Post-Conviction Relief! Health and Safety Code § 11351.5 “Possession for Sale of Cocaine and Cocaine Base” Felony Offense Vacated Per Penal Code § 1473.7 Motion and Dismissed by the Court on the Papers!

Recently, at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Courthouse in Downtown Los Angeles, our office submitted a motion seeking to vacate our client’s 1993 plea to a violation of Health and Safety Code section 11351.5, “Possession for Sale of Cocaine and Cocaine Base.”

In our motion we argued that this controlled substance offense would cause our client permanent and mandatory federal immigration consequences given that this offense is deemed an aggravated felony pursuant to federal immigration law. We argued that despite the transcript of the plea indicating that our client was advised at the time of his plea that this offense “can” have immigration consequences, he should have been advised that the offense would subject him to permanent deportation, mandatory exclusion from admission to the United States and permanent inadmissibility. We further argued that had our client been properly advised of the immigration consequences he would have sought an immigration neutral plea or set the case for trial.

After filing our motion, the appellate decision in People v. Ruiz (2020) 49 Cal. App. 5th 1061 was decided and provided further support for our argument that our client should have been advised that the immigration consequences of this controlled substance conviction would be mandatory and permanent. Thus, we filed a supplement to our motion, citing the relevant authority from People v. Ruiz (2020) 49 Cal. App. 5th 1061.

We recently received notice from the court that our motion was reviewed in chambers and was granted on the papers, without oral argument! In support of granting our motion, the Court indicated that the immigration advisement provided to our client at the time of his plea was insufficient as a matter of law and set aside our client’s plea and dismissed the charges!

This is a great result for our client and he will now be able to move forward with his immigration matter!

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