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California has several post-conviction remedies for citizens who have been convicted of crimes. These post-conviction remedies include reclassifying felons as non-felons, reducing felonies to misdemeanors, terminating probation early and dismissing convictions, and even protecting non-citizens from deportation with motions to vacate convictions.

In January 2017, changes in California law went into effect allowing non-citizen defendants who were convicted of crimes to petition the court for a motion to vacate.  This type of post-conviction relief can result in a reduction of a sentence or even a new trial.

If you have already been convicted of a crime in California, a Dublin post-conviction relief lawyer may be able to help you undo the conviction. A professional attorney could examine the facts that led to your conviction and help form arguments that either new evidence has been discovered pointing to your innocence or that you were improperly advised of your immigration consequences by your former counsel. This failure to advise of immigration consequences amounts to ineffective assistance of counsel and is grounds for relief.

Relief Options for United States Citizens and Non-Citizens

Many criminal charges in California may be tried as either misdemeanors or felonies. Having a felony conviction on a criminal record can have an immense impact on a person’s life such as losing your right to possess a firearm, losing your right to serve on a jury, and difficulty in finding gainful employment.

More specifically, people in this situation may—with a Dublin post-conviction relief lawyer’s help—petition the court to reduce their felony to a misdemeanor. Under Penal Code 17(b) defendants who have been convicted as felons have the right to petition the court to reduce to a misdemeanor in a certain situation where the crime is a wobbler.

This involves submitting paperwork outlining the legal reasons for why a felony conviction should be downgraded to a misdemeanor to the court that issued the sentence. This will result in a change the applicant’s criminal record and restore rights they lost as a felon.

Changes in the Law for Non-Citizens

A criminal conviction in the United States can have a devastating effect on the lives of non-citizens. Even people who are in the country legally with a green card may face deportation if they are convicted of certain crimes especially aggravated felonies, sex crimes, and drug crimes.

Often, these negative deportation and removal consequences may not have been made known to a defendant prior to them pleading guilty to a deportable offense. This led to many legal residents facing surprise deportation and removal hearings.

In recognition of this issue, the California state legislature passed California Penal Code §1473.7 in 2016. This statute states that a person no longer in jail or prison may petition the court to vacate their conviction if they can provide evidence of a judge’s or attorney’s error in not informing them of all the immigration consequences for a guilty plea.

This can specifically apply to defendants who were not informed of the potential deportation effect of a guilty plea for a crime. If a defendant believes they fell victim to such a scenario, a Dublin post-conviction relief lawyer may be able to help them file a motion in court as soon as they receive notice that deportation or removal hearings are being held.

Let a Dublin Post-Conviction Relief Attorney Help

Past convictions that were classified as felonies may now be changed to misdemeanors, which will have a major effect on the individual’s future. In addition, non-citizens who pled guilty to an offense that could result in their deportation and removal from the United States can argue that there was prejudicial error and they were not aware of the potential consequences for their plea. This can result in their conviction being vacated.

A Dublin post-conviction relief lawyer may be able to help. Call today to schedule a consultation and discuss your case.

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