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State v. Young

Court of Appeals of Iowa

June 21, 2017

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
CHARLES THOMAS YOUNG, Defendant-Appellant.

         Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Gregory D. Brandt, District Associate Judge.

         Charles Young appeals from the judgment and the sentence imposed upon his guilty plea. AFFIRMED.

          Nathan A. Olson of Branstad Law, P.L.L.C., Des Moines, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Tyler J. Buller, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

          Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Potterfield and Bower, JJ.

          DANILSON, Chief Judge.

         Charles Young appeals the sentence imposed upon his guilty plea to driving while barred as a habitual offender, an aggravated misdemeanor, in violation of Iowa Code section 321.561 (2016). Young contends the district court abused its discretion by failing to consider other factors in sentencing and by refusing to entertain the possibility of a probationary sentence. Finding no abuse of discretion, we affirm.

         I. Background Facts and Proceedings.

         On May 22, 2016, Young was arrested for driving while barred when he was pulled over during a traffic stop. On June 21, Young was again arrested for driving while barred. Pursuant to a plea agreement, Young pled guilty to the May driving-while-barred charge, and the State dismissed the June charge. The parties agreed the State would base its sentencing request on the presentence investigation (PSI) report and Young was free to argue for an appropriate sentence.

         At the September 14 sentencing hearing, the State requested that the court adopt the recommendation of the PSI for Young's sentence, which was a term of incarceration deemed appropriate by the court. Young's counsel noted that while the PSI report indicated he was unemployed, Young was now working for a demolition company fifty to sixty hours per week and being paid fourteen dollars per hour in cash. Counsel also noted Young received rides to worksites from a coworker and he now lives in Ottumwa with his girlfriend who is able to give him rides around town. Counsel argued Young had "made concrete steps in the recent months to try to get his life back on track, " had frequent contact with his children, good support from his mother, and he would begin to pay off his child support obligation now that he was employed. Counsel asked the court to suspend any sentence and place Young on probation. The court said to Young during his sentencing:

[T]his is one of the worst criminal histories I have ever seen.
. . . .
This now will be your sixth driving while barred. . . . [T]here have been ten probations granted to you that you've been unsuccessful for. . . .
. . . You're always remorseful when you get caught and it's time to be sentenced. Unfortunately, you're not so remorseful when you're out committing the crimes and that's the problem. This has been going on for ...

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