Under California Penal Code section 1473.7, an immigrant defendant who is no longer in criminal custody can challenge an unlawful conviction on one of the following two grounds:
(1) a prejudicial error has damaged the defendant’s ability to meaningfully understand, defend against, or knowingly accept the actual or potential adverse immigration consequences of a plea of guilty or nolo contendere, or (2) newly discovered evidence of actual innocence.
A successful motion allows the immigrant defendant's plea to be withdrawn and the conviction to be set aside. The matter then becomes ripe for litigation, and will still need criminal representation to seek a right to trial, an alternative plea agreement in order to settle the matter for an immigration-sensitive resolution, or a dismissal of the matter.
Under California law, expungement is a process that allows a criminal defendant to petition the Court to examine a conviction and allow the defendant to withdraw their plea or finding of guilt. Thereafter, a new not guilty plea is entered by the Court, and the case is ordered dismissed with the conviction set aside. This can be beneficial for someone with a conditional offer of employment who may be subjected to a criminal background check.
Not all cases are able to be expunged, and certain requirements need to be satisfied before a person can qualify for an expungement. In certain instances, the record of conviction is still accessible, for example, if an individual is looking for employment with the federal government.
Each case needs to be assessed individually, to determine if expungement is a viable option to pursue.
Great Bodily Injury Allegations
Motor Vehicle Offenses
Post-Conviction Probations Matters
Conscientious, compassionate, and fierce, Akhavan will listen to your story, and provide you with a path forward that is founded on a commitment to your best interest.