Post-Conviction Motion Pursuant to Penal Code § 1473.7 Granted for a Client and Re-Negotiated to Immigration Neutral Plea!

Recently, in Los Angeles County at the Bellflower Courthouse, we successfully litigated a post-conviction motion on behalf of our client.

In 1996, our client had pled to a Penal Code § 470 and Penal Code § 472, two misdemeanor offenses. As a Permanent Resident, or green-card holder, our client would not be eligible to naturalize due to these convictions, which are characterized as crimes involving moral turpitude for immigration purposes.

Our office started the post-conviction relief process by first investigating what documents remained available in the court file. After our initial investigation, we determined that no court reporter was present at the time of our client’s plea, and therefore, a transcript of the plea did not exist. However, the Docket, as the only document available in the file, demonstrated that Mr. Patel had been advised of the immigration consequences, but only that his conviction “may” cause immigration consequences.

In our motion, we argued that our client failed to meaningfully understand the immigration consequences of his plea. We argued that the advisement provided to him on the day of the plea failed to accurately advise our client of the certain, permanent, and mandatory nature of the immigration consequences he would face as a result of the conviction. We also demonstrated that our client was unaware of the possibility of alleviating the immigration consequences by seeking to negotiate to an immigration-friendly charge, such as Penal Code § 529(3) or Penal Code § 530.5(a). If our client had negotiated with the prosecution and plead to any of these two charges instead, he would not be facing the immigration consequences he is currently suffering from.

After negotiating with the prosecutor, and meeting with the Deputy in Charge of the Bellflower District Attorney’s Office, the prosecutor agreed to submit on the motion to vacate the plea and allowed our client to enter an alternate plea to Penal Code § 529(3), the immigration neutral offense our client needed!

This is a great victory for our client and will better his opportunity naturalize!

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