Los Angeles County – Norwalk Courthouse - Penal Code § 1473.7 Motion to Vacate Health & Safety Code section 11377(a), Conviction Granted!

Recently, in Los Angeles County at the Norwalk 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 1997 Health & Safety Code § 11377(a) felony conviction.

When our client hired our office, he was currently being detained at the Adelanto Detention Facility and was facing removal proceedings. After speaking with our client, we began investigating the circumstances of his conviction.

In this matter, the Tahl form from the date of the plea was available and advised our client that conviction of the offense “may have the consequences of deportation, exclusion from admission to the United States, or denial of naturalization.” We were able to obtain the transcript of the plea and determined that our client was also provided an oral immigration advisement by the deputy district attorney taking the plea; however, this advisement failed to warn our client that he would be deported as a result of his conviction.

We filed a motion pursuant to Penal Code section 1473.7 arguing that the advisement closest in time to the plea, the oral advisement, did not include the consequences of deportation, and, now, our client is in deportation proceedings because of this offense. We argued that is precisely the type of confusing and incomplete advice that Penal Code section 1473.7 seeks to remedy. We argued that as a result our client failed to meaningfully understand and knowingly accept the immigration consequences of the plea.

At the hearing on the motion, the deputy district attorney handling the matter acknowledged that the oral advisement provided to the defendant failed to warn of the consequence of deportation and she subsequently submitted on the motion. The judge granted the motion and the deputy district attorney announced she was unable to proceed and the case was dismissed pursuant to Penal Code section 1382. This victory will bring our client one step closer to being released from the Adelanto Detention Facility and returning home to his family.

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