Recently, in Los Angeles County at the Norwalk Courthouse, I successfully reduced my client’s 1995 Health and Safety Code § 11359 offense to a misdemeanor pursuant to Proposition 64 (Health & Safety Code § 11361.8). After reducing the felony offense to a misdemeanor, I investigated and filed a Penal Code § 1473.7 motion arguing that our client failed to meaningfully understand the immigration consequences that would result from his 1995 controlled substance conviction.
In our motion, we made several argument on behalf of our client: (1) we argued that our client’s trial counsel failed to investigate and accurately advise our client about the specific immigration consequences of his plea; (2) since the conviction was to a controlled substance offense, the client should have been advised that his plea would cause him to be deported and excluded from admission to the United States; (3) when the deportation consequence is clear, the duty to give correct advice is equally clear, and (4)that there was no doubt that our client failed to meaningfully understand the immigration consequences of his plea because he acted in ignorance of what those consequences were and was not advised of available alternative pleas.
Our client had his Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status and was unable to renew his card because of this conviction. After oral argument on the motion, the judge granted our motion and the conviction was vacated. We were then able to negotiate for a dismissal of the charge. With the result obtained in this case, our client has an opportunity to renew his LPR status and remain in the United States!
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