This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2000).






David Balboa Rodriguez, petitioner,





State of Minnesota,



Filed October 23, 2001


Toussaint, Chief Judge


Polk County District Court

File No. KX981170


John M. Stuart, State Public Defender, Margaret Ann Garvin, Special Assistant Public Defender, 3300 Wells Fargo Center, 90 South Seventh Street, Minneapolis, MN 55402-4140 (for appellant)


Mike Hatch, Attorney General, 525 Park Street, Suite 500, St. Paul, MN 55103-2106; and


Wayne H. Swanson, Polk County Attorney, Andrew Ronald Johnson, Assistant County Attorney, Crookston Professional Center, 223 East Seventh Street, Suite 101, Crookston, MN 56716 (for respondent)


            Considered and decided by Toussaint, Chief Judge, Klaphake, Judge, and Halbrooks, Judge.

U N P U B L I S H E D  O P I N I O N


TOUSSAINT, Chief Judge


            Appellant David Balboa Rodriguez challenges the district court’s denial of his petition for postconviction relief.  Because the district court correctly determined appellant had effective assistance of counsel and was not entitled to withdraw his guilty pleas, we affirm. 


            A “postconviction proceeding is a collateral attack on a judgment, which carries a presumption of regularity and which, therefore, cannot be lightly set aside.”  State ex. rel. Gray v. Tahash, 279 Minn. 248, 250, 156 N.W.2d 228, 229 (1968) (footnote omitted).  Therefore, we review a postconviction proceeding to determine whether the evidence is sufficient to sustain the findings of the postconviction court.  Scruggs v. State, 484 N.W.2d 21, 25 (Minn. 1992).  Absent an abuse of discretion, a postconviction court’s decision will not be disturbed on appeal.  McMaster v. State, 551 N.W.2d 218, 218 (Minn. 1996). 

Appellant contends that because he was denied effective assistance of counsel, the district court abused its discretion in denying his petition for postconviction relief.  We disagree.  In analyzing any Sixth-Amendment claim of ineffective assistance of counsel,

[t]he benchmark * * * must be whether counsel’s conduct so undermined the proper functioning of the adversarial process that the trial cannot be relied on as having produced a just result.


Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 686, 104 S. Ct. 2052, 2064 (1984).  This court’s scrutiny of counsel’s performance “must be highly deferential.”  Id. at 689, 104 S. Ct. at 2065.  To prevail in an ineffective assistance of counsel claim, a defendant

must affirmatively prove that his counsel’s representation ‘fell below an objective standard of reasonableness’ and ‘that there is a reasonable probability that, but for counsel’s unprofessional errors, the result of the proceeding would have been different.  A reasonable probability is a probability sufficient to undermine confidence in the outcome.’ 


Gates v. State, 398 N.W.2d 558, 561 (Minn. 1987) (quoting Strickland, 466 U.S. at 688, 694, 104 S. Ct. at 2052, 2068).

            Appellant argues that his attorney was unaware of a pending case that could have affected the outcome of his case.  Appellant pleaded guilty on October 12, 1998, to one count of enhanced gross misdemeanor driving while intoxicated under Minn. Stat. §§169.121, subds. 1(a) and 2(b) (1998) and Minn. Stat. § 169.129, subd. 1 (1998) and one count of enhanced gross misdemeanor refusal to test under Minn. Stat. § 169.121, subds. 1(a), 3(d) (2) (1998).  He was sentenced to two years on each count to be served consecutively.  At the time of his guilty plea, Baker v. State was pending in the Minnesota Supreme Court.  Subsequently, the supreme court issued Baker holding that the enhanced gross misdemeanor sentencing statutes were unconstitutional.  Baker v. State, 590 N.W.2d 636, 640 (Minn. 1999).  The supreme court expressly limited its holding:

Our decision shall apply prospectively to currently pending cases brought under the enhanced gross misdemeanor statutes in which the constitutionality of the statutes has been challenged.


Id. (footnote omitted).

             There is a “wide range of professionally competent assistance,” and this court “must indulge a strong presumption that counsel’s conduct falls within [that] * * * range.”   Strickland, 466 U.S. at 689-90, 104 S. Ct. at 2065-66.  Attorneys cannot be required to inform their clients of all possible indirect consequences and know of every significant case pending in the appellate courts.  Cf. Alanis v. State, 583 N.W.2d 573, 579 (Minn. 1998) (holding attorney’s failure to inform defendant that he might be deported if he pleaded guilty did not constitute ineffective assistance of counsel); Hale v. State, 566 N.W.2d 923, 927-28 (Minn. 1997) (stating that failure to inform defendant that claims raised in pro se brief could not be reasserted in postconviction proceeding did not constitute ineffective assistance of counsel).

In hindsight, knowledge of Baker may have been helpful to appellant, but his attorney’s failure to advise him of the case at the time appellant pleaded guilty did not cause his performance to fall below an objective standard of reasonableness.  Moreover, Baker expressly limited its prospective relief to “currently pending cases brought under the enhanced gross misdemeanor statutes in which the constitutionality of the statutes has been challenged.”  590 N.W.2d at 640.  Here, appellant pleaded guilty months before the Baker decisionwas issued.  Because appellant has not demonstrated that his attorney’s conduct was unreasonable, his ineffective assistance of counsel claim must fail.  See Strickland, 466 U.S. at 697, 104 S. Ct. at 2069 (stating that, court need not analyze prejudice component if there is insufficient showing of attorney’s ineffective performance). 

Appellant also contends that the district court abused its discretion in denying his motion to withdraw his guilty pleas.  A reviewing court will reverse the district court’s determination to grant or deny withdrawal of a guilty plea only if the district court abused its discretion.  Barragan v. State, 583 N.W.2d 571, 572 (Minn. 1998).

Criminal defendants do not have an absolute right to withdraw a guilty plea, but may withdraw a guilty plea after sentencing upon a timely motion and proof to the satisfaction of the court that withdrawal of the plea is necessary to correct manifest injustice.


Alanis, 583 N.W.2d at 577 (quotations and footnote omitted).  “A manifest injustice occurs when a guilty plea is not accurate, voluntary, and intelligent.”  Id. (footnote omitted).

Appellant argues that his guilty pleas were unintelligent because he was unaware of Baker.  As noted above, however, appellant’s attorney was not required to inform him of Baker.  Therefore, lack of information about the case is not grounds for withdrawal of his guilty pleas.  Furthermore, the record indicates that appellant had adequate time to discuss the pleas with his attorney, and that he knew imprisonment was a direct consequence of pleading guilty to the charges.  Appellant also contends that his pleas were involuntary because financial difficulties exerted improper pressure upon him when he pleaded guilty. Appellant stated in court, however, that he had not been threatened or pressured into pleading guilty.  Therefore, we conclude that appellant’s guilty plea was both intelligent and  voluntary. 

Because appellant has failed to establish an ineffective assistance of counsel claim, and his guilty plea was voluntary and intelligent, the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying appellant’s petition for postconviction relief.