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State v. Garcia

Court of Appeal of Iowa

November 6, 2013

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
FRANCISCO JAVIER GARCIA, Defendant-Appellant

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Marshall County, Kim M. Riley, District Associate Judge.

Defendant appeals his convictions, following guilty pleas, for operating while intoxicated, third offense, and driving while revoked.

Darrell G. Meyer, Marshalltown, for appellant.

Francisco Garcia, Marshalltown, appellant pro se.

Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, Martha E. Trout, Assistant Attorney General, Jennifer Miller, County Attorney, and Benjamin J. Stansberry, Assistant County Attorney, for appellee.

Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Mullins and Bower, JJ.

BOWER, J.

Francisco Javier Garcia appeals his convictions, following guilty pleas, for operating while intoxicated, third offense, and driving while revoked. He claims he received ineffective assistance from defense counsel on several grounds. We determine his claims cannot be addressed on the present record and preserve his claims for possible postconviction relief proceedings. We affirm his convictions.

I. Background Facts and Proceedings

On July 7, 2012, the Marshalltown police were dispatched to an area of Woodbury Street around 8:00 p.m. after Max Levis reported an intoxicated driver. Levis saw Francisco Garcia drive over a terrace, over the curb, and then drive erratically backwards down Woodbury Street. Garcia then made four attempts to park the car on the side of the street. After parking, Garcia stumbled out of the car and over to a retaining wall.

Upon her arrival, Officer Brooke noticed Garcia sitting on the retaining wall. When she approached Garcia, Officer Brooke smelled the "strong odor" of an intoxicating beverage. Subsequently, Garcia failed a horizontal gaze nystagmus test. Garcia also admitted driving the car when he told Officer Brooke he "was just parking the vehicle down the street." Officer Brooke learned Garcia's driving privileges had been revoked. Garcia was arrested and charged with one count of operating while intoxicated, third offense, as a habitual offender, and driving while revoked. See Iowa Code §§ 321.J.2, 902.8, 321J.21 (2011).

In October 2012 Garcia entered two guilty pleas: October 12—open-court plea to operating while intoxicated, third offense; October 15—written guilty plea to driving while revoked. In December 2012 Garcia was sentenced. He now appeals his convictions.

II. Discussion

Garcia asserts his trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance on several issues: (1) whether the services of an interpreter were needed when he entered his guilty pleas, (2) whether counsel induced his pleas of guilty by false promises as to the sentencing outcome, and (3) ...


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