Aggravated assault is one of the crimes included in a 2019 United Health Foundation annual ranking of all states for violent crime, along with murder, rape, and robbery. According to the Foundation's findings, Iowa ranked 13th for incidences of violent crime per 100,000 population. Iowa's population rank is 31.

If you are facing a misdemeanor or felony assault charge in Iowa, you should be worried about how a conviction can impact you. A misdemeanor or felony conviction on your record can negatively affect employment, housing, and personal relationships for the rest of your life. If you or someone you know has been charged with assault, you should seek counsel from an experienced Iowa criminal defense attorney right away.

Here at my firm, the Olberding Law Office has represented clients charged with assault in Nevada, Iowa, and in Story, Marshall, Boone, Hamilton, and Hardin counties for more than 30 years. If you have been charged, I may be able to help.


Under Iowa law, a person commits assault when they do any of the following without justification:

  • Commits any act intended to cause pain or injury or is intended to result in physical contact which will be insulting or offensive to someone else, combined with the apparent ability to execute the intended act.
  • Commits any act intended to cause someone else fear of immediate physical contact that will cause injury, insult, or be offensive, combined with the apparent ability to execute the intended act.
  • Intentionally points a firearm toward someone else or displays any dangerous weapon in a threatening manner toward another person.

The intent is key here. You need not actually injure the other person or make physical contact to be charged with assault. Assault may be charged as a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances involved.


There are three types of misdemeanor assault charges:


A charge of aggravated misdemeanor applies to anyone who:

  • Commits assault intending to cause serious injury to another but does not actually cause serious injury
  • Commits assault against a protected employee, including law enforcement, healthcare providers, and others
  • Commits a hate crime causing bodily injury or mental illness
  • Uses or displays a weapon in connection with the assault

Examples of aggravated assault include a patient in an emergency room striking a physician during an examination or someone threatening to injure another person while holding a baseball bat. Penalties for aggravated misdemeanor assault include up to two years in jail and a fine of $625 to $6,240.


A charge of serious misdemeanor assault may apply when the assault causes bodily injury or mental illness, or is committed against a protected employee, or is a hate crime.

An example of a serious misdemeanor would be an assault resulting in the other person sustaining a broken arm. Penalties for serious misdemeanor assault include up to one year in jail and a fine of $315 to $1,875.


Someone would be charged with simple misdemeanor assault if no other circumstances apply. For example, you strike someone with your fist, but that person sustains only a bruise. Penalties for simple misdemeanor assault include up to 30 days in jail and a fine of $65 to $625.


Assaults can rise to felony offenses under certain circumstances. If the assault occurs while committing a felony other than sexual abuse, the perpetrator could be charged with a Class C felony if someone is injured during the assault or a Class D felony if they do not sustain injuries.

For example, you strike a store clerk in the head with the butt of your firearm during the commission of an armed robbery, causing a skull fracture. Among the charges brought against you would be Class C Felony Assault.

Using or displaying a weapon during a hate crime assault is also considered a class D Felony. Assaults involving penetration of the anus or genitals with an object is considered a class C felony.

Penalties for Class D felonies are up to five years in prison and a fine of $750 to $7,500. Penalties for Class C felonies are up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $1,000 to $10,000.


Any assault conviction, from a simple misdemeanor to a felony, can remain on your record forever. You can also find yourself charged with assault when you believe you were acting in self-defense. Every set of circumstances is different, so you need an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side, working to achieve the best outcome possible. If you or someone you know has been arrested or charged with assault, call or reach out to my firm, Olberding Law Office today. For more than 30 years I've been working with individuals in Nevada, Iowa, and the surrounding counties of Story, Marshall, Boone, Hamilton, and Hardin. Don't face your charges on your own. Call my office today to schedule a free case consultation.


For more than three decades, Olberding Law Office has been representing those charged with a misdemeanor or felony assault and other crimes in and around Nevada, Iowa. If you have been charged with assault, call my office to schedule a consultation to discuss your case. The rest of your life may be on the line, so don't wait. Call the Olberding Law Office today for reliable legal counsel.