- A complaint is a report of a law violation by a juvenile. One complaint may contain one or more allegations.
- A charge/allegation is a description of a law violation on a complaint. There may be one or more charges/allegations on one complaint.
- Informal Adjustment
- An informal adjustment is an agreement where the child and the child's parents must agree to the terms required in an informal adjustment agreement. The agreement always requires that the child admit the charges. In addition, the typical agreement requires (1) non-judicial probation in which the child is to abide by conditions of behavior imposed under the probation or (2) treatment services. Typically, if a child obeys the conditions of the informal adjustment a petition is not filed and the child is released from the oversight of the juvenile court.
- Petition Filed
- The filing of a petition triggers formal court proceedings. The petition contains allegations of the child's delinquent acts. After the filing of the petition there will be one or more hearings--a waiver hearing and an adjudicatory hearing.
- Adult Court Waiver
- In cases involving violent criminal behavior by older adolescents there may be a waiver hearing. Iowa law provides that some people under 18 years of age may be tried as adults. A juvenile judge may "waive" a child to adult court if the child is over 14 years of age, and there are no reasonable prospects to rehabilitate the child in juvenile court. Additionally, if a child is sixteen or over and commits a "forcible felony," that child is automatically waived to adult court. Once waived to adult court, the child is no longer under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court and is subject to the same criminal procedures and penalties as adults.
- Calendar Year
- Calendar year runs from January 1st through December 31st of each year.
- Judicial District
- The State of Iowa is divided into eight court districts, referred to as judicial districts, each encompassing five or more of Iowa's 99 counties. The legislature decided the size and shape of each district and no county lines are crossed, accounting for irregular shapes and sizes. Click here for map of judicial districts and counties.
- State Fiscal Year
- A state fiscal year runs from July 1st through June 30th of the following year.
- The county in which the charge or conviction was handled.
- Age at Complaint
- The age of the youth at the time of disposition, if known.
- The gender of the youth, if known.
- The race of the youth, if known.
- Crime Class
- The crime class is the level of offense or seriousness. In Iowa, felonies are crimes that are punishable by incarceration in state prison. Felonies in Iowa are designated as class "A," "B," "C," or "D."
Misdemeanors are crimes that are punishable by up to two years in local or county jail and/or state prison. Misdemeanors in Iowa are designated as aggravated, serious, or simple.
Iowa Crime Class Potential Criminal Penalty Simple Misdemeanor Up to 30 days in jail and $625 in fines Serious Misdemeanor Up to 1 year in jail and $1875 in fines Aggravated Misdemeanor Up to 2 years imprisonment and $6250 in fines Class D Felony Up to 5 years and $7500 in fines Class C Felony Up to 10 years and $10,000 in fines Class B Felony Up to 25 years Class A Felony Up to Life imprisonmentSome crimes are exceptions to these sentencing classifications and may carry a mandatory minimum sentence.
- Crime Type
- The crime type is a general classification for criminal offenses, including Drug, Other, Property, Public Order, Violent, and Unknown.
- Crime Sub Type
- The crime sub type is a more detailed classification of criminal offenses and allows offenses to be placed into more specific groups.