Commonly, the “serious permanent disfigurement” section will apply when a person has an injury to their face.  As an attorney who handles willful injury charges in Iowa, I have seen, for example, charges for the Class C felony version of willful injury in situations such as were a person’s face is scarred from a beer bottle striking it.

Handling an Iowa willful injury charge properly is vital, due to the serious nature of the charges and lengthy prison term that can result from a conviction.  Those facing a willful injury charge are wise to seek an attorney at once.


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