If you have been convicted of a crime, even a minor one, you may still be suffering the consequences of your prior conviction. The criminal conviction might have impacted your immigration status, employment, housing rights, gun rights, voting rights, and even personal relationships.
However, you have an option of seeking post-conviction relief. Our attorneys can help you decide whether there is any relief that you may pursue for your specific case, such as vacating a conviction, expunging your record, reducing your conviction from a felony to a misdemeanor, or modifying your sentence. You can contact our office to discuss your available options and get the relief you deserve.
What Is A Post – Conviction Relief?
Post-conviction relief is the process of filing a written request with the court, either through a motion or an application, and asking the court to vacate, modify, or reduce your conviction or sentence to regain some rights, or to simply “clean” your record.
Depending on the specific situation of your case, different relief options might be available for you.
Post-conviction relief may be available if:
- Your prior attorney did not provide you with effective assistance of counsel guaranteed to you by the Constitution
- You were not advised of your constitutional rights or consequences of your plea
- The offense you were convicted of qualifies for a reduction from a felony to a misdemeanor
- You were previously convicted of a felony for a Marijuana related offense
We Can Help You With The Following Types Of Post-Conviction Relief:
- PC 1473.7 Motion to Vacate Conviction – based on 1) attorney misadvisement of immigration consequences or lack of meaningful understanding of immigration consequences; 2) newly discovered evidence
- PC 1016.5 Motion to Vacate conviction – based on Court misadvisement
- PC 18.5 Motion to modify sentence
- 4 Expungements
- 17(b) Reducing felony to a misdemeanor
If you contact our office, we will evaluate your case, as well as the likelihood of success in pursuing the specific course of relief available in your case.
How Post-Conviction Relief Can Help You Avoid Deportation?
If you are not a citizen, and have been convicted of a crime, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, may initiate removal proceedings against you based on your conviction. Even if you are a permanent resident and have lived in the United States for decades, you may still be subject to removal proceedings, and may be ultimately deported from the United States.
Non U.S. Citizens Subject To Removal Proceedings
- Conviction of a crime of moral turpitude committed within 5 years after date admitted to the US
- 2 or more convictions of crimes of moral turpitude, not arising out of a single scheme
- Conviction of a crime for which a sentence of 1 year or more of incarceration may be imposed
- Conviction of an aggravated felony at any time after being admitted to the US
- Convictions of crimes of domestic violence/Violators of protection orders
- Drug abusers and drug trafficking
See INA §237 (8 USC §1227) for the full list of deportable crimes
How New Penal Code Section 1473.7 Can Provide Post-Conviction Relief to Many
The newly amended Penal Code section 1473.7, which became effective on January 1, 2017, provides a remedy to vacate a conviction, even though the defendant is not in actual or constructive custody. Before this statute went into effect, people who were not in actual or constructive custody (for example, were not on in jail or on parole/probation), could not file a petition for post-conviction relief. As a result, many defendants were left without any options of relief once they were released or their probation/parole was over.
There are two grounds based on which a 1473.7 motion can be brought:
- If the defendant was not defended against the immigration consequences and/or did not meaningfully understand the consequences of his or her plea. PC 1473.7(a)(2), or
- There is newly discovered evidence of actual innocence that requires vacation of the conviction or sentence as a matter of law or in the interest of justice. See PC 1473.7(a)(2)
In other words, if you were not properly advised of the immigration consequences before you entered your plea, or you were advised but did not fully and meaningfully understand the actual consequences of your plea, you have a chance of withdrawing your plea and starting over.
You should not wait too long before filing a PC 1473.7 motion
A motion under Penal Code section 1473.7 must be filed with “reasonable diligence”, which means that the motion should be filed without undue delay.
If you have been convicted of a crime through a guilty or no contest plea, and that conviction is being used as a basis for deporting you, or might prevent you from becoming a U.S. citizen, call us today at (818) 210-3554 for a free consultation to discuss your available post-conviction relief options.
We can help you by evaluating your case, examining the transcripts of the hearings before your plea and at the time of your plea, interviewing your prior counsel, and will advise you whether you have a chance of winning a PC1473.7 motion.