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.
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!