Post-Conviction Relief! Health and Safety Code section 11359 Possession of Marijuana for Sale Offense Vacated Per Penal Code § 1473.7 Motion. Prosecutor agrees to renegotiate to Penal Code §32, an immigration-friendly plea!

Recently, in Los Angeles County at the Norwalk Courthouse, our office successfully litigated a Penal Code §1473.7 motion arguing that our client failed to meaningfully understand the immigration consequences that would result from his 1996 Health and Safety Code §11359 conviction for possession of marijuana for sale.

At the time that our client hired our office, his Lawful Permanent Resident status had expired, and he was ineligible to renew his status based on his possession of marijuana for sale conviction.

Prior to litigating the Penal Code §1473.7 motion, our office began by reducing the offense to a misdemeanor pursuant to Proposition 64 (Penal Code section 11361.8). However, even with this relief the conviction continued to cause our client immigration prejudice.

According to the documents still available relating to the plea, our client was advised verbally and via a waiver form that the conviction may have the consequences of deportation, exclusion from admission, and denial of naturalization.

However, in our Penal Code section 1473.7 motion we argued that despite being advised that immigration consequences may result, our client failed to meaningfully defend against these charges because the advisement failed to accurately advise our client of the permanent immigration consequences of his conviction. In this case, our client was not informed that his conviction would result in mandatory deportation from the United States. We also argued that our client did not meaningfully understand the consequences of his conviction because he was not aware that he could seek to negotiate to an alternative disposition without immigration consequences.

At the hearing on the motion, the court granted the motion without the prosecution’s agreement. After strenuous negotiation with the prosecution, the prosecution agreed to allow our client to plea to Penal Code §32, an immigration-friendly plea.

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