New Law Allows Drug Convictions to be Invalidated for Some Defendants

Shredded paper closeup background

Shredded paper closeup background

As of January 1, 2016, California law provides that the deferred entry of judgment statute (Penal Code section 1000, et.seq.) misinformed defendants, including all non-citizens, about the consequences of the guilty plea. Consequently, these convictions are deemed legally “invalid.” This change will benefit non-citizens because federal immigration law does not recognize convictions invalidated “for cause.”

New Penal Code § 1203.43(a) provides: “The Legislature finds and declares that the statement in Section 1000.4, that “successful completion of a deferred entry of judgment program shall not, without the defendant’s consent, be used in any way that could result in the denial of any employment, benefit, license, or certificate” constitutes misinformation about the actual consequences of making a plea in the case of some defendants, including all non-citizen defendants, because the disposition of the case may cause adverse consequences, including adverse immigration consequences. (2) Accordingly, the Legislature finds and declares that based on this misinformation and the potential harm, the defendant’s prior plea is invalid.”

Defendants can file a simple petition asking that their conviction be invalidated. No court hearing is necessary to obtain relief.

 

Domenic

Domenic J. Lombardo (Attorney at Law), graduated from University of California, Los Angeles (U.C.L.A.), earning a B.A. in Economics-Business, before graduating with his J.D. from University of California, Hastings School of Law. He passed the California Bar Examination on the first try, and immediately began practicing as a criminal defense attorney in San Diego, California. Mr. Lombardo worked as a defense lawyer at the San Diego Office of the Public Defender from 1991 to early 1996. He opened his own firm in 1996 where he practices to this day focusing exclusively on defending criminal matters.
About Domenic

Domenic J. Lombardo (Attorney at Law), graduated from University of California, Los Angeles (U.C.L.A.), earning a B.A. in Economics-Business, before graduating with his J.D. from University of California, Hastings School of Law. He passed the California Bar Examination on the first try, and immediately began practicing as a criminal defense attorney in San Diego, California. Mr. Lombardo worked as a defense lawyer at the San Diego Office of the Public Defender from 1991 to early 1996. He opened his own firm in 1996 where he practices to this day focusing exclusively on defending criminal matters.