from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Mark R.
domestic-abuse defendant challenges his 180-day jail
D. Jasper, Bettendorf, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Timothy M. Hau, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Tabor and McDonald, JJ.
Dolan appeals his jail sentence for domestic-abuse assault
while displaying a dangerous weapon. The district court
imposed a one-year term, suspending all but 180 days. Dolan
asserts the court relied on improper factors and abused its
discretion in deciding on the sentence. Because the record
contradicts Dolan's assertions, we affirm his sentence.
Facts and Prior Proceedings
former girlfriend summarized the facts of the assault in her
victim impact statement:
I thought the night of March 5th, 2016, would be a night to
hang out with . . . friends. James turned this evening into a
nightmare that I can never forget. The threat he made against
my life was traumatic. I had never felt so unsafe. I was
driving and had seen James'[s] car parked on the side of
the road. I noticed he had pulled up behind me and blocked me
in the driveway, so there was no way I could back out. I was
trapped. He quickly got out of his car, and in my rearview
mirror I noticed his daughter . . . was in the back seat. He
forcefully opened my car door, and he was holding a knife. He
said to me, "This is how easy it is for me to find you
and hurt you."
State charged Dolan with domestic-abuse assault with a
dangerous weapon, in violation of Iowa Code section
708.2A(2)(c) (2016). He was convicted of that aggravated
misdemeanor following a bench trial.
presentence investigation (PSI) report recommended
probation. The defense endorsed that recommendation
at the sentencing hearing. The State suggested Dolan serve
240 days in jail with all but thirty days suspended.
discussing the sentence with Dolan, the district court listed
"several troubling things" about the case, namely,
Dolan's criminal record, his use of a knife during the
assault, the purposeful nature of his contact with the
victim,  his decision to commit the assault while
his seven-year-old daughter waited in his car, and his
efforts "to get two of the State's witnesses to not
come in and testify."
district court rejected the sentencing options urged by the