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State v. Leyh

Court of Appeals of Iowa

October 24, 2018

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
DAVID M. LEYH, Defendant-Appellant.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Fayette County, John J. Bauercamper, Judge.

         David Leyh challenges his conviction for possession of marijuana.

          John J. Sullivan of Sullivan Law Office, P.C., Oelwein, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Genevieve Reinkoester, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

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

          BOWER, Judge.

         David Leyh challenges his conviction for possession of marijuana. Leyh claims he received ineffective assistance when counsel allowed him to plead guilty without a sufficient factual basis to support the charge. We find there is a factual basis to support the charge and counsel did not provide ineffective assistance. We affirm.

         I. Background Facts & Proceedings

         In February 2018, law enforcement pulled Leyh over for a broken taillight. After discovering Leyh's vehicle registration had expired in 2015 and he had no automobile insurance, the officers impounded the vehicle. One officer spoke with Leyh while the other performed an inventory search prior to the vehicle being towed. The searching officer found a small bag containing a green leafy substance in Leyh's wallet in the vehicle's console. Leyh told the officers he had picked it up off the ground near his home, afraid children might find it, but had not contacted police when he found it. Leyh was arrested for possession of marijuana, in violation of Iowa Code section 124.401(5) (2018).

         Leyh entered a written guilty plea on March 14. Among other provisions, Leyh's written plea includes the following statement:

3. I admit that on or about the 16th day of February, 2018, while in Fayette County, Iowa, I did the following things that constitute the criminal offense:
a. I knowingly and intentionally possessed a controlled substance, to wit: marijuana,
b. Knowing that such substance was in fact marijuana.

         On March 16, the court accepted Leyh's plea and imposed sentence of ...


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