Tag: pretrial discovery

Objections to Inadmissible Evidence in Drug Crime Trials Must be Specific

On September 21, 2022 the Iowa Court of Appeals affirmed felony convictions for possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine and drug tax stamps in State v. Hansel. The ruling provides a great reminder to drug crime attorneys on the proper way to object to evidence, especially “prior bad acts” testimony. In this case, the arresting officer volunteered the defendant had numerous outstanding warrants including one for assault.  Defense counsel simply interjected, “Your Honor,” without making a specific objection.  It was enough to prevent any further prior bad acts from entering the record, but the toothpaste was obviously now out of […]

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OWI Amended to Public Intoxication Preserves CDL

Another result of our relentless pretrial discovery efforts is now on display in Jasper County.  After painstakingly reviewing every word of the implied consent video, we discovered that our client asked for an attorney.  The officer did not honor this request, but instead requested a breath sample for testing on the DataMaster DMT.  Our client refused. Iowa law provides a limited right to consult with a lawyer while being detained by police.   The prosecutor amended the OWI because the breath test refusal would not be admissible due to the violation. The result?  A simple misdemeanor.  No jail.  A fine of […]

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The Reciprocity Defense for Possessing Out-of-State Medical Marijuana in Iowa

When it comes to possession charges for out-of-state medical marijuana, you should look no further than GRL Law. Many prosecutors will charge these possession offenses under Iowa Code section 124.401(5).  This effectively treats medical marijuana like a street drug rather than a therapeutic purchased at a licensed dispensary.  Most attorneys who dabble in criminal defense accept this framing and go to work negotiating a mandatory minimum plea or deferred judgment. Not GRL Law. We won’t rest without fighting to get the charges dismissed. How do you choose the right attorney for this specialized possession charge in Iowa?  Just ask them […]

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Second Offense OWI Amended Following Suppression of Test Refusal

To the impaired driving defense attorneys at GRL Law, the name of the game is relentless pretrial discovery.  It’s what we do.  Essentially, if there’s a defense, then we’ll find it and leverage it to produce uncommon results. A recent OWI Second Offense charge in western Iowa provides a perfect example of this approach.  After exhaustively reviewing 911 calls, dispatch logs, the dash camera and body camera videos and cross-examining the officer at the DOT hearing (yes, we vigorously defend DOT revocations at hearing), we discovered: The basis for the stop, a “verbal domestic,” was questionable; The officer had no […]

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CDL Saved After OWI Amended to Public Intoxication

The impaired driving attorneys at GRL Law successfully negotiated another resolution to preserve a client’s CDL.  After winning the DOT hearing, we leveraged that result by convincing the county attorney to amend the OWI to public intoxication with a minimum fine of $105 and no jail time.  The DOT would have disqualified the client’s CDL had he pleaded guilty as charged.  The negotiation saved his commercial driving privileges. A tip of the hat to the county attorney who was willing to reevaluate the charge in light of our efforts with the DOT.

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Breath Test Suppressed After Officer Fails to Explain Rights

Iowa provides a limited statutory right to speak with a family member or attorney before submitting to breath testing under Iowa Code section 804.20.  Most of the time, the driver must first trigger the right by asking for a phone call while in custody. In this case, the officer instead volunteered the opportunity to make “a call” after invoking implied consent.  Thinking this was his one and only call, our client wisely requested an explanation.  The officer repeated his offer.  And then added the call could be placed either before or after chemical testing. Here’s where the officer erred. Section […]

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State Dismisses “Dreamer’s” OWI Charge

GRL Law successfully persuaded the State to dismiss an OWI charge against our client, a “Dreamer” who participates in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) program. DACA provides a work permit and legal immigration status to young, undocumented individuals brought as young children to the United States.  A conviction for DUI/OWI in Iowa counts as a “significant misdemeanor” under federal immigration law, which disqualifies a Dreamer from renewing their DACA status and makes them immediately subject to deportation. The drinking driver attorneys at GRL Law reviewed every bit of pretrial discovery in a bid to shelter the driver from […]

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Drug Charge Dismissed Following Successful Constructive Possession Defense

Webster City, Hamilton County, Iowa.  A traffic stop on I-35 led to the discovery of marijuana in a car trunk.  The trooper cited the driver for speeding, but charged the passenger with possession of marijuana. The drug defense attorneys at GRL Law have written before on the constructive possession defense.  This case presented yet another opportunity to raise it now on the passenger’s behalf. Because the trooper did not discover the marijuana in our client’s actual possession, the state needed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that she constructively possessed it.  That requires evidence that the passenger not only knew […]

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GRL Saves CDL with DOT WIN

The drug defense attorneys at GRL Law prove once again that preparation is everything when it comes to implied consent testing and DOT administrative hearings.  This is especially true when it involves professional CDL drivers and forensic drug testing. In this case, a DOT officer assigned to an I-35 weigh station in North Iowa believed he had reasonable grounds to invoke implied consent and request a urine sample under Iowa Code section 321J.6 based on the discovery of a small amount of marijuana and an admission to smoking the previous evening.  When the sample came back positive for non-impairing metabolites […]

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The Constructive Possession Defense for Marijuana

The drug defense attorneys at GRL Law have seen it all when it comes to traffic stops involving cannabis.  This is especially true when police charge a driver with possession for weed located under a passenger’s seat.    Is there a defense for the driver? Absolutely! Because this marijuana is not actually found on the driver, the State must establish he constructively possessed it by proving he: Exercised dominion and control over it; Knew of its presence; and Knew it was a controlled substance. A driver’s close physical proximity to contraband is insufficient to constitute dominion and control.  The same […]

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