State v. Lynch, No. 54443

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Iowa
Writing for the CourtLeGRAND; All Justices concur, except RAWLINGS
Citation197 N.W.2d 186
Docket NumberNo. 54443
Decision Date13 April 1972
PartiesSTATE of Iowa, Appellee, v. Kevin Joseph LYNCH, Appellant.

Page 186

197 N.W.2d 186
STATE of Iowa, Appellee,
v.
Kevin Joseph LYNCH, Appellant.
No. 54443.
Supreme Court of Iowa.
April 13, 1972.
Rehearing Denied May 8, 1972.

Page 187

R. Fred Dumbaugh and Guy P. Booth, Cedar Rapids, for appellant.

Richard C. Turner, Atty. Gen., and Allen J. Lukehart, Asst. Atty. Gen., William Faches, County Atty., for appellee.

LeGRAND, Justice.

Defendant was convicted of violating chapter 204 of the Uniform Narcotic Drug Act, The Code, 1966 (since repealed and replaced by the Uniform Controlled Substances Act, chapter 148 and amended by chapter 149, Acts of the Sixty-fourth G.A., First Session). He appeals from the judgment sentencing him to serve a term of two years in the men's reformatory and to pay a fine of $500.00. We affirm the trial court.

We refer to the facts as they become important in our consideration of the various issues relied upon for reversal. These issues are: (1) the conviction must be set aside because defendant had not entered a plea to the charge of which he was accused; (2) there was prejudicial error in defining the crime of which defendant was convicted; (3) there was prejudicial error in the admission of testimony offered by a state narcotics agent; (4) section 204.18, The Code, 1966, is unconstitutional because it imposed upon defendant the burden of proving one of the elements of the charge against him; and (5) no probable cause existed for the issuance of the search warrant under which certain contraband drugs were seized and this evidence should have been suppressed.

I. We consider first defendant's claim of prejudice because he was tried without first having entered a plea to the charge against him. As pointed out in State v. Dorr, 184 N.W.2d 673 (Iowa 1971), our law recognizes only three pleas in criminal cases--guilty, not guilty, or former judgment

Page 188

of conviction or acquittal of the defendant. Section 777.11, The Code.

We assume defendant did not desire to enter a guilty plea; nor does he contend the plea of former conviction or acquittal was available to him. This then leaves open to him only a plea of not guilty.

Defendant was not prejudiced by the inadvertent omission of recording a formal not guilty plea. He stood trial without objection and his position was precisely the same as if such a plea had been entered. The jury, in fact, was told that the defendant had entered a not guilty plea.

The contention urged by defendant here has been unsuccessfully made on a number of prior occasions. What we said in State v. Girdler, 251 Iowa 868, 870, 102 N.W.2d 877, 878 (1960) is decisive here. There is no reversible error in this assignment.

II. Defendant also asserts he should have a new trial because the crime of which he was convicted was improperly defined in the court's instructions. Conceding the procedure followed is not one to be recommended, we reach the conclusion defendant is not entitled to the relief demanded.

Defendant was convicted of the illegal possession of marijuana. Section 204.20(5), The Code, 1966, prescribes the punishment for this offense depending upon the circumstances of the possession. This section provides in pertinent part as follows:

'Any person violating this chapter by possessing, purchasing, or attempting to purchase marijuana in such quantity that it can logically be inferred that such marijuana is intended for personal use only and is not held for sale to others, and such marijuana is not part of any narcotic drug, shall be guilty of possession of marijuana for personal use and shall * * * be imprisoned in the county jail not to exceed six months or be fined not to exceed one thousand dollars, or both. * * * Any person violating this chapter by possession, purchasing, or attempting to purchase marijuana in such quantity that it can logically be inferred that such marijuana is intended for sale shall be guilty of possession of marijuana held for sale and shall be punished as provided in subsection one (1) of this section (which provides for imprisonment of not less than two or more than five years and for a fine of not more than $2000.) Possession of marijuana for personal use shall be a lesser included offense of possession of marijuana held for sale. * * *'

Defendant argues the instructions submitted an improper definition of the crime and permitted his conviction for conduct which the statute does not prohibit. To put this issue in proper perspective we set out in detail the instructions dealing with this assignment.

In its statement of the issues the trial court said defendant was accused of possessing marijuana 'in such quantity that it can be logically inferred that such marijuana was not intended for personal use only.' No mention was there made about selling the drug to others.

Instruction 6 contained the following:

'The information herein charges possession of narcotic drugs and included in this charge are the following offenses: Possession of marijuana for sale. Possession of marijuana for personal use.'

The elements which the State was required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt to secure a conviction were set out in instruction 8 as follows:

'In order to convict the defendant in this case the State must establish beyond a reasonable doubt each of the following propositions, to wit:

'1. That the substance marked State's Exhibit 5 in this record is marijuana.

'2. That the defendant did on or about December 22, 1968 in Linn County,

Page 189

Iowa, have said exhibit in his possession or under his control as defined in these instructions.

'3. At said time and place defendant knew of the presence of said exhibit and knew that it was marijuana.

'If you find the State has proven all of the foregoing propositions beyond a reasonable doubt, then you must further determine whether said possession by the defendant was or was not for purposes of personal use only, as hereinafter defined.

'If you find the State has failed to prove any of the foregoing propositions beyond a reasonable doubt then it is your duty to find the defendant not guilty, and return your verdict on Verdict Form No. 3.

'If you find that the State has established beyond a reasonable doubt that the amount of marijuana in said State's Exhibit in this record is in such quantity that it can be logically inferred that such marijuana was not intended for personal use only but was held for sale to others then it is your duty to find the defendant guilty...

To continue reading

Request your trial
30 practice notes
  • State v. King, No. 59140
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • 29 Junio 1977
    ...the issuing officer has sufficient facts, as opposed to mere conclusions, to make his own determination that it exists. State v. Lynch, 197 N.W.2d 186, 191-192 (Iowa 1972); State v. Salazar, 174 N.W.2d 453 (Iowa 1970); State v. Spier, 173 N.W.2d 854 (Iowa 1970); see Giordenello v. United St......
  • State v. Birkestrand, No. 57108
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • 18 Febrero 1976
    ...560, 564, Page 357 91 S.Ct. 1031, 1035, 28 L.Ed.2d 306 (1971); State v. Everett, 214 N.W.2d 214, 217--218 (Iowa 1974); State v. Lynch, 197 N.W.2d 186, 191 (Iowa For an extensive review of pertinent cases see State v. Kraft, 269 Md. 583, 307 A.2d 683, 685--698 (1973). This court has also hel......
  • State v. Boyd, No. 56935
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • 18 Diciembre 1974
    ...amount which creates an inference of possession with intent to deliver. We have not met this precise issue until now. In State v. Lynch, 197 N.W.2d 186, 190 (Iowa 1972), we held evidence from a state narcotics agent as to the manner in which marijuana is measured and packaged was admissible......
  • Com. v. Stoffan
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Pennsylvania
    • 21 Junio 1974
    ...it is appropriate to rely on the Neal rule in determining whether the § 13(a) clauses state necessary elements. In State v. Lynch, Iowa, 197 N.W.2d 186 (1972), the court had before it two provisions of the Iowa drug law, which was modeled after the Uniform Narcotic Drug Act. One provision f......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
30 cases
  • State v. King, No. 59140
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • 29 Junio 1977
    ...the issuing officer has sufficient facts, as opposed to mere conclusions, to make his own determination that it exists. State v. Lynch, 197 N.W.2d 186, 191-192 (Iowa 1972); State v. Salazar, 174 N.W.2d 453 (Iowa 1970); State v. Spier, 173 N.W.2d 854 (Iowa 1970); see Giordenello v. United St......
  • State v. Birkestrand, No. 57108
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • 18 Febrero 1976
    ...560, 564, Page 357 91 S.Ct. 1031, 1035, 28 L.Ed.2d 306 (1971); State v. Everett, 214 N.W.2d 214, 217--218 (Iowa 1974); State v. Lynch, 197 N.W.2d 186, 191 (Iowa For an extensive review of pertinent cases see State v. Kraft, 269 Md. 583, 307 A.2d 683, 685--698 (1973). This court has also hel......
  • State v. Boyd, No. 56935
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • 18 Diciembre 1974
    ...amount which creates an inference of possession with intent to deliver. We have not met this precise issue until now. In State v. Lynch, 197 N.W.2d 186, 190 (Iowa 1972), we held evidence from a state narcotics agent as to the manner in which marijuana is measured and packaged was admissible......
  • Com. v. Stoffan
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Pennsylvania
    • 21 Junio 1974
    ...it is appropriate to rely on the Neal rule in determining whether the § 13(a) clauses state necessary elements. In State v. Lynch, Iowa, 197 N.W.2d 186 (1972), the court had before it two provisions of the Iowa drug law, which was modeled after the Uniform Narcotic Drug Act. One provision f......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT