from the Iowa District Court for Tama County, Lars G.
defendant appeals from his conviction for possession of a
Aron Vaughn of Kaplan & Frese, LLP, Marshalltown, for
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Bridget A. Chambers,
Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.
Considered by Vogel, C.J., Vaitheswaran, J., and Blane, S.J.
Francis Watson appeals from his conviction for possession of
a controlled substance (methamphetamine). He argues trial
counsel was ineffective in allowing him to plead guilty
without a factual basis that he knowingly possessed
methamphetamine. We find the record supports that element of
the offense and affirm.
Facts and prior proceedings
February 2018, law enforcement officers arrested Watson after
a domestic-violence incident. While being booked into the
jail, he emptied his pockets, pulling out two glass pipes
with a "smokey white residue," a small plastic bag
with white residue, and another small plastic bag with round,
light-colored pills. The State charged Watson with possession
of a controlled substance, (methamphetamine), third or
subsequent offense; possession of contraband on the grounds
of a correctional facility; and assault causing bodily
to a deal with the State, Watson pleaded guilty to possession
of methamphetamine as a first offense and assault causing
bodily injury; the State dismissed the final count. In his
written guilty plea, Watson stated he committed the former
offense by "knowingly possessing methamphetamine."
The court accepted the plea and entered judgment of
conviction. On appeal, Watson contends his plea counsel was
ineffective in allowing him to plead guilty despite the lack
of a sufficient factual basis that the substance was
Scope and standard of review
review claims of ineffective assistance of counsel de novo.
State v. Straw, 709 N.W.2d 128, 133 (Iowa 2006).
Generally, a defendant cannot challenge the adequacy of a
plea proceeding without first moving in arrest of judgment,
but an exception applies when the defendant alleges counsel
permitted him or her to plead guilty without a factual basis.
See State v. Finney, 834 N.W.2d 46, 49 (Iowa 2013).
A defendant may raise an ineffective-assistance claim on
direct appeal if the defendant has reasonable grounds to
believe the record is adequate for us to address the claim on
direct appeal. Straw, 709 N.W.2d at 133.
The record here is adequate.
a factual basis for a charge does not exist, and trial
counsel allows the defendant to plead guilty anyway, counsel
has failed to perform an essential duty." State v.
Gines, 844 N.W.2d 437, 441 (Iowa 2014) (quoting
State v. Schminkey, 597 N.W.2d 785, 788 (Iowa
1999)). "Prejudice is inherent in such a case."
Id. Therefore, our "only inquiry is whether the
record shows a factual basis for the guilty plea."
Id. "The factual basis must be contained in the
record, and the record, as a whole, must disclose facts to
satisfy all elements of the offense." State v.
Ortiz, 789 N.W.2d 761, 767-68 (Iowa 2010). The record
does not need to disclose "evidence that the crime was
committed beyond a reasonable doubt." Finney,
834 N.W.2d at 62. "A factual basis can be discerned from
four sources: (1) inquiry of the defendant, (2) inquiry of
the prosecutor, (3) examination of the presentence report,
and (4) minutes of evidence." Ortiz, 789 N.W.2d