Under California Penal Code 1473.7 PC, people who have received a conviction and are no longer in criminal custody can file a motion to vacate judgment in a criminal case. The motion can be based on two instances, prejudicial error or newly discovered evidence demonstrating actual innocence.
Under prejudicial error, it must be found that 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 (“no contest”).
On January 1, 2017, Penal Code § 1473.7 came into effect as a means of addressing this issue. Previously, a conviction or sentencing could not be challenged once the convicted person was released from custody. A person in jail, prison, probation or parole can petition a writ of habeas corpus by challenging the prior rulings of the case. However, before PC 1473.7, there was no means of erasing or challenging criminal convictions after having served a sentence or agreed to a plea deal with prosecutors. Regardless of whether the defendant understood the immigration implications of a plea agreement or if a key witness recants an incriminating testimony, there would be no way to reverse the implication of plea deal, namely one’s immigration status or eligibility.
If you believe your case was affected by prejudicial error or if recent evidence demonstrates your innocence, call our offices today–let us help you begin clearing your record!
DUI Dismissal Obtained by Ashley Daniel,
of Counsel at Ferrentino & Associates, at the West Justice Center in December 2019. He convinced the prosecutor he could not prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt based on the evidence without having to put the client through a trial.
Attorney Correen Ferrentino obtained a dismissal in a case where the client was charged with assault and battery against a police officer, and in a separate matter where the client was charged with child neglect. Both clients suffered from a mental health illness. After presenting this mitigating evidence and suggesting the clients obtain counseling and treatment, the prosecutor agreed to the dismissals.
If you or a loved one needs legal help, don’t hesitate to contact our firm. We have a highly reviewed record of success in defending our clients in cases of fraud, DUI, child endangerment, the Court of Appeals and more. Now is the time to start your legal defense.