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Avila v. State

Court of Appeals of Iowa

March 22, 2017

GABRIEL AVILA, Applicant-Appellant,
v.
STATE OF IOWA, Respondent-Appellee.

         Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Robert A. Hutchison, Judge.

         Gabriel Avila appeals from the denial of his application for postconviction relief. AFFIRMED.

          Glen S. Downey of The Law Offices of Glen S. Downey, L.L.C., Des Moines, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Bridget A. Chambers, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee State.

          Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Vogel and Vaitheswaran, JJ.

          DANILSON, Chief Judge.

         Gabriel Avila appeals from the denial of his application for postconviction relief (PCR). Avila argues trial counsel was ineffective for failure to request an interpreter or object to the district court's determination an interpreter was not needed. Because Avila has not established either prong of his ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claim, we affirm the district court's denial of Avila's PCR application.

         I. Background, Facts, & Proceedings.

         On January 4, 2012, Avila was tried by jury on one count of delivery of a controlled substance, one count of failure to possess a tax stamp, and two counts of possession of a controlled substance. Before trial, the judge engaged in the following colloquy to determine if Avila needed an interpreter:

THE COURT: I want to make sure we don't need an interpreter.
THE DEFENDANT: Not really. I never need any interpreter when I started with this process.
THE COURT: I just want to make sure that it's on the record because I don't want to go through a three-day trial and waste everybody's time and have somebody come in-have you come back later and say, "I needed an interpreter."
If you want to make a record with him-maybe I should. This will not be admissible. I'm not placing him under oath, but I want these questions to be answered for this purpose. Where are you from?
THE DEFENDANT: I'm from Chihuahua, Mexico, and I live in Kansas City, Missouri.
THE COURT: And how long have you lived in the ...

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