from the Iowa District Court for Story County, Steven P. Van
Marel, District Associate Judge.
defendant appeals her sentence after pleading guilty to the
offense of operating while intoxicated.
Smith of The Smith Law Firm, PC, Ames, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Martha E. Trout, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Potterfield and Mullins, JJ.
Harrison appeals her sentence following a guilty plea to
operating while intoxicated (OWI) in violation of Iowa Code
section 321J.2 (2016). On appeal, Harrison claims the
district court abused its discretion in failing to consider
mitigating factors. We find the district court did not abuse
its discretion and affirm the sentence imposed.
Background Facts and Proceedings.
September 2016, Harrison was arrested and charged with OWI.
She pled guilty in February 2017. Both the prosecutor and
Harrison recommended deferred judgment. The district court
ordered Harrison to serve a two-day sentence at the Story
County Jail, stating:
Ms. Harrison, you have requested a deferred judgment in this
case, and I note from your criminal record you have a prior
conviction for possession of drug paraphernalia, and you have
a prior deferred judgment for possession of a controlled
substance, and now you're here today asking for another
deferred judgment. You only get two deferred judgments in
your life to start with, and Ms. Harrison, I don't think
it's appropriate that judgment be deferred in this case
when you have a deferred judgment on a possession charge not
very long ago, and now you're back in court after having
committed another serious criminal offense where you placed
innocent people at risk.
I think imposition of the mandatory minimum sentence is the
most appropriate sentence here, which will be two days in
jail and a $1250 fine, and I will not let you serve your two
days in an OWI diversion program. It will be two days in
jail. That's what I make everybody do. I think that's
what the public expects, and I think it's the most
appropriate sentence. I think there needs to be consequences
Ms. Harrison, you are a very young person and you can
overcome all of this, and if you start making better
decisions, and if you make responsible decisions, there's
no reason why you cannot go out there and have as much
success with your life as you want to, but in the short term
this will make your life a little bit harder. You will have
to go to jail, you'll have to pay a substantial fine, and
you'll have a record, but I think that's appropriate
given what happened here.