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Thompson Law Office
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Thompson Law Office
Mark Thompson

220 Lafayette St.
Iowa City IA 52245
(319) 354-1630

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Thompson Law Office


Please Call: 319 354 1630

Our Practice

Our offices are located near the University of Iowa in Iowa City, and near the Linn County Courthouse in Cedar Rapids. We offer Free Consultations for drug and alcohol-related offenses such as DUI / OWI.

Education

Mark grew up in Williamsburg, Iowa. He enrolled in Luther College, in Decorah, Iowa, where he was active on the Cross Country and Track & Field teams. He graduated with a B.A. in computer science. He worked for an Internet upstart company in Minneapolis before returning to Iowa to pursue his law degree.

Mark was accepted at the University of Iowa College of Law in 2001, then ranked among the nation’s top 10% of all law schools by U.S. News and World Report. Mark also studied law at Oxford University in England. He graduated from the University of Iowa College of Law in May of 2004.

Thompson Law Office, LLC

Mr. Thompson now operates Thompson Law Office, LLC, in Iowa City, practicing primarily in criminal law, with a focus on OWI / DUI, alcohol and drug related cases.

Thompson Law Office, LLC also employs Caitlin Moore, a 2008 University of Wisconsin Law School graduate.

Professional Memberships and Activities

Member – Iowa State Bar Association, Criminal Law Division

Member – Iowa Trial Lawyers Association/Iowa Association for Justice, Criminal Law Section

Member – American Inn of Court

Scoring Mock Trial Judge – 2005, 2006 National Collegiate Mock Trial Tournament Finals, 2007,  University of Iowa College of Law Stephenson Competition

Presiding Mock Trial Judge – 2009 Stephenson Competition 2010 University of Iowa College of Law Trial Advocacy

Former Member – American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section

Former Member – Association of Trial Lawyers of America

Member – Iowa State Bar Association, YLD – Mock Trial Committee

Admitted to Practice in all Iowa State Courts

Seminars and Training

Iowa Association for Justice Criminal Law Seminar, Riverside, Iowa 2009

Iowa State Bar Association Criminal Law Seminar, Des Moines, Iowa, 2009

ISBA Criminal Law Seminar, Des Moines, Iowa 2008

Iowa Trial Lawyers Association 22nd Annual Criminal Law Seminar, Iowa City, Iowa 2008

ITLA 21st Annual Criminal Law Seminar, Iowa City, Iowa 2007

ISBA Nuts & Bolts Seminar, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 2007

Iowa Public Defender Criminal Law Seminar, Iowa City, Iowa 2006

ISBA Spanish for Lawyers and Legal Professionals, Cedar Rapids, 2006

ISBA Annual Meeting, Des Moines, Iowa, 2005

Past Employment Positions

Partner – Cole, Vondra & Thompson, LLP, Iowa City

Associate Attorney – John C. Wagner Law Offices, Cedar Rapids, Marengo and Amana

Law Clerk – Foster Law Office, Iowa City

Please view his recent case outcomes.

Please Call: 319 354 1630

Lawyer Biography

Education

Mark grew up in Williamsburg, Iowa. He enrolled in Luther College, in Decorah, Iowa, where he was active on the Cross Country and Track & Field teams. He graduated with a B.A. in computer science. He worked for an Internet upstart company in Minneapolis before returning to Iowa to pursue his law degree.

Mark was accepted at the University of Iowa College of Law in 2001, then ranked among the nation’s top 10% of all law schools by U.S. News and World Report. Mark also studied law at Oxford University in England. He graduated from the University of Iowa College of Law in May of 2004.

Thompson Law Office, LLC

Mr. Thompson now operates Thompson Law Office, LLC, in Iowa City, practicing primarily in criminal law, with a focus on OWI / DUI, alcohol and drug related cases.

Thompson Law Office, LLC also employs Caitlin Moore, a 2008 University of Wisconsin Law School graduate.

Professional Memberships and Activities

Member – Iowa State Bar Association, Criminal Law Division

Member – Iowa Trial Lawyers Association/Iowa Association for Justice, Criminal Law Section

Member – American Inn of Court

Scoring Mock Trial Judge – 2005, 2006 National Collegiate Mock Trial Tournament Finals, 2007,  University of Iowa College of Law Stephenson Competition

Presiding Mock Trial Judge – 2009 Stephenson Competition 2010 University of Iowa College of Law Trial Advocacy

Former Member – American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section

Former Member – Association of Trial Lawyers of America

Member – Iowa State Bar Association, YLD – Mock Trial Committee

Admitted to Practice in all Iowa State Courts

Seminars and Training

Iowa Association for Justice Criminal Law Seminar, Riverside, Iowa 2009

Iowa State Bar Association Criminal Law Seminar, Des Moines, Iowa, 2009

ISBA Criminal Law Seminar, Des Moines, Iowa 2008

Iowa Trial Lawyers Association 22nd Annual Criminal Law Seminar, Iowa City, Iowa 2008

ITLA 21st Annual Criminal Law Seminar, Iowa City, Iowa 2007

ISBA Nuts & Bolts Seminar, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 2007

Iowa Public Defender Criminal Law Seminar, Iowa City, Iowa 2006

ISBA Spanish for Lawyers and Legal Professionals, Cedar Rapids, 2006

ISBA Annual Meeting, Des Moines, Iowa, 2005

Past Employment Positions

Partner – Cole, Vondra & Thompson, LLP, Iowa City

Associate Attorney – John C. Wagner Law Offices, Cedar Rapids, Marengo and Amana

Law Clerk – Foster Law Office, Iowa City

Please view his recent case outcomes.

Alcohol-Related Offenses

Numerous alcohol-related offenses including OWI / DUI, possession of fake ID, public intoxication and possession of alcohol under legal age are common in the Iowa City and Cedar Rapids areas.

The most common serious misdemeanor alcohol-related offense is Operating While Intoxicated or OWI.  (Other jurisdictions call this offense DUI or DWI.)

OWI Overview

Iowa Code section 321J.2 defines the crime of OWI as someone operating a motor vehicle in Iowa under one or more of the following conditions:

  1. While under the influence of an alcoholic beverage or other drug or a combination of such substances,
  2. While having an alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or more,
  3. While any amount of a controlled substance is present in the person, as measured in the person’s blood or urine.

Therefore, if a small amount of alcohol leaves a person intoxicated, he can be found guilty of this offense even if his BAC is less than the statutory 0.08. Also, if a person is not “intoxicated” but nonetheless has a BAC of .08 or more, then he can be found guilty.  Of course, most cases show both a level of intoxication and a BAC result exceeding 0.80.

Finally, if any concentration of an illegal drug is in a person’s system and they operate a motor vehicle, then they can be guilty of this crime.

Criminal Penalties

The penalties for OWI are high, and have been increasing periodically in Iowa.

Iowa’s OWI law carries a mandatory minimum penalty.  If a defendant is convicted of the crime, the Court must impose a certain minimum jail time and fine.

A first offense OWI carries a mandatory minimum of two days in jail and a fine of $1,250.00. It is possible for the Court to authorize a 48-hour drinking drivers course in lieu of jail time. Also, if the defendant obtains a temporary restricted license the Court must cut the fine in half.

The maximum penalties are one year in jail and a fine of $1,875.00.

License Revocation

A driver who provided a breath test failure or refused a request for a bodily specimen during an OWI stop will likely face an Iowa Department of Transportation license or non-resident driving privilege revocation.  Based on the BAC amount or refusal, the revocation can be from 180 days to one year in Iowa.  For out-of-state residents, there may be additional license penalties from their home state.

In Iowa, the driver will be required to carry SR-22 (high risk) insurance on their vehicle for two years following the onset of the revocation.  Depending on the level of the BAC, the driver may have to rent an ignition interlock device to install on their vehicle if they wish to obtain a work or school permit.

Deferred Judgments

Depending on the BAC, prior offenses, prior deferred judgments, property damage or personal injury, and if a defendant refused the test, a deferred judgment may be available. A deferred judgment is often an excellent outcome for an OWI. The deferred judgment will allow a defendant to avoid jail time and avoid a conviction on their record.

Please consult with us before make a decision regarding a deferred judgment. There are many factors that must be examined, certainly more than can be discussed in this article.

Subsequent OWI’s

An OWI is an “enhanced penalty” offense.  Meaning, that subsequent convictions for this crime carry increased penalties.   For example, the minimum jail sentence for a second offense OWI is 7 days in jail. For a third offense OWI, the minimum jail sentence is 30 days, and the crime is considered a felony.

After Arrest

Upon arrest for a OWI, action must be taken immediately. The judge will usually order that a substance abuse evaluation be completed within ten to thirty days. The Iowa Department of Transportation will need to know within ten days if a driver wishes to contest the suspension of his license or non-resident operating privilege.

The court will set a preliminary hearing likely within a few weeks of a defendant’s arrest.

Due to the penalties that follow even a first offense OWI, each case must be carefully examined by an attorney practicing criminal law to determine that all legal resources are utilized for the defendant.

If the police failed to use proper procedure, a motion to suppress may be filed. An appeal hearing can be held with the IDOT to delay or dismiss any license revocation that may occur.

With any penalties that may have to be enforced, we can help a defendant work toward getting the minimum fines and minimum jail time.

If you have been charged with OWI in Iowa, please contact our office at (319) 354-1630.

Drug Charges

Mark Thompson has extensive experience dealing with criminal cases involving possession and/or delivery of controlled substances.

Controlled substances charges (drug charges) are brought under Iowa Code §124.401.  This code section is long and complex, and covers every type of drug possession or delivery offense.

Overwhelmingly these cases involve marijuana.  The case can be charged as either possession, or intent to deliver/delivery.

The decision to charge as intent to deliver/delivery depends on various facts surrounding the arrest, including the following:  Amount of drug seized, statements by the defendant, undercover surveillance, paraphernalia, sums of cash and other factors.

Drug charges  are prosecuted by the Johnson County Attorney’s Office for any arrests that take place in Iowa City, University Heights, Coralville, North Liberty or any of the other surrounding communities within the county. The Linn County Attorney’s Office will handle cases from Cedar Rapids, Marion, Mt. Vernon, and the surrounding communities.

Marijuana-Specific Charges

The most common charge is possession of marijuana, first offense.

Marijuana possession charges are handled uniquely in the Iowa City and Cedar Rapids areas, and it is in a defendant’s best interest to find a lawyer which is familiar with the common case outcomes and sentencing options.

The penalty for a first offense possession of marijuana charge ranges from 2 days in jail up to 6 months, and the fine ranges from $315.00 to $1,875.00.  The charge is a “hybrid” serious misdemeanor, meaning the maximum jail term is 6 months as opposed to 1 year for regular serious misdemeanors.

Subsequent offenses can be regular misdemeanors, aggravated misdemeanors or even felony charges for possession, as long as at one point the defendant has been convicted of possessing a controlled substance aside from marijuana.

Deferred Judgments

The charge is eligible for a deferred judgment, which is an excellent outcome for a drug charge.  A successful deferred judgment would eliminate the need for any jail time, and no drug convictions would appear on the defendant’s record.  This is important for future employment searches, and for students the lack of a conviction would keep them eligible for federal financial aid for school.

Many times the defendant will be asked to produce a clean urinalysis and complete a substance abuse evaluation and any recommended treatment.  This is required in all local cases where a deferred judgment is requested.

Possible Dismissals

On very rare occasions, the defendant may be eligible to have the marijuana charge dismissed altogether.  However, this will require a conviction on a related matter, such as possession of drug paraphernalia.

There are many consequences to getting a deferred judgment, dismissal or conviction on a drug charge and these should be discussed with a qualified local attorney.

Contact Us

If you have questions regarding a drug case in the Iowa City or Cedar Rapids area, please call Thompson Law Office at (319) 354-1630. Initial consultations are free.


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