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State v. Thompson

Court of Appeals of Iowa

December 21, 2016

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
TRACY ADAM THOMPSON, Defendant-Appellant.

         Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, Joel A. Dalrymple, Judge.

         Following a guilty plea, the defendant appeals from his conviction and sentence for domestic abuse assault causing bodily injury. CONVICTION AFFIRMED; SENTENCE VACATED AND REMANDED.

          Mark C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Genevieve Reinkoester, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

          Considered by Mullins, P.J., McDonald, J., and Blane, S.J. [*]

          BLANE, Senior Judge.

         Tracy Thompson appeals from his conviction and sentence for domestic abuse assault causing bodily injury, an aggravated misdemeanor, in violation of Iowa Code section 708.2A(3)(b) (2015). Thompson pled guilty to the offense. On appeal, he maintains his trial counsel provided ineffective assistance by failing to advise him of the surcharge that would be added to any fine that was imposed and by failing to withdraw Thompson's guilty plea after, he alleges, the court did not sentence him in accordance with the plea agreement. Thompson also challenges his sentence as illegal.

         I. Background Facts and Proceedings.

         In July 2015, Thompson was charged by trial information with domestic abuse assault causing bodily injury.

         On September 29, 2015 Thompson signed a written guilty plea. The plea included an agreement that Thompson would be sentenced to two years' incarceration, with all but 220 days suspended, and he would receive credit for time already served. Additionally, he would receive a suspended fine of $625 and two years' probation. The agreement did not mention the mandatory surcharge that would be applied to the fine. As part of the agreement, if the plea and sentence were not accepted by the court, Thompson was free to withdraw the plea. Thompson waived his right to both an in-court colloquy and delayed sentencing.

         On the same date, the court accepted Thompson's plea and sentenced him to two years' imprisonment with all but 220 days suspended, with credit for time served, as well as probation. As part of the sentence, the court imposed the minimum fine, $625, as well as the thirty-five percent surcharge, $218.75, and suspended both.

         Thompson appeals.

         II. Ineffective Assistance.

         To prevail on a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel, Thompson must prove by a preponderance of the evidence (1) his attorney failed to perform an essential duty and (2) prejudice resulted from the failure. See State v. Rodriguez, 804 N.W.2d 844, 848 (Iowa 2011). We look to the cumulative effect of counsel's alleged errors to determine whether Thompson satisfied his burden regarding the prejudice prong. State v. Clay, 824 N.W.2d 488, 501 (Iowa 2012). His claim fails if either element is lacking. See Everett v. State, 789 N.W.2d 151, 159 (Iowa 2010). Although we prefer to preserve ineffective-assistance claims for development of the record, see State v. Tate, 710 ...


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