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Charles Staples v. State of Iowa

March 13, 2013

CHARLES STAPLES, APPLICANT-APPELLANT,
v.
STATE OF IOWA, RESPONDENT-APPELLEE.



Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Robert B. Hanson, Judge.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Miller, S.J.

An applicant appeals a district court judgment denying his application for post-conviction relief. AFFIRMED.

Considered by Potterfield, P.J., Doyle, J., and Miller, S.J.* *Senior judge assigned by order pursuant to Iowa Code section 602.9206 (2013).

Charles R. Staples appeals a district court judgment denying his application for post-conviction relief from a conviction for third-offense operating while intoxicated (OWI). We affirm.

I. BACKGROUND FACTS AND PRIOR PROCEEDINGS.

Staples was charged in one trial information with third-offense OWI in

violation of Iowa Code sections 321J.2(1) and 321J.2(2)(c) (2007), a class "D" felony, and driving while barred, in violation of section 321.561, an aggravated misdemeanor. He was charged in a second trial information with another offense of driving while barred, and was charged in a separate complaint with operating a non-registered vehicle, a simple misdemeanor. As part of a plea agreement Staples pleaded guilty to the OWI charge and to the driving while barred charge contained in the second trial information, with the driving while barred charge in the first trial information and the simple misdemeanor charge both to be dismissed.

Staples waived his time and right to file a motion in arrest of judgment, his right to have a presentence investigation report considered for sentencing, and his right to time before sentencing. The matter proceeded to sentencing directly following his pleas of guilty. In relevant part, on the felony OWI conviction the court sentenced Staples to a suspended prison term of no more than five years, placed him on probation for five years, and ordered him to serve 300 days in jail (with credit for eighty days already served). See Iowa Code § 321J.2(3)(a)(2).

On the driving while barred conviction the court imposed a sentence of 300 days in jail (with credit for eighty days already served).

Staples appealed. We affirmed the judgment of the district court. State v. Staples, No. 07-1916, 2008 WL 4531023 (Iowa Ct. App. Oct. 1, 2008). Staples subsequently filed an application for post-conviction relief on July 9, 2009. Following a hearing the district court filed a ruling on September 8, 2010, denying relief. Staples timely appealed. On appeal he pursues claims that defense counsel in the criminal proceeding rendered ineffective assistance, and he raises a claim of error by the trial court in the criminal proceeding.*fn1

II. SCOPE AND STANDARDS OF REVIEW.

In general, we review the district court's denial of an application for post-conviction relief for correction of errors at law. Lamasters v. State, 821 N.W.2d 856, 862 (Iowa 2012). However, when an applicant has asserted claims of a constitutional nature, we review de novo. Id. Claims of a constitutional nature include claims of ineffective assistance of counsel. Ledezma v. State, 626 N.W.2d 134, 141 (Iowa 2001).

A claimant alleging ineffective assistance of counsel must prove (1) counsel failed to perform an essential duty and (2) prejudice resulted. To establish prejudice, a claimant must demonstrate there is a reasonable probability that, but for counsel's unprofessional errors, the result of the proceeding would have been different. In the context of a guilty plea, an applicant for post-conviction relief must prove a reasonable probability that, ...


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