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State v. Anderson

Court of Appeals of Iowa

January 10, 2018

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
ABBY L. ANDERSON, Defendant-Appellant.

         Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, Jeffrey L. Harris, District Associate Judge.

         Abby Anderson appeals her sentence imposed after her guilty plea to operating while intoxicated. AFFRIMED.

          Adam R. Junaid of Frerichs Law Office, P.C., Waterloo, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Linda J. Hines, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

          Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Potterfield and McDonald, JJ.

          POTTERFIELD, Judge.

         Abby Anderson appeals her sentence following a guilty plea to operating while intoxicated, first offense, in violation of Iowa Code section 321J.2(2)(a) (2016). On appeal, Anderson claims the district court failed to exercise discretion in at first declining to delay mittimus because it has a policy of ordering immediate custody following sentencing when a defendant is sentenced to jail time. We find the district court properly exercised its discretion and affirm the sentence as imposed.

         I. Background Facts and Proceedings.

         In February 2017, Anderson was stopped by a Cedar Falls police officer for driving erratically. A breath test revealed a breath alcohol content of .222. Anderson was charged with and pled guilty to operating while under the influence (OWI). The State recommended a ninety-day jail sentence with all but four days suspended; Anderson requested a jail sentence with all but two days suspended, to be served at the Hawkeye Community College residential OWI program.

         At the beginning of the sentencing hearing, the court informed counsel and Anderson:

I understand the parties are fighting over the issues of the possible confinement. I have already advised [defense counsel] of the court's policy of immediate sentencing, which would require her to go into immediate confinement should she receive any term of confinement, and apparently [defense counsel] takes exception with that.

         After hearing from counsel and Anderson, the district court sentenced Anderson to ninety days' incarceration with all but four days suspended. The court gave the following rationale for its sentence:

There are a number of sentencing goals and objectives that the court must consider in issuing what it considers to be an appropriate sentence.
The first is, of course, your punishment. This being the offense of operating while intoxicated, it's a first offense for you, but I'm also considering the underlying nature of the offense itself. You were observed ...

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