The Criminal Division of the Linn County Attorney's Office is divided into three levels of criminal charges:
Felony offenses are the most serious crimes established in the Iowa Code and are subject to the possibility of a prison term that is served in a State penal institution. In addition to the possible loss of liberty, those convicted of felony offenses stand to lose certain civil rights including the right to vote, hold office or to possess firearms. Some occupations require certain bonding or insurance coverage before beginning employment. Some insurance companies refuse to bond convicted felons making it difficult to become employed in certain positions.
Indictable misdemeanors are offenses for which the punishment can be a term of up to one year in the county jail or a term not to exceed two years in prison. These offenses are referred to as serious or aggravated misdemeanors. The Iowa Code provides for enhanced sentencing for certain repeat offenders (i.e., OWI, Possession of a Controlled Substance, Domestic Assault) that increase the penalties for some misdemeanor offenses to the felony level.
Simple misdemeanors are the least serious offenses in the Iowa Code and can include traffic offenses. Simple misdemeanor offenses include a fine ranging between $65.00 up to $625.00 or the court may order imprisonment not to exceed 30 days in addition to a fine. Most traffic offenses have a scheduled fine and the law requires the Clerk to asses a 35% surcharge on the fine as well as $60.00 in court costs.