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Katherine Sears

Katherine Sears

Clark & Sears Law, PLLC
  • Criminal Law, DUI & DWI
  • Iowa
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Practice Areas
Criminal Law
Criminal Appeals, Drug Crimes, Expungement, Fraud, Gun Crimes, Internet Crimes, Sex Crimes, Theft, Violent Crimes
  • Free Consultation
  • Credit Cards Accepted
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
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  • English: Spoken, Written
Professional Experience
Clark & Sears Law, PLLC
- Current
Student Attorney
Drake University Legal Clinic
Drake University Law School
J.D. (2017) | Law
Honors: Iowa Supreme Court Scholarship, Criminal Law certificate
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Iowa State Supreme Court Scholarship
Drake University Law School
Professional Associations
The Iowa State Bar Association  # 33803040
- Current
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American Bar Association
- Current
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National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
- Current
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Websites & Blogs
Clark and Sears Website
Legal Answers
21 Questions Answered
Q. When feds pick up a state case how does that person get appointed a federal lawyer,from their state lawyer
A: Those of us who practice exclusively Iowa law don't necessarily know how to navigate PACER (the federal filing system) let alone how to request the appointment of federal counsel.

Your friend could call the federal public defender's office and see if someone over there knows.

Here is a brochure I found on the Iowa Federal Public Defender's page:

Good luck!
Q. Once a judge accepts a plea with a certain sentence can the judge change that sentence
A: In Iowa, where this question appears to have been asked, the judge generally retains the latitude to accept a plea while rejecting a plea offer and imposing any legal sentence. Yes, that would include changing unsupervised probation to supervised probation. If you have questions about this, you should discuss it with your attorney.

If you filed a written plea, you may find that a phrase like "the Court is not bound by the plea agreement and may give me the maximum sentence allowed by law, including any enhanced sentence" is written right into the document that you presumably reviewed and signed.

You cannot request a new judge in Iowa because you don't like that the judge rejected your plea or imposed a sentence you didn't like. ... Read More
Q. Hello. If someone can get this message. Can you tell me if possible to get a pro bonus lawyer to represent someone
A: It is possible (but unlikely) that an attorney will offer pro bono representation in the sort of case you're describing.  You are always free to call around and ask, but bear in mind that you are essentially asking someone to pay to work for you. Time that lawyers spend working pro bono is time that they spend accumulating expenses that aren't being paid for by a client.  Gotta pay the internet bill and the Westlaw bill (etc.) whether or not the client pays for the time the lawyer spends using those services.

The defendant in the case you're describing can apply for an attorney at public expense if he can't afford to hire a lawyer.  Here is a link to a financial affidavit he can fill out and submit to the court in support of his request:

If the defendant is indigent, the Court will appoint the public defender's office to represent him. If the public defender's office has a conflict or is too busy, he may instead be appointed either a lawyer with the juvenile public defender's office or a private attorney who contracts with the State Public Defender's Office.
... Read More
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Contact & Map
317 6th Ave
Ste 1200
Des Moines, IA 50309
Cell: (515) 491-6128
Fax: (844) 466-9366
PO Box 974
Ankeny, IA 50023
Telephone: (515) 491-6128