On review from the Iowa Court of Appeals.
Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Robert B. Hanson, Judge.
A criminal defendant alleges the district court imposed an illegal sentence by not granting him credit for time served.
Mark C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, and Martha J. Lucey, Assistant Appellate Defender, for appellant.
Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, Teresa M. Baustian, Assistant Attorney General, John P. Sarcone, County Attorney, and Jaki L. Livingston, Assistant County Attorney, for appellee.
In this case, we consider whether a criminal defendant is entitled to credit against a prison sentence for time spent prior to sentencing at the Iowa Residential Treatment Center (IRTC) and for time spent in jail as a result of drug court program violations. The district court denied credit. The defendant appealed, claiming the refusal to grant credit as required by law resulted in an illegal sentence. We transferred the case to the court of appeals. The court of appeals held that while the defendant was not entitled to credit for time served in jail for violations while participating in the drug court program, he was entitled to credit for time served at the IRTC. We granted further review. Upon further review, we conclude the defendant is entitled to credit for time spent at the IRTC and for time spent in jail as a result of drug court program violations.
I. Procedural and Factual Background.
The State charged David Calvin with second-degree theft as a habitual offender and second-degree harassment. Calvin entered a guilty plea to the theft charge pursuant to North Carolina v. Alford, 400 U.S. 25, 91 S.Ct. 160, 27 L.Ed.2d 162 (1970), and agreed to enter the Polk County drug court program, an intensive supervision program. Under the plea agreement, Calvin and the State agreed to jointly recommend he receive a suspended sentence if he successfully completed the program. If Calvin failed to successfully complete the program, the parties agreed Calvin would serve a prison sentence. The State also agreed to dismiss the harassment charge and another case pending in Polk County. The district court accepted Calvin's Alford plea on March 24, 2011, ordered him to remain in custody pending further court order, and ordered him brought to drug court program registration the following day.
On March 25, Calvin signed an "Intensive Supervision Court Release Agreement and Order, " an "Intensive Supervision Court Contract, " and an "Intensive Supervision Court Plea Agreement." All three documents outlined possible sanctions for violations of the drug court program, including jail time. The release agreement provided that Calvin could be "placed in jail immediately" for violations "of any term of [the] agreement." The contract provided that if Calvin failed to follow "the directives given [him], " he could be sanctioned with a "period of incarceration as determined by the judge" and that Calvin could be incarcerated for a failure to remain drug free. The plea agreement provided that "[s]erious violations that do not result in Defendant being removed from the program may result in short term jail stays as a penalty for breaking the rules." The plea agreement further provided that Calvin could be immediately arrested and incarcerated if he "violated the terms and conditions of Drug Court or [was] not making satisfactory progress." Finally, the release agreement contained a provision stating Calvin may be required to participate in residential treatment prior to release or to reside at a halfway house.
On the same day Calvin executed these documents, the district court entered an order requiring Calvin to participate in residential treatment at the IRTC, which is part of the Mount Pleasant Mental Health Institute. This order stated Calvin's substance abuse evaluation indicated a need for residential treatment. The order required the sheriff to transport Calvin to the facility. It also provided that if Calvin "leaves the treatment center at any time without an escort by the Polk County Sheriff's Office, the act of leaving shall be deemed an escape and defendant may be prosecuted on a separate criminal violation for such escape." It finally required Calvin to remain in the facility until discharge, at which time the order required the sheriff to transport Calvin back to the Polk County jail to await continuing care arrangements.
According to his presentence investigation report, Calvin successfully completed treatment at the IRTC. After his discharge, however, Calvin's participation in the drug court program became problematic. He was arrested on a bench warrant for a violation of the drug court release agreement. As a result of the violation, Calvin was incarcerated for one night. The next day, the district court ordered that Calvin be released from jail and transported to the Harbor of Hope halfway house. The district court order directed, "Defendant shall remain in said facility until successful discharge . . . ."
After his transfer to the halfway house, Calvin was found in contempt for a violation of the program's rules. As a result, Calvin was incarcerated in the Polk County jail for five days and released, though the record does not reveal the circumstances of his release. Shortly thereafter, the district court issued a warrant for Calvin's arrest for another violation of the terms of the drug court program. Allegedly, Calvin had absconded from the halfway house. Authorities arrested Calvin almost six months later.
In light of the repeated infractions, on March 16, 2012, the district court removed Calvin from participation in the drug court program and imposed a sentence for second-degree theft as a habitual offender, pursuant to the plea bargain. The district court sentenced Calvin to serve fifteen years in prison, subject to a mandatory minimum of three years. The district court denied Calvin credit for time served between March 25, 2011, ...