Assault

What is Assault in Iowa?

There are five ways under the law that an assault can be committed:

  1. By committing an act intended to cause pain or injury to another coupled with the apparent ability to do it;
  2. By committing an act that is intended to result in physical contact that will be insulting or offensive to another;
  3. Committing an act intended to place another in fear of immediate physical contact that will be painful, injurious, insulting or offensive coupled with the apparent ability;
  4. Intentionally pointing a firearm at another; or
  5. Intentionally displaying a dangerous weapon to another in a threatening manner.

There are multiple types and levels of assaults

Simple Assault 

Committing an act that was either intended to cause pain or injury to another, or to result in physical contact that would be insulting or offensive to another, or was meant to place another in fear of immediate physical contact that would be painful, injurious, insulting or offensive; coupled with the apparent ability to do the act.   A simple assault is a simple misdemeanor; punishment includes a fine ranging from $65 to $625 and up to thirty days in jail.  

Assault Causing Bodily Injury or Mental Illness

Any assault as previously defined which results in a bodily injury.  Bodily injury is defined as physical pain, illness, or any impairment of physical condition.  Assault causing bodily injury or mental illness is a serious misdemeanor; punishment includes imposition of a fine ranging from $315 to $1,875 and/or imprisonment for up to one year.

Assault With Intent to Inflict Serious Injury 

An assault with the specific intent to either: cause an injury creating a substantial risk of death, serious permanent disfigurement, a protracted loss of a bodily function, or cause a disabling mental illness.  Assault with intent to inflict serious injury is an aggravated misdemeanor; punishment includes a fine ranging from $625 to $6,250 and up to two years in prison.

Assault with a Dangerous Weapon 

The term dangerous weapon is very broad and includes: any device or instrument designed primarily for use in inflicting death or injury, and when used in its designated manner is capable of inflicting death; or any sort of instrument or device actually used in such a way as to indicate the user intended to inflict death or serious injury, and when so used is capable of inflicting death.   Assault with a dangerous weapon is an aggravated misdemeanor; punishment includes a fine ranging from $625 to $6,250 and up to two years in prison.

Assault Causing Serious Injury 

An assault which results in injury creating a substantial risk of death, serious permanent disfigurement, a protracted loss of a bodily function, or cause a disabling mental illness.  Assault Causing Serious Injury is a Class D Felony; punishment includes a fine ranging from $750 to $7500 and a term not to exceed 5 years in prison.  Assault Causing Serious Injury is a forcible felony, which requires the Court to impose a prison sentence.  

Assault – Penetration of Genitalia 

During the commission of an assault where an object is used to penetrate the genitalia or anus of another is a Class C Felony.  It is a forcible felony that requires a prison sentence not to exceed 10 years with a mandatory minimum of 70%.

Assault While Participating in a Felony 

An assault that is committed while the individual is participating in the commission of a felony.  Participation in the offense can be at any point beginning with the first act done directly toward the commission of the offense up to the time of arrest or when they have withdrawn from the scene of the intended crime and eluded any pursuers.  It makes no difference whether the person is successful or not in committing the offense.  This is a forcible felony.  There are two potential sentences.  If a serious injury occurs during the commission of the offense it is a Class C Felony with a mandatory prison sentence not to exceed 10 years, with a minimum of 70%.  If no serious injury results it is a Class D Felony and a mandatory prison term not to exceed 5 years shall be imposed, with a minimum of 70% being served.  

Willful Injury 

There are two versions of Willful Injury.  The first requires the State to prove: 1) an assault, 2) an intent to commit a serious injury, and 3) a serious injury resulted.  This version is a Class C Felony, and is also a forcible felony.  The Court is required to impose a prison sentence not to exceed 10 years, with a minimum of 70% being served.  The other Willful Injury requires the State to prove: 1) an assault, 2) intent to commit a serious injury, and 3) a bodily injury resulted.  This version is a Class D Felony with a maximum prison sentence not to exceed 5 years and the imposition of a fine ranging from $750 to $7,500.  

Domestic Abuse 

A domestic abuse assault is an assault occurring between individuals who have a domestic or familial relationship and applies to the following:

  1. Family or household members residing together at the time of the assault.
  2. Separated spouses or persons divorced from each other not residing with one another at the time of the assault.
  3. Persons who are parents of the same minor child regardless of their marital or residential status.
  4. Family or household members who resided together within the past year but not at the time of the assault.

Domestic Abuse Assault 

Simple misdemeanor, a fine ranging from $65 to $625, and up to 30 days in jail.  There is a mandatory 2 days in jail unless a deferred judgment or suspended sentence is granted.  The Court is also mandated to order batterers’ education treatment program.

Domestic Abuse Assault Causing Bodily Injury or Mental Illness 

Serious misdemeanor, fine ranging from $315 to $1,875 and up to one year in jail.  There is a mandatory 2 days in jail unless a deferred judgment or suspended sentence is granted.  The Court is also mandated to order batterers’ education treatment program.

Domestic Abuse Assault With Intent to Inflict Serious Injury 

Aggravated misdemeanor, a fine ranging from $625 to $6,250 and up to two years in prison.  There is a mandatory 2 days in jail unless a deferred judgment or suspended sentence is granted.  The Court is also mandated to order batterers’ education treatment program.

Domestic Abuse Assault with a Dangerous Weapon 

Aggravated misdemeanor, a fine ranging from $625 to $6,250 and up to two years in prison.  There is a mandatory 2 days in jail unless a deferred judgment or suspended sentence is granted.  The Court is also mandated to order batterers’ education treatment program.

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