Post-Conviction Relief: 2001 Penal Code section 273.5(a) Misdemeanor Domestic Violence Offense – Vacated per Penal Code section 1016.5 and Renegotiated to an Immigration Neutral Safe Plea

Recently, at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Courthouse in Los Angeles County, I successfully litigated a Penal Code section 1016.5 Motion to Withdraw a Plea on behalf of my client for his 2001 misdemeanor Penal Code section 273.5 “Domestic Violence” Offense.

Even though this conviction was nineteen (19) years old, it was causing our client mandatory and permanent immigration consequences. According to the federal government a Penal Code section 273.5(a) offense is considered a categorical crime involving domestic violence and subjects our client to permanent deportation, denial of naturalization, and exclusion from admission.

After requesting the court records related to this matter, we were advised that only the docket was available because the court file was destroyed given the age of the case. According to the docket, there was no evidence that our client was provided the mandatory immigration advisement pursuant to Penal Code section 1016.5. Thus, we filed a Penal Code section 1016.5 motion to withdraw our client’s plea.

After filing the motion, we were able to negotiate with the prosecution to submit on our motion if our client pleas to an alternative “immigration neutral” offense.

At the court hearing on the matter, the court granted the motion to withdraw the plea and our client re-plead to the negotiated immigration neutral plea.

This is a great result for our client that will now remove the permanent and mandatory immigration consequences that he was subjected to as a result of his prior plea to the Penal Code section 273.5(a) offense!


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