from the Iowa District Court for Cerro Gordo County, Adam D.
Sauer, District Associate Judge (plea), and Gregg R.
Rosenbladt, Judge (sentencing).
Schultz appeals following her guilty plea to operating a
motor vehicle while intoxicated, third or subsequent offense.
C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, and Theresa R. Wilson,
Assistant Appellate Defender, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Sheryl Soich, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Vaitheswaran and McDonald, JJ.
Schultz pled guilty to operating a motor vehicle while
intoxicated, third or subsequent offense. Iowa Code §
321J.2(2)(c) (2017). On appeal, Schultz contends her attorney
was ineffective in allowing her to plead guilty.
plea agreement identified the penalties for the crime,
including "[a]n indeterminate prison term of up to five
(5) years," with "30 days jail" as "the
mandatory minimum." The agreement stated the court could
"suspend execution of any portion of the jail sentence
in excess of 30 days," there was "no guaranteed
outcome," and "any plea bargain . . . [was] not
binding on the court and the court [would] affix the sentence
at its discretion."
plea hearing, the prosecutor informed the court, "If Ms.
Schultz pleads guilty as charged to operating while
intoxicated, third offense, . . . I will recommend the
mandatory minimum sentences." Specifically, he pledged
to recommend "commitment to the custody of the director
of adult corrections for a term not to exceed five years, but
that be suspended except for the mandatory minimum term of
thirty days in jail, with two years probation, plus the
mandatory minimum fine of $3125.00 and surcharges and
fees." The prosecutor also agreed to dismiss a marijuana
possession charge and certain other misdemeanors.
district court asked Schultz whether she understood the court
was "not bound by the plea agreement." She
responded, "Yes." Schultz also was asked whether
she understood the court could "impose any sentence up
to the maximum." Schultz responded, "Absolutely, I
understand." The court found Schultz "voluntarily
enter[ed] the plea, with a full understanding of the nature
of the charge, available defenses and the nature and the
consequences of the plea."
sentencing, the prosecutor recommended Schultz "be
committed to the custody of the director of adult corrections
for an indeterminate term not to exceed five years, but that
be fully suspended except for the mandatory minimum term of
30 days in jail." He also recommended "two years
probation under section 907.7(2), plus the mandatory minimum
fine of $3125, and surcharges and fees assessed pursuant to
chapter 911." The prosecutor acknowledged the
presentence investigator recommended five rather than two
years of probation but noted that Schultz had begun "the
evaluation and treatment process" and "that's a
very good sign . . . that suggests . . . she will be
successful." Schultz's attorney agreed with the
court declined to follow the sentencing recommendation. After
providing a comprehensive statement of reasons, the court
sentenced Schultz to a prison term not exceeding five years
and declined to suspend the sentence.