Failure to Be Advised of Immigration Consequences
Deciding to plead guilty to a crime is one of the toughest decisions a person may ever have to make. But it becomes even more difficult when that person is not given key information to make a shrewd decision.
All too often, immigrants are counseled by their attorney to enter a plea of guilty or “nolo contendere” to a crime, only to find out heir conviction carries severe immigration consequences, such as:
- Exclusion from admission to the United States
- Denial of naturalization
If you or someone you love has pled guilty to a crime in California, there is hope. California Penal Code Section 1016 requires the court to advise the defendant of the potential immigration consequences prior to pleading guilty. The U.S. Supreme Court has also held, in Padilla v. Kentucky, that a lawyer must advise a client about immigration consequences prior to pleading guilty, and failing to do to can be ineffective assistance of counsel under the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Under the law, if the court fails to advise the defendant of these consequences, the defendant can request that the court vacate the judgment and allow the defendant to enter a plea of “not guilty.” If no record exists regarding whether or not he or she was advised of the immigration consequences, it is presumed that the required advisement was never given.
Our law firm represents people who have been convicted of different types of crimes in state and federal courts throughout California. We represent clients in cases from years ago that were not handled in the correct manner. If you or someone close to you pled guilty after an attorney failed to give proper advice about the potential immigration consequences of a guilty plea, we encourage you to reach out to us to discuss your prospects for getting post-conviction relief.
A noncitizen’s failure to be advised of immigration consequences can be an opportunity to have a guilty plea withdrawn. To learn more, and to schedule your initial consultation with a Torrance deportation defense lawyer, call us today at 213-614-1419 or contact us online.
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