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Criminal Defense Lawyers in Iowa

Lawyer Legion Criminal Defense Information Center of Iowa

Search Directory for Criminal Defense Lawyers in Iowa

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Best Criminal Defense Attorneys in Iowa

Lawyer Legion created this list of the top picks in 2024 for the best criminal defense attorneys in Iowa. To rank the top criminal defense attorneys and other lawyers in Iowa, we used both objective and subjective criteria.

The top criminal defense attorneys were selected based on their career accomplishments, success in high-profile cases, professional involvement, community leadership, and board certifications.

This list represents some of the most highly accomplished criminal defense lawyers currently practicing in Iowa. When reviewing this list, please be aware of each of the following:

  • Lawyers cannot pay to be included in this list.
  • Only lawyers who are active on Lawyer Legion were selected.
  • No online directory can accurately determine a statewide list of attorneys who are actually “the best” at practicing criminal law (but our list comes close).
Timothy McCarthy II
Criminal Defense Lawyer
West Des Moines, IA
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James S Nelsen
Criminal Defense Lawyer
West Des Moines, IA
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J. Keith Rigg
Criminal Defense Lawyer
Des Moines, IA
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Scott Alan Michels
Criminal Defense Lawyer
West Des Moines, IA
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Aaron D Hamrock
Criminal Defense and DUI / DWI Lawyer
West Des Moines, IA
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F. Montgomery Brown
Criminal Defense Lawyer
West Des Moines, IA
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Dean A Stowers
Criminal Defense and Federal Crimes Lawyer
West Des Moines, IA
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Matthew Thomas Lindholm
DUI / DWI and Criminal Defense Lawyer
Des Moines, IA
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Mary K. "Molly" Spellman
Criminal Defense Lawyer
West Des Moines, IA
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Peter Wesley Hansen
Personal Injury and Criminal Defense Lawyer
Burlington, IA
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More Noteworthy Iowa Criminal Defense Attorneys

Iowa Legal Resources

Criminal Defense Bar Associations and Legal Organizations

National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) - Founded in 1958, NACDL is the largest organization for criminal defense lawyers fighting to preserve fairness within America's criminal justice system. The organization has more than 10,000 direct members including criminal defense attorneys in private practice, public defenders in state or federal court, U.S. military defense counsel, law professors and judges.
Iowa Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (IACDL) - The Iowa Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (IACDL) seeks to enhance the practice of criminal defense lawyers in Iowa and promote legal education for lawyers and the public. The IACDL was established in 1992 in Des Moines, Iowa. Members of the IACDL include private criminal defense attorneys and public defenders practicing in both state and federal court. Law school students can also join the organization as student members.

Specialty Certifications in Criminal Defense

Criminal Trial Law - The specialty area of Criminal Trial Law is offered by the National Board of Trial Advocacy (NBTA) to lawyers. To earn NBTA board certification, the criminal defense attorney must show substantial involvement in at least 45 days of trial, must have served as lead counsel in jury cases through verdict; conducted direct examinations and cross-examinations, and conducted a specified number of voir dire, opening statements and closing arguments.
DUI Defense Law - The National College for DUI Defense, Inc. (NCDD) is an organization that grants specialty or board certification for DUI Defense Law. The ABA has recognized the NCDD as an organization that is accredited to award certification in this specialty area of the law. The purpose of granting board certification in DUI Defense Law is to recognize DUI and DWI lawyers who focus their practice on representing men and women accused of drunk and impaired driving offenses. In order to qualify for board certification in "DUI Defense Law," the attorney must meet specific qualifications and apply for board certification with NCDD.

Iowa Government and Court Resources

Iowa Attorney General

Iowa Attorney General - The Iowa Attorney General, appointed by the Governor, serves as the chief legal officer of the state. Responsible for providing legal counsel to state agencies and officials, the Attorney General represents Iowa in legal matters, both civil and criminal. The office plays a pivotal role in prosecuting and defending legal actions on behalf of the state, issuing legal opinions, and overseeing the enforcement of laws. Additionally, the Attorney General addresses a variety of legal issues, including consumer protection, environmental regulations, and public safety concerns.

Iowa Judicial Branch

Iowa Judicial Branch - The Iowa Judicial Branch is entrusted with the critical role of administering justice and upholding the rule of law within the state. Its duties encompass interpreting and applying the law, adjudicating civil and criminal cases, safeguarding individual rights, ensuring due process, and overseeing family law matters like divorce and child custody. Iowa's judiciary also plays a pivotal role in resolving legal matters specific to the state, including agricultural and rural issues.

Iowa Legislature

Iowa Legislature - The Iowa Legislature operates as a bicameral body, comprising the Iowa Senate and the Iowa House of Representatives. The Senate consists of 50 members serving four-year terms, while the House includes 100 members serving two-year terms. Together, they are responsible for proposing, debating, and passing laws that govern the state. The Legislature plays a crucial role in formulating the state budget, levying taxes, and addressing various policy matters such as education, healthcare, and infrastructure.

Iowa State Public Defender's Office

Iowa State Public Defender's Office - The Iowa State Public Defender's Office is responsible for offering legal representation to individuals who cannot afford their own attorneys. Its duties include providing competent defense services, legal counsel, and advocacy for those facing criminal charges. Through collaboration with skilled attorneys, the Iowa State Public Defender's Office plays a crucial role in safeguarding the rights of indigent individuals and contributing to the integrity of the state's criminal justice system.

Iowa Supreme Court

Iowa Supreme Court - The Iowa Supreme Court serves as the highest judicial authority in the state, responsible for interpreting and administering the law. Its primary role involves reviewing appeals from lower courts to ensure the correct application and interpretation of state laws and the constitution. The court's duties encompass hearing a diverse range of cases, including civil, criminal, and constitutional matters, and establishing legal precedents that guide lower courts and legal practitioners across Iowa. Additionally, the Iowa Supreme Court oversees the regulation of attorneys, managing attorney admissions, setting ethical standards, and disciplining lawyers to maintain professionalism and uphold ethical conduct within the legal profession statewide.

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