from the Iowa District Court for Jones County, Chad A. Kepros
(guilty plea and deferred judgment) and Paul D. Miller
(adjudication of guilt and sentencing), Judges.
Brown appeals his conviction and sentence after pleading
guilty to one count of assault causing bodily injury.
W. Stiefel, Victor, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Kelli A. Huser, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Doyle and Mullins, JJ.
State charged Kassaun Brown with one count of assault causing
bodily injury. Brown agreed to plead guilty to the charge in
exchange for the State's agreement to recommend the court
defer judgment, impose the $315 civil penalty, and place
Brown on self-supervised probation for one year. He entered a
written guilty plea and requested immediate sentencing.
Following an unreported hearing, the district court accepted
Brown's guilty plea, deferred judgment, and placed Brown
on one year of self-supervised probation. The court also
ordered Brown to pay a $315 civil penalty in addition to
surcharges, restitution, fees, and costs. After Brown
violated the terms of his probation, the district court
revoked the deferred judgment and imposed sentence, which
included $315 in fines.
first challenges the adequacy of his guilty plea. The State
argues error is not preserved on direct appeal because Brown
failed to file a motion in arrest of judgment. See
Iowa R. Crim. P. 2.24(3)(a) (stating a defendant's
failure to file a motion in arrest of judgment waives the
right to challenge the adequacy of a guilty plea proceeding
on appeal). Brown argues he was not adequately advised of the
necessity of filing a motion in arrest of judgment to
preserve error, an exception to the requirement. See
State v. Loye, 670 N.W.2d 141, 149-50 (Iowa 2003).
written guilty plea makes no mention of the requirement of
filing a motion in arrest of judgment to challenge defects in
the guilty plea. A second document that Brown signed on the
same day states in part: "I have been advised of and
give up my . . . right to challenge or appeal any
irregularities or errors in the taking of my guilty plea
since such challenge must be raised prior to sentencing by
filing a Motion in Arrest of Judgment."
failure to file a motion in arrest of judgment does not
preclude him from challenging the defects in the plea
proceeding if that failure resulted from ineffective
assistance of counsel. See State v. Straw, 709
N.W.2d 128, 133 (Iowa 2006). To succeed on a claim of
ineffective assistance of counsel, Brown must show by a
preponderance of the evidence both that his counsel failed an
essential duty and that failure resulted in prejudice.
See State v. Harrison, 914 N.W.2d 178, 188 (Iowa
argues the district court failed to comply with the
requirements of Iowa Rule of Criminal Procedure 2.8(2)(b). If
the court fails to substantially comply with rule 2.8(2)(b),
it renders a defendant's plea involuntary. See State
v. Kress, 636 N.W.2d 12, 21 (Iowa 2001). A breach of an
essential duty occurs when counsel does not bring this
failure to comply with rule 2.8(2)(b) to the court's
attention or file a motion in arrest of judgment. See
Straw, 709 N.W.2d at 134.
claims the court failed to inform him of the maximum possible
punishment for the charge as required by rule 2.8(2)(b)(2).
The maximum sentence for assault causing serious injury, a
serious misdemeanor, is imprisonment not to exceed one year
and a fine of $1875. See Iowa Code §§
708.2(2), 903.1(1)(b) (2016). The written guilty plea form
listed the maximum sentence Brown faced as only "1
yr." but made no mention of the maximum fine for the
charge. Fines are a form of punishment that the district
court must disclose before accepting a guilty plea. See
State v. Weitzel, 905 N.W.2d 397, 407 (Iowa 2017).
Therefore, the written guilty plea alone does not satisfy the
requirements of rule 2.8(2)(b). If the court failed to
disclose the maximum possible fine to Brown in person, his
plea was involuntary. See id. at 408. However,
because Brown waived formal reporting of the plea hearing and
has not provided us with a statement of the proceedings as
allowed under Iowa Rule of Appellate Procedure 6.806(1), the
record is insufficient for us to determine whether the court
substantially complied with the requirements of rule
2.8(2)(b). See Estes v. Progressive Classic Inc.
Co., 809 N.W.2d 111, 115 (Iowa 2012) (noting that the
appellant has an obligation to provide us with a sufficient
record of the error that forms the basis of the appeal).
Therefore, we preserve Brown's claim for postconviction
relief. See State v. Johnson, 784 N.W.2d 192, 198
(Iowa 2010) (holding that a defendant is not required to make
any particular record in order to preserve for postconviction
relief an ineffective-assitance claim raised on direct