Los Angeles County – Downey Courthouse - Penal Code § 1473.7 Motion to Vacate Penal Code section 273.5(a), Domestic Violence Conviction Granted!

Recently, in Los Angeles County at the Downey 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 2000 Penal Code § 273.5(a) conviction.

In this matter, the court file was destroyed in 2013 so the Tahl form is no longer available and the transcript of the plea proceeding has since been destroyed. The only record regarding the immigration advisement the defendant received was in the court docket. According to the court docket, our client was advised that his conviction “may have” immigration consequences, but he was never advised that his conviction was a crime involving moral turpitude and, as such, the immigration consequences were a certainty.

In our motion, 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, the court requested a supplemental motion discussing the impact the recently decided California Court of Appeal case, People v. Landaverde, would have on the present case. We wrote and submitted a supplement to the court discussing the minimal impact Landaverde had on our client’s case given that we are not making a claim based on ineffective assistance of counsel (“IAC”), as the defendant in Landaverde relied on. Further, we argued that a claim based on IAC is not required under Section 1473.7. In our supplement we discussed three case examples under Penal Code section 1473.7 that may be successful without alleging IAC: (1) interpreter error, (2) advised “may” v. “will”, and (3) no Faretta advisement.

At the final hearing on the motion, we won the motion to vacate the plea pursuant to Penal Code section 1473.7 and we were able to renegotiate with the DA to a lesser related offense!


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