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Benjamin Bergmann

A fluent Spanish speaker, Benjamin Bergmann gears his practice specifically toward Iowa’s Hispanic community.  Mr. Bergmann maintains a general law practice with particular focus on criminal defense, both state and federal, immigration law, and personal injury law.

Mr. Bergmann attended the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls as a Presidential Scholar.  He graduated from Drake University Law School with certificates in Litigation and Dispute Resolution, Constitutional Law and Civil Rights, and Public Service.  A native of Frederika, Iowa, Mr. Bergmann currently lives in Des Moines, where he utilizes his knowledge of Spanish and legal expertise as a volunteer at the HOLA Center legal clinic.  In addition to his pro bono (charitable) legal services, Mr. Bergmann also volunteers his time as a coach and judge for the Iowa State High School Mock Trial competitions.

Representative Cases:

  • State v. Juana Castellanos, Wapello County Case No. FECR007863. Client charged with, among other things, with Kidnapping in the First Degree (Class A Felony). If convicted at trial, Ms. Castellanos would have been sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole. During discovery, client pleaded guilty to Willful Injury (non-forcible Class D Felony) and received a suspended sentence with no prison time imposed.
  • State v. Ivan Castellon, Polk County Case No. FECR247730. Client charged with Conspiracy to Deliver a Controlled Substance, a Class B Felony, punishable by a mandatory 1/3 minimum sentence (eight years, four months) before being eligible for parole if convicted at trial; Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver, (a Class B Felony); and Failure to Possess a Tax Stamp, a Class D Felony. The case proceeded to trial, and the jury returned a not guilty verdict on each count.
  • State v. Oscar Leyva Sandoval, Wapello County Case No. AGIN018687. Client was charged with Carrying Weapons (an Aggravated Misdemeanor). Following hearing on a Motion to Suppress, the State agreed to defer prosecution. Following a successful probationary period, the State dismissed the charge.
  • State v. Robert Rose, Sr., Wapello County Case No. FECR007914. Client was charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance. The Court granted client’s motion to suppress, finding police obtained evidence violation of client’s constitutional rights. The Court then dismissed the case.
  • State v. David Clark, Wapello County Case No. FECR008128. Client was charged with Burglary in the First Degree (a Class B Felony), Robbery in the First Degree (a Class B Felony), and Assault with a Dangerous Weapon (an Aggravated Misdemeanor). Client was facing a seventeen and one-half year (17 ½) mandatory minimum sentence prior to becoming eligible for parole on the Robbery charge alone. Mr. Bergmann convinced the Court the order Mr. Clark to long-term substance abuse treatment. After two years of sobriety, and following depositions, Client pleaded guilty to Burglary in the Third Degree (a Class D Felony) and was placed on probation.
  • State v. Juan Francisco Mendez Ramos, Wapello County Case No. FECR008130. Client was charged with Sexual Abuse in the Second Degree, (a Class B Felony). Client was facing a seventeen and one-half year (17 ½) mandatory minimum sentence prior to becoming eligible for parole. Following deposition of the alleged victim, the State dismissed the case.
  • State v. Augstin Ochoa, Wapello County Case No. OTSMSM031046. Client was charged with Interference with Official Acts for pulling away from a police officer after Client exercised his Fifth Amendment rights. Case was dismissed. Client has now filed a suit against the officer, alleging excessive force and violation of Client’s constitutional rights.
  • State v. Michael Jerez, Polk County Case No. FECR246587, and State v. Danyer Rioseco Azcuy, Polk County Case No. FECR246585. Clients were truck drivers stopped on I-80. The trailer they were hauling was discovered to be stolen. Sufficient evidence was presented to the State that Clients had no knowledge the trailer was stolen, and the State dismissed the case.
  • State v. Seifu Sehaye, Polk County Case No. FECR248874. Client was charged with Possession with Intent to Deliver a Controlled Substance (a Class C Felony). Following discovery, the case was dismissed.
  • Bayron Monterroso v. Polk County Jail et al., U.S. District Court, S. Dist. of Iowa, Case No. 4:10-cv-00464-REL. Client alleged Polk County Jail staff violated his constitutional rights by unreasonably assaulting him. Client reached a confidential settlement.
  • Adrienne and Steven Daszkiewicz, individual and as parents and next friends of Tiffany Daszkiewicz v. Saydel Community School District et al., Polk Co. Case No. LACL120014. Parents of a nine-year old girl sued central Iowa community school district for failing to protect her from physical assaults from bullies. Clients reached a confidential settlement.
  • Maria Espinosa v. Quality Manufacturing Corporation, U.S. District Court, S. Dist. of Iowa, Case No. 4:10-cv-00339-JAJ. Client filed employment discrimination claim, alleging unwanted sexual advances from a co-employee. Client reached a confidential settlement.
  • Justino Calzada v. the City of Marshalltown et al., U.S. District Court, S. Dist. of Iowa, Case No. 4-09-cv-373. Client alleged central Iowa police officer violated his constitutional rights by unreasonably assaulting him during a traffic stop. Client reached a confidential settlement.
  • Mirsad Kajtazovic v. Quality Transport, LLC, Polk County Case No. LACL115033. Client sought unpaid wages under Iowa Code § 91A. Client reached a confidential settlement.
  • Jason Buck v. John Paul Haas, Polk County Case No. LACL116216. Client filed suit against Defendant, alleging Defendant stomped on Client’s head, cracking his cranium. Client reached a confidential settlement.
  • Silvia Guadalupe Ganuza v. the United States of America et al., U.S. District Court, S. Dist. of Iowa, Case No. 4:10-cv-72. Client filed for writ of mandamus and for an injunction to prevent her deportation. The government agreed to not deport her. Client filed for U-Visa relief, which was granted. Client and her three children are now authorized to be present in the United States.
  • In the Matter of Silvia Guadalupe Ganuza, Board of Immigration Appeals. The immigration judge denied client’s motion to reopen an in absentia deportation order. Client appealed to the BIA, which overturned the IJ’s erroneous ruling, and remanded the case for further proceedings. Upon grant of U Visa, the case was terminated.
  • In the Matter of Jose Francisco Pineda Figueroa, in the Omaha Immigration Court. Client sought and was granted cancellation of removal, meaning he will become a lawful permanent resident of the United States, and was released from custody. Client had two United States citizen children and one United States citizen step-daughter. Children suffered abuse and neglect at the hands of their mother, and were handicapped by the abuse and neglect. Judge commended the client’s willingness to stay in custody for six months for the opportunity to care for his children.
  • In the Matter of Jaime Garcia Garcia, in the Omaha Immigration Court. Client sought and was granted cancellation of removal for lawful permanent residents. The judge commended client on his support of his three young children and his handicapped wife.
  • In the Matter of Jose Diaz, in the Omaha Immigration Court. The government sought to remove client, a lawful permanent resident, for a Minnesota criminal conviction. In coordination with a colleague in Minnesota, the criminal conviction was amended, and the immigration judge terminated the case.
  • In the Matter of Jose Benjamin Mendez Hernandez, in the Omaha Immigration Court. The government sought to remove client in the basis of an assault conviction in Iowa. Following briefs from the parties, the immigration judge terminated the case, without hearing, and client was released from custody.
  • In the Matter of Nermin Omerovic, in the Omaha Immigration Court. After trial, Client was granted cancellation of removal for lawful permanent residents. Had Client lost, Client would have been deported to Bosnia, a county in which he had not lived since he fled as a refugee at age six.
  • In the Matter of Brenda Renteria, in the Board of Immigration Appeals. The government appealed the immigration judge’s grant of cancellation of removal. The BIA upheld the judge’s grant. Client will become lawful permanent resident.
  • United State v. Ruben Valdovinos, U.S. District Court, S. Dist. of Iowa, Case No. 4:09-cr-00198-JEG-CFB. Client was charged a pleaded guilty to illegal reentry to the United States. The sentencing guidelines called for a range of imprisonment of 57-71 months. After argument at sentencing, client received a downward variance of twenty months, and was sentenced to only 37 months.
  • United State v. Eliseo Umana Garcia, U.S. District Court, S. Dist. of Iowa, Case No. 4:10-cr-00064-REL-RAW-1. Client was charged and pleaded guilty to illegal reentry. The sentencing guidelines called for a range of imprisonment of 57-71 months. After argument at sentencing, client received a downward variance of 17 months, and was sentenced to only 40 months.
  • Semir Duric v. State, Buena Vista County Case No. PCCV027993. Client sought post-conviction relief, alleging he received ineffective assistance of counsel from his trial attorney because counsel failed to advise Client that the conviction in question would result in his deportation. Upon the scheduling of the deposition of former counsel, the State agreed to stipulate to granting post-conviction relief. Client has now accepted a plea agreement that will not result in his deportation.