Recently, in Los Angeles County at the Airport Courthouse I successfully litigated a Penal Code § 1473.7 motion arguing that our client failed to meaningfully understand the immigration consequences that would result from his 1992 Health and Safety Code § 11352(a) conviction.
We argued that the immigration consequences that our client faced as a direct result of his controlled substance conviction were a factual certainty and subjected him to deportation and exclusion from admission to the United States. We argued that advising our client that immigration consequences “may result” when they in fact “would result” led our client to believe that the charge allowed some possibility for immigration relief, which it does not. Accordingly, we argued our client failed to meaningfully understand and knowingly accept the immigration consequences of his plea as a result of not knowing that those consequences would certainly flow from the conviction and not just “may” occur.
After filing the motion, we supplemented our motion with an equities package to the District Attorney showing that our client worked full-time and was dedicated to caring for his son who is diagnosed with Down Syndrome. The Deputy District Attorney submitted on our motion and the judge granted the motion and the Health and Safety Code section 11352(a) offense was vacated. I was then able to negotiate a plea to Penal Code section 32, an immigration neutral offense for my client. This new charge does not subject my client to the harsh immigration consequences he was facing from his prior controlled substance conviction!
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