Recently, in San Diego County at the South County Courthouse (Chula Vista) I successfully litigated a Penal Code § 1473.7 motion arguing that our client failed to meaningfully understand the immigration consequences that would result from her 2014 Penal Code § 484(a) conviction.
At the time of our client’s plea, our client was provided a waiver form (“Tahl form”) that advised our client that if she was not a citizen, conviction of the offense “may” cause immigration consequences.
I argued that although our client was advised that her conviction “may have” immigration consequences, she was never advised that her conviction was a “crime involving moral turpitude” (CIMT) and, as such, the immigration consequences were a certainty.
In this case our client was charged with two counts: (1) Penal Code section 459 and (2) Penal Code section 484. According to our client’s immigration attorney, only the Penal Code section 484 offense was considered a CIMT and would cause adverse immigration consequences. I argued that had our client pled to Penal Code section 459 and not the Penal Code section 484 offense, our client would not have been exposed to the immigration consequences she was suffering from. I argued that the fact that she did not plead to the immigration safe offense evidenced her failure to meaningfully understand the immigration consequences of her conviction.
Initially the District Attorney’s Office filed opposition to our motion in writing. However, after our presentation of our position, the District Attorney’s office and the court were persuaded by our argument and the judge granted our motion.
After the conviction was vacated, I was able to negotiate a plea to a Penal Code section 459 offense. With this result, our client is no longer at risk of adverse immigration consequences as a result of the conviction!
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