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A guilty plea to Iowa criminal charges doesn't always mean guilt

Just because an Iowa resident pleads guilty in court doesn't necessarily mean that he or she is, in fact, guilty of illegal activity. Unfair as it may seem, it is not uncommon for individuals facing criminal charges to decide they would prefer to plead guilty, as doing so may result in a much quicker legal process. Additionally, the sentences for pleading guilty are often more lenient than if a defendant had chosen to plead innocent and then been convicted anyway.

An Iowa woman has recently filed a notice that she intends to plead guilty to the fraud charges she is facing. According to official reports, the woman stands accused of a federal charge of filing fraudulent invoices for highway project materials. This allegedly resulted in more than $800,000 in overcharges to the Iowa Department of Transportation.

Per documentation, the accusations against the woman involve her alleged falsification and alteration of invoices over the course of several months in 2016. This supposedly included increasing the price of a polystyrene fill used in construction by approximately $1.40 per unit for more than 51,000 units of the material, an alleged action which resulted in overcharges to the IDOT of a total of $807,637. The current charge against the woman is one count of making false statements.

Of course, it is unknown why the woman decided it would be in her best interest to plead guilty, but choosing to do so is the right of any Iowa resident who finds him or herself facing federal criminal charges. Regardless of how accused individuals choose to deal with any legal charges leveled against them, the advice and support of a criminal defense attorney often proves crucial. Whether defendants decide to fight the accusations they are facing or need their counsels' help to negotiate a plea bargain for a lesser sentence, a lawyer's skilled legal guidance is frequently invaluable in achieving the best possible outcome.

Source: siouxcityjournal.com, "Woman charged with filing $807,000 in false invoices with IDOT", Nick Hytrek, Aug. 4, 2017

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