Not overruled or negatively treated on appealinfoCoverage
Court of Appeals of IowaJan 13, 2005
695 N.W.2d 504 (Iowa Ct. App. 2005)

No. 4-870 / 04-0541

Filed January 13, 2005

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Audubon County, Charles L. Smith III, Judge.

Scott Westphalen appeals the district court's revocation of his probation for the crimes of driving while suspended and criminal mischief and the subsequent imposition of a jail term. AFFIRMED.

John Trewet, Atlantic, for appellant.

Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, Sharon Hall, Assistant Attorney General, Francine O'Brien Anderson, County Attorney, for appellee.

Considered by Huitink, P.J., and Zimmer and Vaitheswaran, JJ.

The State charged Scott Douglas Westphalen with two counts of driving with a suspended, denied, revoked or barred license. Iowa Code § 321J.21 (2001). One count was later amended to charge fourth-degree criminal mischief. Id. § 716.6. Westphalen pled guilty. The district court sentenced him to a deferred judgment on the first count and a one year jail term with all but thirty days suspended on the second count. Wesphalen was also placed on unsupervised probation.

After the sentence was imposed, Westphalen was arrested for operating while intoxicated, third offense. He pled guilty to operating while intoxicated, (OWI) second offense, and was placed on supervised probation.

In light of the OWI plea, the State applied to have Westphalen's probation revoked on the driving while suspended and criminal mischief convictions. At a hearing, Westphalen admitted he violated the terms of probation. The district court revoked his probation and sentenced him to a jail term.

Westphalen appeals this sentence, contending the district court (1) erred in sentencing him at all, (2) stated inadequate reasons to support the sentence, (3) abused its discretion in imposing jail time and in refusing to consider work release, alternate jail sites and a delay in the issuance of mittimus, and (4) did not give separate reasons to support the imposition of consecutive sentences.

The State appears to concede that because Westphalen is only challenging his sentence, he may proceed via a direct appeal rather than by application for postconviction relief. Cf. State v. Allen, 402 N.W.2d 438, 441 (Iowa 1987).


Citing Iowa Rule of Criminal Procedure 2.23(1), Westphalen argues, "[a] [c]riminal defendant cannot be sentenced in the absence of providing the defendant with opportunity to a minimum 15 day delay between the time of entry of a plea and the date of sentencing." Even if that rule applied to a probation revocation proceeding, an assertion the State disputes, the rule provides that a defendant may consent to a shorter time. Westphalen consented to immediate sentencing. At the time of the scheduled probation revocation hearing, he stated he was ready for immediate disposition of his case. The court's written sentencing order confirms this statement, noting Westphalen "waives time for sentencing." In light of this record, the district court did not err in immediately proceeding with sentencing.


Westphalen next contends the district court stated inadequate reasons to support its sentence. See Iowa R. Crim. P. 2.23(3)( d) ("The court shall state on the record its reason for selecting the particular sentence"); State v. Kirby, 622 N.W.2d 506, 511 (Iowa 2001) (stating compliance with criminal rule requiring statement of reasons mandatory in probation revocation proceeding). Reasons for sentencing need not be detailed. State v. Delaney, 526 N.W.2d 170, 178 (Iowa Ct.App. 1994). "A statement may be sufficient, even if terse and succinct, so long as the brevity of the court's statement does not prevent review of the exercise of the trial court's sentencing discretion." State v. Johnson, 445 N.W.2d 337, 343 (Iowa 1989). The district court stated, "[t]he reason for my sentence is your need for rehabilitation and your potential for rehabilitation." We believe this reason was sufficient to support the court's sentencing order. The minimal jail time ordered by the court is not inconsistent with the goal of rehabilitation.


Westphalen next contends the district court abused its discretion in refusing to provide for work release, an alternate location to serve jail time, and a delay in the issuance of mittimus. A court is generally not required to provide reasons for rejecting certain sentencing options. Kirby, 622 N.W.2d at 511, State v. Thomas, 547 N.W.2d 223, 225 (Iowa 1996). None of the alternatives Westphalen now proposes were raised before the district court. More importantly, it is apparent from the record that the varied sentencing options afforded Westphalen in the past did not result in rehabilitation. Under these circumstances, the district court did not abuse its discretion in declining to adopt one or more of these options.

These options were afforded Westphalen in the OWI sentencing order that precipitated the probation revocation application.


Westphalen finally contends the district court did not furnish separate reasons for imposing consecutive sentences. See State v. Jacobs, 607 N.W.2d 679, 690 (Iowa 2000). We disagree. The court first specified the sentences, then stated the sentences "are consecutive," and finally articulated its reason for imposing the sentences. Under these circumstances, we conclude the court's stated rationale applied to the decision to require the sentences to run consecutively as well as to the sentences themselves.