from the Iowa District Court for Des Moines County, Michael
G. Dieterich, District Associate Judge.
Sanders appeals his conviction following a guilty plea to
possession of marijuana.
William R. Monroe of Law Office of William Monroe,
Burlington, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Thomas J. Ogden, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Doyle and Bower, JJ.
Sanders appeals his conviction of possession of a controlled
substance, first offense, a serious misdemeanor in violation
of Iowa Code section 124.401(5) (2016). He challenges his
written guilty plea on the basis it was not knowing and
voluntary because he was not informed of the nature of the
charge to which his plea was offered as required by Iowa Rule
of Criminal Procedure 2.8(2)(b)(1). In the alternative,
Sanders claims his plea counsel was ineffective. We affirm.
review a challenge to a guilty plea for correction of errors
at law. State v. Fisher, 877 N.W.2d 676, 680 (Iowa
2016). We review claims of ineffective assistance of counsel
de novo. See State v. Clay, 824 N.W.2d 488, 494
order to challenge a guilty plea on appeal, a defendant must
file a motion in arrest of judgment. See Iowa R.
Crim. P. 2.24(3)(a) ("A defendant's failure to
challenge the adequacy of a guilty-plea proceeding by motion
in arrest of judgment shall preclude the defendant's
right to assert such challenge on appeal."); State
v. Meron, 675 N.W.2d 537, 540 (Iowa 2004)
("Generally, a defendant must file a motion in arrest of
judgment to preserve a challenge to a guilty plea on
appeal."). Pursuant to rule 2.8(2)(d), "[t]he court
shall inform the defendant that any challenges to a plea of
guilty based on alleged defects in the plea proceedings must
be raised in a motion in arrest of judgment and that failure
to so raise such challenges shall preclude the right to
assert them on appeal." "[I]t is 'unnecessary .
. . for the trial court to actually engage in an in-court
colloquy with a defendant so as to personally inform the
defendant of the motion in arrest of judgment
requirements.'" Fisher, 877 N.W.2d at
680-81 (quoting Meron, 675 N.W.2d at 541).
"Instead, a written waiver filed by the defendant can be
sufficient." Id.; see also State v.
Barnes, 652 N.W.2d 466, 468 (Iowa 2002) (concluding the
defendant failed to preserve error because he did not file a
motion in arrest of judgment when his written guilty plea
clearly stated that a failure to file such a motion would bar
any challenge to his plea on appeal).
written guilty plea shows he was informed of his right to
file a motion in arrest of judgment and that any failure to
file such a motion would preclude his right to assert any
challenges to his guilty plea on appeal. Sanders did not file
a motion in arrest of judgment. Therefore, his challenge to
his guilty plea based on the district court's failure to
inform him of the nature of the charge to which his plea was
offered is not preserved for our review.
order to side step the error preservation impediment, Sanders
alternatively claims his plea counsel rendered ineffective
assistance in allowing Sanders to enter a plea that was not
knowing and voluntary. Ineffective- assistance claims are an
exception to the traditional rules of error preservation.
See Nguyen v. State, 878 N.W.2d 744, 750 (Iowa
2016). In order to prove a claim of ineffective assistance, a
defendant must prove trial counsel failed to perform a duty
and prejudice resulted. See State v. Graves, 668
N.W.2d 860, 869 (Iowa 2003). In the context of a guilty plea,
a defendant shows prejudice by proving that, but for
counsel's breach, there is a reasonable probability the
defendant "would not have pled guilty and would have
insisted on going to trial." State v. Carroll,
767 N.W.2d 638, 641 (Iowa 2009). Unless the defendant proves
both prongs, the ineffective-assistance claim fails. See
Clay, 824 N.W.2d at 495. We ordinarily preserve such
claims for postconviction-relief proceedings but will resolve
them on direct appeal when the record is adequate. See
id. at 494.
guilty plea is only valid if a defendant enters it
voluntarily, knowingly, and intelligently. See State v.
Philo, 697 N.W.2d 481, 488 (Iowa 2005). Iowa Rule of
Criminal Procedure 2.8(2)(b) details what the trial court
must do to ensure a plea is knowing and voluntary, and
compliance ordinarily satisfies due process requirements.
See State v. Everett, 372 N.W.2d 235, 236 (Iowa
1985). Substantial-not strict-compliance with rule 2.8(2)(b)
is all that is required. See State v. Kress, 636
N.W.2d 12, 21 (Iowa 2001).
claims his plea counsel was ineffective for not ensuring
Sanders was informed of and understood "the nature of
the charge to which the plea is offered" as required by
rule 2.8(2)(b)(1). Specifically, he claims he was not
informed of the elements of the charge. See State v.
Ludemann, 484 N.W.2d 611, 613 (Iowa Ct. App. 1992)
("[The defendant]'s decision to enter a plea did not
relieve the trial court of its duty to inform him of the
nature of the offense, including the element of specific
informing a defendant of the nature of the charges, the court
is not required to review and explain each element of the
crime. See State v. Null, 836 N.W.2d 41, 49 (Iowa
2013); State v. Brown, 376 N.W.2d 910, 911 (Iowa
1985) ("In guilty plea proceedings, lack of explanation
of the elements of an offense is not reversible error if,
under the circumstances, it is apparent that the accused
understood the nature of the charge."). The extent of
the court's explanation varies with the circumstances of
each case. See State v. Dryer, 342 N.W.2d 881, 884
(Iowa 1983). In determining how much explanation is
necessary, we consider the complexity of the charge as well
as the defendant's education and experience. See
State v. Victor, 310 N.W.2d 201, 204 (Iowa 1981).
"In addition, the name given the offense may be
sufficiently descriptive of its ...