Recently at the Long Beach Courthouse I successfully litigated a Penal Code § 1473.7 motion arguing our client failed to meaningfully understand the immigration consequences that would result from his 2012 Penal Code § 484(a) conviction.
Our client pled no contest to the offense at his arraignment while representing himself. At the time of his plea, our client was told that his conviction “may” cause immigration consequences. Later in the plea proceedings, our client was further advised that his conviction “will” have immigration consequences. I argued that providing a defendant with an oral advisement that immigration consequences “may” result and then subsequently advising a defendant that those same immigration consequences “will” result leads to confusion and uncertainty.
I further argued that our client was in a heightened position to be confused given his limited English proficiency, the fact that he was not provided an Arabic language interpreter during the plea proceedings, the fact that he was representing himself, and the fact that he had only been in the United States for approximately three months leading up to the offense. At the time of his plea, our client had recently immigrated from Jordan and he spoke broken English.
The District Attorney’s office filed an opposition to our motion. Nevertheless, the judge granted our motion, recognizing the multiple circumstances that caused our client to fail to meaningfully understand the immigration consequences of his plea.
When our client hired our office to assist him in attempting to gain relief, he was being held in an immigration detention center for over a year and was in immigration removal proceedings based on his conviction in this case.
With this result, our client has the opportunity to request cancellation of removal and to stay united with his wife and young children.
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