Post-Conviction Relief: Penal Code section 261.5(c)- “Any Person who engages in an act of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor” - Vacated Per Penal Code section 1473.7 and Dismissed Per Penal Code section 1382

In the Clara Shortridge Foltz Courthouse, Attorney Steve Escovar recently won a Penal Code section 1473.7 motion to vacate a conviction. The matter was a 1999 conviction for violating Penal Code section 261.5(c), which states that it is a crime for "Any person who engages in an act of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor." This crime is a wobbler that can be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor. In this case, the matter had been charged as a felony since he had impregnated his minor (underaged) girlfriend. The matter had been later reduced to a misdemeanor once he successfully completed probation.

Obtaining a copy of the court file was the first step in our office's legal defense. According to the court file and the minute order from the date of the plea, it appears that our client was not adequately advised of the immigration consequences of his plea.

We filed our motion to vacate the conviction with the court and the prosecution. After the second court hearing, the prosecutor and the judge agreed with our legal argument and the conviction was vacated and the case was completely dismissed.

Our client no longer has this conviction on his record, and he can now adjust his status—a fantastic outcome!