Criminal Law

Being charged with a crime is devastating. A criminal conviction can mean substantial fines and even incarceration.

The attorneys at Derek Johnson Law Office will make sure your case is in the best hands from start to finish. We offer a free initial consultation so that you have the opportunity to get to know who will be handling your case before you make a decision. There is no obligation to commit to our legal services. When you come to this first initial consultation, you and an attorney at Derek Johnson Law Office will discuss your case. Our criminal law attorneys will meet with you and go over how we would handle your case.

The criminal law attorneys at Derek Johnson Law Office have tried hundreds of criminal cases ranging in simple misdemeanor traffic tickets to homicide offenses. With a convenient location in Fort Dodge, Iowa, our office is in a close proximity to most of north central and central Iowa. The attorneys are currently handling all criminal cases charged by the State of Iowa. Below is more information on certain criminal cases:

What should I do if my friend or family member is in custody?
We can arrange for a consultation in the jail or a telephone consultation.

If a person is held in jail, can their bond be reduced?
It depends. Some offenses are so serious that it is unlikely that a Judge will reduce bond. However, in the vast majority of cases, there are things an attorney can do to request bond be lowered. Sometimes, an attorney can successfully reduce bond merely by asking the prosecutor to agree to a reduction in bond. Otherwise, the attorney can file a formal Motion for Bond Review and ask the Court to lower bond or release the client pending the trial.

If there is evidence that I am not guilty, does the prosecutor have to provide that information?
Yes, the prosecutor must turn over any evidence that you are not guilty of a crime.

I don't want a trial, do I need an attorney?
The attorneys at Derek Johnson Law Office work hard to get the best outcome possible for the client. In some cases, this will mean taking the case all the way to trial. Even if the client does not wish to have a trial, the client wants the best outcome possible. Attorneys at Derek Johnson Law Office have experience negotiating cases to work towards an outcome the client desires.

Does a prosecutor have to make a plea offer?
No. But if it is the client's desire to resolve the case with a plea bargain, the attorneys at Derek Johnson Law Office will work on the client's behalf to obtain a favorable plea offer that is fair given the facts of the case.

The police officer that arrested me said I should "cooperate" or "talk" to him about my case? It seems like a good idea, should I arrange for a meeting?
We always advise clients not to talk with law enforcement before talking with an attorney. Too often police officers bait suspects into talking about the case by giving them the false hope it might help them. Then, the suspect's statement is used against him or her at trial. The attorneys at Derek Johnson Law Office will evaluate your case and help you make a decision whether it is better to talk to law enforcement or decline to make a statement. It is your right not to talk to law enforcement, and you should speak with a professional before making a decision.

I believe the officer that arrested me acted unreasonably or illegally, what can I do?
Once you have retained an attorney at Derek Johnson Law Office, we will discuss your case and strategies. Our attorneys enjoy "taking a case to trial." However, we are also work hard to be aggressive in filing pretrial motions. This may include filing a motion asking the Judge to suppress (or not allow at trial) any evidence that was obtained illegally. We believe pretrial motions are a cost effective way to attempt to reach the desired outcome in a client's case.