4th Amendment Suppression Motion: Case Dismissed

4th amendment traffic stop

Firearm and Drug Possession Case Dismissed

On January 12, 2018, Dean Stowers obtained the dismissal of a client’s firearm and drug possession case.  Dean successfully argued that the officer did not have probable cause to pull over the Defendant’s vehicle after the officer gave conflicting reasons for the stop.

Probable Cause

Law enforcement must have probable cause  or reasonable suspicion to stop a vehicle.  In this case, during courtroom testimony the officer stated that he stopped the vehicle for speeding. However, video from his dash cam revealed he never mentioned speeding as a reason for the stop.  In fact, he asserted on video that he stopped the vehicle for suspected activity in a previous altercation.  Additionally, the Court determined from the video that the Defendant was not speeding, and as a result it was not legal for the officer to stop his vehicle.

Suppression of Evidence  

When an Iowa court concludes evidence was discovered through a constitutional violation, it orders the evidence suppressed. That means the State cannot used any information it learned or obtained as a result of the constitutional violation. In this case, where all of the information was derived from the unconstitutional traffic stop, there was simply no evidence left upon which the prosecution could sustain a charge. Hence, the prosecution dismissed the case.

Iowa Criminal Defense Attorneys

Law enforcement officers make unlawful traffic stops every single day.  The attorneys at Stowers and Sarcone know your constitutional rights and have a dedicated track record of holding law enforcement to the proper procedures.  Don’t let a potential defense to your case go unnoticed!  Contact us today at 515 224 7446.

Modifying an Iowa No Contact Order

Iowa No Contact Order


Modifying a no contact order can be complicated business. There are several types of no contact orders in Iowa. No contact orders which accompany a criminal charge (i.e. domestic assault, harassment, abuse etc.) are the subject of this post. As a charged defendant you should discuss modification with your attorney. No contact orders can be modified, prior to completion of your case. Modifications typically permit child visitation and phone-text-email communication. A modification requires your lawyer to make a motion to the court. A hearing is then set for your attorney to explain to the court the reasons for your requested modification. Most no contact orders will not be dropped until your criminal case is over (and some will survive the case).

As the “protected party”, the person whom the no contact order is designed to protect, you should discuss modification with your lawyer. If you do not have a lawyer you should retain one to assist you. Modification of no contact orders can be difficult and may require you to appear before a judge. Iowa judges may ask you questions related to the crime you reported. If you deny the crime occurred, or make materially false statements, you could set yourself up for prosecution.

The attorneys at Stowers & Sarcone, PLC regularly handle modifications of criminal no contact orders. Additionally, our attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases from traffic tickets to major state and federal felonies. If you need help modifying a no contact order or have a criminal charge, call us immediately. 515.224.7446

Sessions Rescinds Obama Pot Policy

Marijuana legalization


In a stunning, but not unexpected move, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has rescinded the Justice Department’s policy of non-interference with States that have decriminalized and/or legalized marijuana. Cannabis and its derivatives have long been illegal to use, possess and distribute under federal law. Weed is actually still illegal to use, possess and distribute in most states.

However, in the last 20 years several states have decriminalized the possession of pot. A few states have made its medicinal or recreational use and distribution legal under state law. As a result, the Obama administration’s justice department developed a policy of non-interference in these states. In other words, as long as the states managed their pot responsibly, the DEA, FBI and other federal law enforcement agencies would not enforce federal laws prohibiting marijuana. In actual fact, United States Attorney offices around the country essentially quit prosecuting marijuana cases. That may all be changing.


It is unclear whether Sessions’ decision to rescind the Cole Memos policy guidance means the feds will start enforcing federal laws prohibiting marijuana. The status quo could hold, but Sessions disdain for marijuana is well documented. Your “legal” weed may soon land you in serious federal trouble. Federal drug charges can carry 5, 10, 20 or even lifetime mandatory minimums depending on the type and amount of drug and your criminal history. Most federal drug cases are charged as a conspiracy. A person does not even have to touch the drug to become part of a federal conspiracy case. In short, if you live in or visit a state where pot is “legal” and you choose to smoke or join a pot business, watch your back. The feds may not be far away.

Stowers & Sarcone, PLC

Seized Cash Successfully Returned to Rightful Owner


Court: Authorities Must Return $167,000 in Seized Cash

In a May 8 ruling, a Polk County District Court judge ruled authorities must return over $167,000  unlawfully taken from our client whom officers wrongfully suspected of identity theft.  Our client was stopped, seized and his vehicle searched all because the police mistakenly believed he was involved in an identity theft case. During the search, the police found the chash and other items which resulted in criminal charges.

The State, attempting to keep the money, filed a forfeiture action in the Iowa District Court. However, the cash was returned after the State failed to file a notice of pending forfeiture as required under Iowa Code Section 809A.8.  Iowa Code Chapters 809 and 809A require the State follow a stringent forfeiture procedure before permanently taking property from private citizens.  Seized property and cash must be returned if the State fails to comply. 

Criminal Charges Dismissed

As noted, our client faced several criminal charges as well.  Dean Stowers successfully argued that the police searched our client’s vehicle in violation of his Fourth Amendment rights. Thus, even if the State had followed the proper forfeiture procedure, the cash was illegally seized and had to be returned.

Iowa Forfeiture Attorneys

Millions of dollars are seized every year from law-abiding citizens.  State and Federal law enforcement agencies make billions of dollars each year stealing cash and property from private citizens. The attorneys at Stowers and Sarcone are well versed in Iowa forfeiture law and are dedicated to relentlessly seeking the return of your unjustly and illegally seized property. Don’t let the government illegally profit off you!  Contact us today at 515-224-7446.

Stowers & Sarcone: Vehicular Homicide Case Dismissed!

Vehicular Homicide


On July 6, 2017 Dean obtained the complete dismissal of a vehicular homicide case. Unfortunately, Dean’s client rear ended a vehicle on the interstate causing a chain reaction which led to the other driver’s death. He momentarily took his eyes off the road looking for a water bottle in his car. At the exact same moment, the car in front of him rapidly stopped. Dean’s client could not stop in time and rear ended the car propelling it into oncoming traffic. Tragically, the vehicle was his by a semi and the driver died.


The State charged Dean’s client with vehicular homicide in violation of Iowa Code Section 707.6A(2)(a):

2. A person commits a class “C” felony when the person unintentionally causes the death of another by any of the following means:

a. Driving a motor vehicle in a reckless manner with willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property, in violation of section 321.277.

Therefore, the State had to show that Dean’s client drove recklessly and knew he would, more likely than not, cause harm to another person or property.


In defense, Dean filed a motion to dismiss the case. In the motion Dean argued that his client had not engaged in reckless conduct which he knew would likely cause harm or death to another person. More importantly, Dean argued the State did not present any evidence to support the charge.

On July 6, 2017, an Iowa District Court Judge agreed. The Judge found that Dean’s client could not have known, nor anticipated, that his conduct would result in an accident nor the unfortunate events which transpired after. The Judge also found the State’s evidence did not support the charge. Therefore, the Judge dismissed the case.


Our mission is to provide cutting edge, high quality legal defense for you or your loved ones. Let us put our skills and dedication to work for you. Call 515.224.7446 now!

Iowa’s New Fireworks Law Explained

Iowa Fireworks Laws


Today, May 9, 2017, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad is expected to sign Iowa Senate File 489  – permitting the sale and use of consumer fireworks in Iowa – into law. The law, like Missouri’s, is not an outright legalization of all fireworks all the time. In fact, the law has some pretty significant restrictions on the use of fireworks. Let’s go through the bams and booms of the law:


Time of Year – Fireworks can only be sold and used during the following days:

  • June 1 – July 8
  • December 10 – January 3

Time of Day – Fireworks can only be used during the following time periods on the previously noted days:

  • 9:00 A.M. – 10:00 P.M. except –
    • 9:00 A.M. – 11:00 P.M. on July 4th and the Saturdays and Sundays immediately preceding and following July 4th
    • 9:00 A.M. December 31 – 12:30 A.M. January 1st
    • 9:00 A.M. – 11:00 P.M. the Saturdays and Sundays immediately preceding and following December 31 (Uh Oh Christmas!)


County – County Boards of Supervisors can pass resolutions or ordinances limiting or prohibiting fireworks if the find they constitute any of the following:

  1. Threat to Public Safety
  2. Threat to Public Property
  3. A Nuisance

City/Municipal – A City Council may pass a resolution or ordinance limiting or prohibiting fireworks solely at their own discretion.


All direct violations of the fireworks laws are simple misdemeanors punishable by no less than a $250 fine. The law also prohibits jail time if you merely used fireworks on a day or at a time not authorized. However, if you use them and your city or county has limited them, it is possible to get up to 30 days in jail. The same is true if you sell them without a license or permit.

If you are interested in becoming a licensed fireworks dealer, the law set forth the requirements for obtaining your license through the State Fire Marshall’s Office. Click the link to get more information.

There isn’t much more to it. June 1st is less than a month a way so look out for the pop up fireworks tents in your local grocers parking lot! If you would like more information on Iowa’s new fireworks law do not hesitate to contact us at Stowers & Sarcone, PLC 515-224-7446!


Soules penalties worse

Yesterday’s post discussed Chris Soules potential civil and criminal liability. To keep it simple, I left out one vital piece of the puzzle. So, could it get worse for Chris Soules? Oh ya!

As I explained yesterday, Chris Soules is charged with violating Iowa Code Section 321.261 – Commonly referred to as Leaving the Scene of an Accident. I believe the Buchanan County Sheriff’s Department is likely considering whether a basis exists for Vehicular Homicide by OWI charges (Iowa Code Section 707.6A). Individually, the charges carry a 5 year and a 25 year prison term respectively. However, in Iowa, prison terms are indeterminate. This means the Iowa Parole Board gets to decide when a defendant will be released from custody. If a defendant receives a 5 year sentence, he or she will do anywhere from 1 day up to 5 years at the discretion of the Iowa Parole Board .

However, under Iowa Code Section 902.12, when a person is convicted of BOTHLeaving the Scene of an Accident AND Vehicular Homicide by OWI – the Vehicular Homicide 25 year prison sentence comes with a mandatory minimum 70%. Thus, if Chris Soules were convicted of both, he would face 17.5 years in prison before he became parole eligible (minus some good time credits of course). So ya, it can ‘mandatory minimum’ worse.

Chris Soules 911 Call

Des Moines based KCCI Television has posted an audio recording of Chris Soules 911 call. He called 911 and attempted to help Mosher before fleeing. Warning: Some might find this disturbing. Click Here.


Let me start off by noting that while this is a news story many people are interested in, a man died.  According to the Iowa State Patrol, 66-year-old Kenneth Mosher, a farmer from Aurora, Iowa, was killed Monday night when Soules truck rear ended Mosher’s tractor sending it and him into a ditch. Mosher was likely someone’s husband, father, brother and/or grandfather. Bear that in mind as we discuss what might happen to Chris Soules.


At around 8:30 p.m. Monday night, Kenneth Mosher was driving a tractor in the 1000 block of Slater Avenue just north of Aurora, Iowa. According to police reports Soules was driving a 2008 Chevy pickup when he allegedly crashed into the back of Mosher’s tractor sending Mosher into the ditch and Soules into the opposite ditch. As noted, Mosher later died from his injuries. Apparently, Soules fled on foot but was apprehended a short time later and taken to the hospital. He has been charged with Leaving the Scene of an Accident Causing Death in violation of Iowa Code Section 321.261, A Class D Felony.


Click here for the Chris Soules Criminal Complaint filed this morning in Buchanan County, Iowa.



Iowa Code Section 321.261 states:

“The driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to or death of any person shall immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident or as close as possible and if able, shall then return to and remain at the scene of the accident in accordance with section 321.263. Every such stop shall be made without obstructing traffic more than is necessary.”

Failing to stop when an accident causes someone’s death is a Class D Felony. In Iowa, Class D Felonies are punishable by a maximum indeterminate prison term of five years. That means if found guilty, Soules could be sentenced to five years in prison. However, he would likely serve far less than five years due to Iowa’s good time credit laws. He would also be eligible for probation in lieu of prison.


Iowa Code Section 707.6A states:

“A person commits a class “B” felony when the person unintentionally causes the death of another by operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, as prohibited by section 321J.2.”

You might be wondering at this point why I have included vehicular homicide as a potential consequence? It has been reported that alcohol was found at the scene of the crash. The Buchanan County Sheriff’s Department also stated that Soules was taken to the hospital after he was apprehended. He may have been asked to submit to field sobriety tests, a breath test, or a give blood or urine sample. If he did not do so voluntarily, a warrant may have been obtained to collect a blood sample for chemical testing. Thus, it seems vehicular homicide is a potential charge.

Causing the unintentional death of another by operating while intoxicated (OWI) is a Class B Felony in Iowa. Class B Felonies are punishable by a maximum indeterminate term of 25 years in prison. Additionally, if convicted of this crime, Iowa law requires the Court to sentence Soules to prison. Probation is not an option.


Reports are that Soules is worth over 1 million dollars. A wrongful death civil lawsuit is likely to follow any criminal case. If Soules is convicted of either of the above charges he will likely be precluded from claiming he “did not do it” in any civil trial. Thus, the only question would be how much money to award the victim’s estate and any other plaintiffs. Such an award would be offset by any restitution ordered in the criminal case.

On the other hand, should Soules be acquitted, he can challenge the “what happened” in a civil lawsuit. The burden of proof in a civil case is not beyond a reasonable doubt, however. It is merely, a preponderance of the evidence. So his defense would likely be more difficult. Hence, why OJ was acquitted criminally but found liable in civil court.

If Soules were to be found liable, any judgment awarded the plaintiffs could be executed against Soules property, including his farms.

http://www.tmz.com/videos/0_0hi77kin – Court Video


Every person in the United States is considered innocent until proven guilty. Chris Soules is an innocent man unless and until the State of Iowa proves his guilt beyond and to the exclusion of all reasonable doubt. That said, there is no doubt that he killed a man last night. That does not mean his actions were criminal but they were most definitely tragic.


The team at Stowers & Sarcone, PLC is dedicating to providing only the highest quality criminal defense. If you or a loved one are charged with a crime you need the best possible defense. Visit our website and call us now!


Des Moines Register Story

“Bachelor” star Chris Soules has been accused of leaving the scene of a deadly crash, according to the Buchanan County Jail.

A call to Soules’ cell phone went directly to voicemail and

Soules was booked into the jail at 1:16 a.m., on a criminal charge of leaving the scene of an accident at which a death occurred, the jail told The Register.

KWWL is reporting the arrest is in connection with a fatal crash Monday night.

Buchanan County Sheriff’s Office dispatch got a call at about 8:20 p.m. Monday that a pickup truck had collided with a tractor north of Aurora in Buchanan County, said Deputy Cory Hartmann, who responded to the scene, told The Register.

Identities of the victim and the pickup driver and the medical condition of the pickup driver were not available Monday night.

The tractor driver was an older man, Hartmann said, and was taken by ambulance to Mercy Hospital in Oelwein, where he was pronounced dead.