A person commits Class “C” felony intimidation with a weapon in Iowa when, with the intent to injure or provoke fear or anger in another, shoots, throws, launches, or discharges a dangerous weapon at, into, or in a building, vehicle, airplane, railroad engine, railroad car, or boat, occupied by another person, or within an assembly of people, and thereby places the occupants or people in reasonable apprehension of serious injury or threatens to commit such an act under circumstances raising a reasonable expectation that the threat will be carried out. Iowa Code 708.6.
The Class “C” felony offense requires that “the State must prove [the defendant] had the specific intent to injure or provoke fear or anger in another by shooting within an assembly of people,” for example. State v. Ross, 845 N.W.2d 692, 699 (Iowa 2014). Shooting generally into the crowd does not require that the Defendant take aim at a person or intend a particular victim. Id. Intimidation with a weapon of this sort is punishable by an indeterminate prison sentence of no more than ten years and fines ranging from $1,000 to $10,000.
The Ross Court instructs that the phrase "reasonable apprehension of serious injury" requires consideration of both the state of mind of the actor and the victim. Ross, 845 N.W.2d at 700.
Class “D” felony intimidation with a weapon is everything above without the intent to injure or provoke fear or anger in another. It is punishable by an indeterminate prison sentence of five years and fines ranging from $750 to $7,500.
Perhaps more a cautionary lesson on the required detail of the factual basis in any guilty plea, the Iowa Supreme Court has instructed that there must be a factual basis that each shot fired in an intimidation with a weapon case, for example, must be a separate act for which there is bifurcated intent.
Justice Wiggins, writing for the Court in State v. Gines, stated:
“There are no facts in the record to establish Gines committed three separate and distinct acts of intimidation with a dangerous weapon with intent. Although the defendant conceded he fired three shots in the presence of others, he did not concede each shot was a separate or distinct act. Additionally, when asked about his intent at the time, he stated that in making these shots he had the intent to injure or provoke fear or anger in other people. Consequently, this factual basis is insufficient to show the three shots fired constituted separate and distinct acts supporting three counts of intimidation with a dangerous weapon with intent.”
State v. Gines, 844 N.W.2d 437, 441 (Iowa 2014).
If a prosecutor has crafted an indictment that suggests that each shot is a separate count of intimidation, it might be worth moving to dismiss one or more counts on this basis. In the final, however, it will likely be a matter for the jury since Gines was a guilty plea in which the Court was required to discern the factual basis that would otherwise be determined by the jury at trial.
It is also possible to aid and abet someone who commits intimidation with a weapon. For example, occupying a car as the member of a criminal gang during a drive-by discharge of a dangerous weapon was held over 20 years ago to be enough for a jury to convict a defendant as if he pulled the trigger. State v. Lewis, 514 N.W.2d 63, 67 (Iowa 1994).
If you or a loved one has been arrested for an Iowa OWI (DUI), contact DAC-LAW PLC at 319-389-4276 or
for an initial consultation today. However, remember that a blog is not legal advice and that sending unsolicited information to an attorney over the Internet does not establish an attorney-client relationship.
Intimidation with a weapon. Intimidation with a dangerous weapon requires the shooting, throwing, launching, or discharge of a dangerous weapon at, into an assembly of people or various occupied properties from cars to buildings to trains. The most serious commission requires an intent to injure or provoke fear or anger in another. If you or a loved one has been arrested for a firearms offense in Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Waterloo, or other Iowa community, contact DAC-LAW PLC today at 319-389-4276.