Post-Conviction Relief! Health and Safety Code § 11377(a) “Possession of Methamphetamine” Offense Vacated Per Penal Code § 1473.7 Motion and Charge Renegotiated to Immigration Neutral Plea!

Recently, in San Diego County at the North County 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 1987 Health and Safety Code section 11377(a), “Possession of Methamphetamine” controlled substance conviction.

After this conviction, our client has been residing in Mexico and is currently attempting to re-enter the United States to live with his family in Arizona. However, because of this controlled substance offense, our client is deemed permanently inadmissible and is prohibited from residing in the United States. Our client hired our office to attempt to seek post-conviction relief on his behalf.

After obtaining the copies of the court file for this matter, we determined that at the time of our client’s plea he was advised via a written change of plea form that “conviction of the offense for which he has been charged may have the consequences of deportation, exclusion from admission to the United States, or denial of naturalization pursuant to the laws of the United States.” However, in our written motion to vacate the plea pursuant to Penal Code section 1473.7 we argued that this advisement failed to accurately advise our client of the certain and permanent immigration consequences of his conviction. We further argued that our client should have been advised that his conviction to an offense involving controlled substances would subject him to mandatory exclusion and render him permanently inadmissible to the United States.

After receiving our moving papers, the prosecution requested that we provide their office with documentation detailing what our client has done since this offense. We provided the prosecution with a detailed equity package showing that our client has been working, has a family, assists in his community and we attached character letters describing our client’s good nature.

After reviewing the equitable documents that we provided to the prosecution, they agreed to submit on our motion and agreed to allow our client to enter a new plea to an immigration safe offense.

At the hearing on the motion, the court granted our motion to vacate the plea pursuant to Penal Code section 1473.7 and we entered a new plea to an immigration safe offense on behalf of our client via a notarized waiver form.

This is a great result for our client and he will now be allowed to seek to enter the United States and reside with his family!

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