from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Robert B.
Byizaca appeals the judgment and sentence entered after he
pled guilty to one count of dependent adult abuse.
B. A. Feitelson of Nelsen & Feitelson Law Group, P.L.C.,
West Des Moines, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Linda J. Hines, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
Considered by Doyle, P.J., Mullins, J., and Carr, S.J.
Byizaca appeals the judgment and sentence entered after he
pled guilty to one count of dependent adult abuse, in
violation of Iowa Code section 235B.20(4) (2017). He contends
his trial counsel was ineffective by allowing him to plead
guilty and the court failed to ensure he entered his plea
knowingly and voluntarily as required by Iowa Rule of
Criminal Procedure 2.8(2)(b).
outset, we note that Byizaca failed to challenge his plea by
moving in arrest of judgment. Ordinarily, this failure
precludes a defendant from challenging the plea on direct
appeal. See Iowa R. Crim. P. 2.24(3)(a) ("A
defendant's failure to challenge the adequacy of a
guilty-plea proceeding by motion in arrest of judgment shall
preclude the defendant's right to assert such challenge
on appeal."). However, Byizaca raises two of his claims
under the ineffective-assistance-of-counsel rubric, which is
an exception to the error-preservation rule. See Nguyen
v. State, 878 N.W.2d 744, 750 (Iowa 2016). Because
Byizaca's does not raise his knowing and voluntary claim
as one of ineffective assistance, we decline to address it on
then to Byizaca's two ineffective-assistance claims. In
order to prove a claim of ineffective assistance, a defendant
must prove trial counsel failed to perform a duty and
prejudice resulted. See State v. Graves, 668 N.W.2d
860, 869 (Iowa 2003). In the context of a guilty plea, a
defendant shows prejudice by proving that, but for
counsel's breach, there is a reasonable probability the
defendant "would not have pled guilty and would have
insisted on going to trial." State v. Carroll,
767 N.W.2d 638, 641 (Iowa 2009). Unless the defendant proves
both prongs, the ineffective-assistance claim fails. See
State v. Clay, 824 N.W.2d 488, 495 (Iowa 2012). Although
we ordinarily preserve such claims for postconviction
proceedings, we will resolve them on direct appeal when the
record is adequate. See id. at 494.
first argues his trial counsel rendered ineffective
assistance by allowing him to enter his plea without a
factual basis to support the charge. See Iowa R.
Crim. P. 2.8(2)(b) (stating that the district court shall not
accept a plea without first determining it has a factual
basis). If counsel allows a defendant to plead guilty to a
charge without a factual basis, then an essential duty has
been breached and "[p]rejudice is inherent."
State v. Gines, 844 N.W.2d 437, 441 (Iowa 2014). We
look at the entire record before the district court at the
time of the plea to determine whether a factual basis for the
plea exists. See State v. Finney, 834 N.W.2d 46, 62
(Iowa 2013). "[T]he record must disclose facts to
satisfy all elements of the offense." Rhoades v.
State, 848 N.W.2d 22, 29 (Iowa 2014).
person commits a class "C" felony of dependent
adult abuse by engaging in intentional dependent adult abuse
that results in physical injury. See Iowa Code
§ 235B.20(4). Dependent adult abuse occurs if a
caretaker's willful or negligent acts or omissions result
in an injury to or assault of a dependent adult. Id.
§ 235B.2(5)(a)(1)(a). The minutes of evidence allege
that Byizaca struck the dependent adult in the face with an
open hand, resulting in bruising and scratches near the
dependent adult's eye. Both the dependent adult and a
staff member who witnessed the incident reported
Byizaca's actions. There is a sufficient factual basis in
the record for Byicaza's plea. Although Byicaza claims
the record fails to establish that the offense occurred
without justification, the State is not required to disprove
an affirmative defense. See State v. Antenucci, 608
N.W.2d 19, 19 (Iowa 2000) (observing that a guilty plea
"waives all defenses and objections"); State v.
Delay, 320 N.W.2d 831, 834 (Iowa 1982) (noting that
"justification is an affirmative defense to
assault"); State v. Ledesma, No 18-0253, 2018
WL 5291356, at *3-4 (Iowa Ct. App. Oct. 24, 2018) (holding
State is not required to prove absence of an affirmative
defense to establish a factual basis for guilty plea);
State v. McKibbon, No. 17-1533, 2018 WL 1631384, at
*2 (Iowa Ct. App. Apr. 4, 2018) (holding defendant failed to
establish counsel was ineffective in permitting him to plead
guilty to assault charge where the minutes of evidence
"clearly provide a factual basis" for the plea and
lack "any evidence or even a suggestion" that
defendant asserted a justification for the assault);
State v. Spencer, No. 12-1329, 2013 WL 264214, at *2
(Iowa Ct. App. Jan. 24, 2013) (finding a factual basis for
acceptance of defendant's guilty plea where the record
established the State could prove each element of assault
beyond a reasonable doubt and contained no evidence that the
defendant attempted to prove justification).
Byicaza alleges his trial counsel was ineffective for
allowing him to plead guilty because the definition of
"dependent adult abuse" concerning willful or
negligent acts or omissions of a caretaker that result in
"injury which is at a variance with the history given of
the injury" is unconstitutionally vague. Iowa Code
§ 235B.2(5)(a)(1)(a). Byicaza was not convicted of
dependent adult abuse on this basis. Therefore, he lacks
standing to raise this claim. See State v. Reed, 618
N.W.2d 327, 332 (Iowa 2000) (holding that although a
defendant has standing to claim a statute is
unconstitutionally vague as applied to the defendant, that
does not mean a defendant has standing to claim the statute
is unconstitutional as applied to others).
Byicaza has failed to prove his counsel was ineffective based
on the two grounds raised in this appeal, we ...