criminal mischief 4th degree. After initial court appearance have to go back again.

UPDATED: May 27, 2009

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

criminal mischief 4th degree. After initial court appearance have to go back again.

Will the county attorney make offer if I plead guilty? Will I probably get a fine only since it’s my first offense? I cannot afford a lawyer but I make over 10,000 a year so they will not appoint a lawyer for me. Will I be ok without a lawyer? I am scared….Amanda

Asked on May 27, 2009 under Criminal Law, Iowa


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

Under Iowa law, criminal mischief in the fourth degree is considered to be a "serious misdemeanor"; any offense defined as a serious misdemeanor is punishable by up to 1 year in jail and a fine of $315 to $1,875.

Obviously any deal is better than the maximum; however you still could end of with a criminal record.

You should really try to hire a lawyer.  If you absolutely can't and you don't qualify for a public defender, try legal aid.  I don't know if they have the same income requirements as the PD's office.

If worse comes to worse, you could handle this yourself.  Since this is your first offense, what you want to try and arrange is for something called "diversion".  In other words, you will plead guilty, receive probation, and upon the successful completion of your probation the case will be dismissed.  By doing this you can later apply for an "expungement" to clear your record of your arrest.  You then will have a clean criminal record.

Note:  If you don't comply with all of the terms of your probation and violate it, then based on your previously entered guilty plea you would be subject to the maximum penalties for this offense.

Hope this helps.  Best of luck.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption