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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
    DUI & DWI
  • 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
American Bar Association
- Current
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National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
- Current
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The Iowa State Bar Association  # 33803040
- Current
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Websites & Blogs
Clark and Sears Website
Legal Answers
20 Questions Answered
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.
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.
Q. If I were to attempt suicide while pregnant in the state of Iowa would I get in trouble
A: If you attempted suicide and *succeeded,* you would be dead. Can't really get in trouble if you're dead, right? That you're asking this question therefore suggests that you're considering "attempting" suicide *without* succeeding. (I'd call that more of a "gesture" than an "attempt," really.) Rather than asking whether you'll get in trouble for that, consider reflecting on (1) why you would do something like that (are you looking for attention? Be honest with yourself...) and (2) will that hurt your unborn child? I think the answer to (2) is clearly "possibly," depending on what sort of "attempt" or gesture you're contemplating. That's not really fair, is it? To hurt your baby, who has done absolutely *nothing* wrong and who is completely dependent on you at this point for every aspect of her or his wellbeing? Please seek immediate medical advice if you're considering suicidal acts, suicidal gestures, or acts of self-harm, including temporary commitment if necessary. Do *not* make decisions now that will harm a baby that you're planning on carrying to term. A suicidal gesture that carries risk of harm to your fetus would be shockingly selfish. You can (and should and must) do better than that, no matter what emotional turmoil you're undergoing. Your moral obligations outweigh your subjective emotional experience. There is nothing in the world that could possibly be so upsetting to you that it merits collateral injury to a baby. And yes, depending on the specific of what you actually do or attempt, you could face prosecution or other consequences for actions you take during pregnancy.
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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