Post-Conviction Relief! Health and Safety Code section 11350(a) Possession of a Controlled Substance Offense Vacated Per Penal Code § 1473.7 Motion and Dismissed Pursuant to Penal Code section 1385!

Recently, in Los Angeles County at the Central 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 2012 Health and Safety Code section 11350(a) conviction for possession of a controlled substance.

At the time that our client hired our office he had been served with a notice to appear in immigration removal proceedings based on his controlled substance conviction, and he was rendered inadmissible to the United States.

At the time of our client’s plea, he was placed on formal probation under the terms and conditions of Proposition 36. Approximately six months after his plea, our client submitted proof of completion of Proposition 36 and his plea was set aside and dismissed pursuant to Penal Code section 1210.1.

Under the new amendments to Penal Code section 1473.7, our office filed a motion pursuant to Penal Code section 1473.7 arguing that the plea was legally invalid to the extent that our client never understood that his plea would cause permanent damage to his immigration status. Of significance, our client was led to believe that upon his successful completion of the Proposition 36 program, his arrest and conviction would be deemed never to have occurred, and thus, would not cause him adverse immigration consequences.

We argued that since our client resolved the matter in reliance that upon successful completion of the Proposition 36 program the case would be set aside and dismissed as if it never happened, he did not meaningfully understand the immigration consequences of his plea and sentence.

Upon review of our motion, the prosecution agreed with our moving papers and submitted on the motion. The court then granted the motion and the prosecution then moved to dismiss the charges pursuant to Penal Code section 1385, in the interests of justice.

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