Penal Code § 1437.7 – Can Failure to Advise be Excusable?

An attorney’s failure to advise a client about the immigration consequences of a no contest or guilty plea is only excusable, as the following case summary explains, when the defendant opts for a certain resolution for other reasons, i.e. drug treatment, while generally but not specifically knowing immigration consequences may result. In other words, the appellate court found that a public defender’s failure to research specific immigration consequences for defendant was ineffective assistance of counsel, but since defendant had independent reasons for agreeing to a specific plea bargain, the failure was excusable. To read a short summary of the opinion, please click on the following link –

What is the Difference Between a Guilty and No Contest Plea?

“Not much difference” is the wrong answer to the rhetorical question posed in the title to this blog entry. There are three main distinctions between these types of pleas, at least in the context of a misdemeanor case. To read about the practical benefits of a “no contest” plea, vice pleading “guilty,” please click on the following link –

Dismissal in the Interests of Justice (Penal Code § 1385)?

Under the Consumer Arrest Equity (CARE) Act, one can ask the judge to order one’s arrest report and the court case file be sealed and destroyed if the case was dismissed under Penal Code § 1385. Sealing and destroying the arrest record and court filed includes removing, erasing or deleting the DOJ entry of this from one’s record, meaning it will not show up on one’s Livescan report. So how does one get a dismissal under 1385? What must the judge find? To read more about this, click on the following link –