State v. YoungAnnotate this Case
Defendant was charged with theft in the third degree based on her current crime and two prior theft convictions. Defendant moved to strike her 2003 conviction of theft in the third degree as a basis to support the charge of third-degree theft, asserting that the conviction was constitutionally infirm because she was not represented by counsel when she pled guilty and served a term of incarceration. In fact, Defendant was held in jail for one day prior to her initial appearance and then, upon pleading guilty, was sentenced to one day in jail, with credit for time served. The district court denied the motion, concluding that Defendant’s situation was not one in which she faced the possibility of imprisonment requiring the appointment of counsel. Defendant was subsequently found guilty of theft in the third degree. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) under the right to counsel provision under Iowa Const. art. I, 10, a misdemeanor defendant has a right to counsel when the defendant faces the possibility of imprisonment; and (2) because Defendant was not provided the assistance of counsel and the State stipulated there was not a valid waiver, the 2003 misdemeanor conviction could not be used as a predicate offense to enhance a later punishment. Remanded.