Iowa Court of Appeals reverses sentence of Ricardo Rodriguez and remands for resentencing. In order to qualify for a sentencing enhancement by utilizing prior offenses, those prior offenses must qualify as enhanceable offenses. In order to qualify as prior enhanceable offenses, “Each offense must be complete as to a conviction and sentencing before commission of the next in order to qualify for the enhancement of penalty.” In other words, “a defendant must be convicted of and sentenced on the first offense before committing the second offense for both to count toward the enhancement.”
In this case, Rodriguez had two prior drug convictions at the time he was found to be in possession of drugs a third time, but judgment was entered in both of those prior cases on the same date, not chronologically. Hence, the priors had to be considered as one prior, not two, and the case was remanded for resentencing.