Hernandez-Ruiz v. StateAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Court reversed the district court’s decision granting postconviction relief to Defendant on his claim that he had received ineffective assistance of counsel from an immigration attorney when he tried to get a driver’s license, holding that no right to counsel had attached when Defendant went to the driver’s license station.
Defendant’s visit to the driver’s license station triggered a criminal investigation and ultimately a conviction for a previously committed fraudulent practice. The district court set aside Defendant’s guilty plea and sentence, holding that Defendant’s counsel, who was representing Defendant in a pending federal immigration case, breached his essential duty to provide necessary advice to Defendant. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that neither the right to counsel under Iowa Const. art. I, 10, nor the United States Constitution Sixth Amendment right to counsel had attached at the time Defendant’s attorney advised Defendant regarding getting a driver’s license, as this was before any investigation or criminal proceedings had begun.