In 1999 at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Courthouse, prior to hiring our office, my client was charged with a felony Health & Safety Code § 11350(a) offense. He was granted Deferred Entry of Judgment (“DEJ”) in 1999 but failed to appear for proof of enrollment. At that time, DEJ was terminated and a felony bench warrant was issued.
When my client hired me in 2017, he was fearful that if he appeared in court to recall the bench warrant he would be arrested and face adverse immigration consequences, such as deportation.
I appeared in court without my client and I was able to persuade the court to allow me to appear on the felony charge on behalf of my client in order to reduce the offense to a misdemeanor per Proposition 47. Once reduced, I negotiated with the District Attorney to allow my client to be reinstated into DEJ (Penal Code section 1000) once again.
Per the stipulated agreement, after completing 26 Narcotics Anonymous meetings and picking up no new cases, the charge against my client was dismissed based on successful completion of DEJ – without my client having to come to court.
Even though my client received a DEJ dismissal, the charge still could cause federal immigration consequences. I am currently in the process of filing a petition for a dismissal pursuant to Penal Code section 1203.43 which will invalidate the conviction and alleviate potential immigration consequences for my client.
Creative advocacy allowed for a great result on behalf of my client without him ever having to appear in court! We were able to resolve the controlled substance case without exposing my client to harsh immigration consequences that oftentimes result from controlled substance convictions.
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