Menu
Call
Contact
Text Us

Are the consequences of a prior criminal conviction holding you back from your true potential? Don’t let them. A successful motion to vacate will overturn a prior judgement, order, or sentence from the court, eliminating the negative repercussions of your conviction. We serve clients throughout the entire state of California.

Motions to Vacate a Criminal Conviction

A previous criminal conviction does not mean that your only option is to accept the punishment issued by the court. In certain situations, you may be eligible to petition for a motion to vacate your conviction. In short, this opportunity could arise if you have a legal basis to ask the court to throw out your conviction. This could be because the conviction was based on an uninformed guilty plea (such as pleading guilty without understanding the immigration consequences), because the conviction was rendered illegal by changes in the law or new evidence that came to light after your trial concluded, or because your conviction was a direct result of actions you took while the victim of human trafficking.

Our firm’s experience handling motion to vacate cases has resulted in multiple published opinions on the subject. Our highly accomplished attorneys could help protect your rights and develop a comprehensive legal plan of action. If retained, your attorney could help you understand your rights under California law and pursue a motion to vacate that could help not only your current situation, but also your future. En Español

What is a Motion to Vacate Under Penal Code 1473.7?

In its simplest terms, a motion to vacate is a formal request made by an individual who was already convicted by a court. This motion provides a legal reason for why this court should revisit the conviction and proposes a more equitable result.

California law provides certain reasons for why a defendant may file a motion to vacate. Specifically, California Penal Code §1473.7 states that a criminal defendant may file a motion to vacate a conviction when:

  • The conviction is legally invalid due to a prejudicial error that has an impact on the defendant’s ability to meaningfully understand, defend against, or accept the potential effects of a guilty plea
  • Newly discovered evidence comes to light that requires a vacation of the sentence as a matter of law or justice
  • A conviction or sentence was sought, obtained, or imposed on the basis of race, ethnicity, or national origin in violation of subdivision (a) of Section 745.

As a result, a motion to vacate an Oakland criminal conviction could have one of two positive results. A successful motion to vacate a guilty plea could allow a defendant to withdraw their previous plea and continue their case with a not guilty plea. While this case may still result in a conviction, any consequences for the previous guilty finding would be terminated and the new conviction may be immigration safe. It is also possible that once vacated the matter could be dismissed altogether.

When a motion to vacate a conviction is based on the discovery of new evidence, the guilty finding may be totally dismissed. This typically occurs when the law changes in a way that makes a previously illicit activity no longer illegal, or if a witness named during a trial recants their testimony. It is also possible that the case may be dismissed in its entirety if there is insufficient evidence to sustain a conviction after the passage of time.

Our Experience with Motions to Vacate

At The Nieves Law Firm, we have ample experience filing motions to vacate a criminal conviction on behalf of clients, and we’ve been successful in our pursuit of this very specific type of relief. We have helped clients get previous convictions removed from their criminal record because they were facing immigration consequences and for individuals who were convicted of a crime while they were a victim of human trafficking.

In fact, The Nieves Law Firm has had multiple published opinions by judges related to our legal work in this specific area of the law. For one client, a recent appeal proved a motion to vacate filed by The Nieves Law Firm on behalf of the client was applicable to their case and filed within the parameters of the law, meaning the motion to vacate was subsequently granted and the client was eligible to reenter the U.S.

For another client, a Writ of Error Coram Nobis filed by The Nieves Law Firm founder Jo-Anna Nieves was granted, resulting in a vacature of a client’s past conviction that was triggering deportation. Jo-Anna’s exemplary legal work not only resulted in a published legal opinion, but also stopped her client’s removal proceedings and allowed them to continue their life in the United States with their family.

If you need help with a motion to vacate a prior conviction, trust a team that is leading the way in conviction relief in California. Trust The Nieves Law Firm. Give us a call today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about your options.

Why Pursue a Motion to Vacate?

The consequences of a conviction are often severe, and they typically impact your life for a long time after your case comes to a close. However, a motion to vacate overturns a prior conviction and could eliminate the penalties you are facing. A motion to vacate a conviction can be valuable for a number of different reasons, including:

  • You are facing immigration consequences for a prior criminal conviction.
  • You were found guilty of a nonviolent crime that you committed while you were the victim of human trafficking. The crime must have been committed as a direct result of you being a victim of human trafficking.
  • You’ve been denied an immigration benefit because of a conviction and new evidence proves that you were innocent

At The Nieves Law Firm, we have been successful in our pursuit of motions to vacate for clients who were facing immigration consequences and for clients who were found guilty of a crime they committed as a direct result of being a victim of human trafficking. We have a high level of experience and understanding when it comes to motions to vacate. If you would like to file a motion to vacate a conviction in California. We may be able to help. Contact an Oakland motion to vacate lawyer on our team today to schedule a free 30-minute consultation.

How to File a Motion to Vacate

Just like any other motion, an individual must file a motion to vacate according to the court’s rules on timing. CA Penal Code §1473.7 defines a motion as “timely” when the moving party is no longer imprisoned or restrained. This essentially means that a motion to vacate a criminal conviction in Oakland and throughout California can only be filed once a person completes their sentence.

However, a special provision applies to defendants who are facing deportation and have received a notice of removal proceedings. This same statute says that a non-citizen who is facing deportation because of their conviction can file a motion to vacate if they believe that they were not properly advised of the potential immigration consequences for a guilty plea. In any event, a dedicated attorney could help individuals determine if a motion to vacate is likely to succeed and when it is appropriate to file the motion in court.

A Motion to Vacate an Oakland Criminal Conviction Could Provide a New Start

A guilty finding in court does not mean that you no longer have rights. Even if you admit guilt in court, you still may be able to withdraw that admission or ask for a new hearing. However, a motion to vacate must be filed on time and under very specific circumstances.

A dedicated criminal lawyer could help you with this process and give you the best chance at standing up for your rights even after a conviction. This could result in a new trial or even a total dismissal of your charges. Contact an attorney today to discuss your options for Oakland motions to vacate a criminal conviction.

Get Help From An Oakland Motion To Vacate Attorney Today

A guilty finding in court does not mean that you no longer have rights. Even if you admit guilt in court, you still may be able to withdraw that admission or ask for a new hearing. However, a motion to vacate must be filed on time and under very specific circumstances.

A dedicated criminal lawyer could help you with this process and give you the best chance at standing up for your rights even after a conviction. This could result in a new trial or even a total dismissal of your charges. Contact an attorney today to discuss your options for Oakland motions to vacate a criminal conviction.

Top-Rated Criminal Defense Lawyers Serving the Bay Area

The Nieves Law Firm is dedicated to providing aggressive criminal defense representation to working professionals who have found themselves in trouble with the law. We show up to win, and we’re not afraid to fight aggressively to accomplish our client’s goals.

We understand that being accused of a crime can be a scary and confusing experience. That’s why we take the stress off our clients by handling the full scope of their legal situation from the initial consultation to the final outcome. Our bilingual attorneys and staff are here to ensure that our clients feel heard and understood every step of the way.

As one of the largest criminal defense teams in Oakland and the Greater Bay Area, we have the resources and experience to handle even the most complex cases. Our experienced team examines various aspects of your case and, perhaps most importantly, we genuinely care about our clients and their future. We take the time to learn about their goals and priorities so that we can achieve an outcome that allows them to move past their mistakes and focus on the future they want. When you work with us, you become part of our team.

Our Team

Our skilled criminal defense attorneys have experience handling a wide range of criminal cases. With a deep understanding of the legal system and a track record of successful cases, our lawyers are committed to achieving the best possible outcome in your case.

Meet Our Team

Our Criminal Defense Attorneys: How to Take Back Control of Your Life, And Your Future.

When facing a criminal charge, having dedicated and experienced attorneys on your side is critical. At The Nieves Law Firm, we understand the gravity of your situation, and our criminal defense attorneys provide unwavering support and legal guidance.

From the moment you reach out to us, we prioritize your well-being and legal interests. Our criminal lawyers are with you every step of the way, from arrest to hearings and beyond, to ensure that your rights are protected. Whether you’re facing charges related to DUI, drug offenses, assault, sex crimes or any other allegation, we have the knowledge and courtroom experience to fight vigorously on your behalf.

We believe in the power of collaboration and will actively involve you in the decision-making process, ensuring you are well-informed and empowered to make the best choices for your defense. Our goal is not only to navigate the legal complexities but also to provide you with the peace of mind and reassurance you deserve during this challenging time.

Contact Us
01

Give us a call or contact us online so we can schedule a meeting to discuss your legal needs.

Schedule a Meeting
02

Schedule a meeting with our intake coordinator so we can determine the best plan to solve your legal problems.

Take Back Your Life
03

We work to resolve your legal problems so you can focus on what is most important

RESULTS WE'VE SECURED FOR CLIENTS

124+
Reviews

Why You Can Trust Us with Your Future

Our Criminal Defense Practice Areas

FAQs: Oakland Motions to Vacate a Criminal Conviction

Motions to Vacate for Immigration Purposes

If you were previously convicted of a crime and are no longer in custody, you can file a motion to vacate the judgement based on:

  1. A prejudicial error which damaged 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”); or
  2. Newly discovered evidence of actual innocence.

This form of relief, outlined in Penal Code 1473.7, allows individuals to file a motion to vacate if they are subject to immigration consequences due to a prior conviction. Previously, you could only challenge a conviction within a short period of time following the conviction by filing a habeas corpus petition. Once the Penal Code became effective on January 1, 2017, a motion to vacate needed only to be filed with “reasonable diligence” after you receive a Notice to Appear in immigration court or after a removal order becomes final.

You may also be eligible for relief under Penal Code section 1016.5 if the court failed to advise you of the immigration consequences associated with your conviction at the time of the entry of your plea. Our attorneys can review the court records and determine if you were properly advised as the statutes require. If you were not advised by the court then your past conviction must be vacated.

If you think you are eligible for a motion to vacate under Penal Code 1473.7 and would like assistance pursuing this form of conviction relief, we may be able to help. Contact the Oakland motion to vacate attorneys at The Nieves Law Firm to schedule a free consultation and further discuss your options.

Motions to Vacate for Victims of Human Trafficking

Individuals who were convicted of a non-violent crime they committed while being a victim of human trafficking, either as a juvenile or an adult, can find recourse according to California Legislature. Penal Code 236.14, which went into effect on January 1, 2017, provides these individuals the opportunity to vacate their prior conviction if they can prove with clear and convincing evidence that the arrest and subsequent conviction were the direct result of being a victim of human trafficking.

As mentioned above, the crime must have been non-violent for an individual to qualify for a motion to vacate. All crimes listed under Penal Code 667.5 (c) are considered violent crimes in relation to this form of relief. Some examples include robbery, kidnapping, or attempted murder. Specific forms of arson, assault, and extortion will also bar you from being eligible for a motion to vacate. Individuals pursuing this form of relief must also show that they engaged in a good faith effort to distance themselves from the human trafficking scheme. If you would like to file a motion to vacate for human trafficking, schedule a free consultation with our team so we can discuss your options.

How to File a Motion to Vacate

Motions to vacate are available to individuals who are facing deportation and have received a notice of removal proceedings or are facing denial of reentry, naturalization, or other immigration benefits. This same statute says that a non-citizen who is facing these consequences because of their conviction can file a motion to vacate if they believe that they were not properly advised of the potential immigration consequences for a guilty plea. A dedicated attorney could help individuals determine if a motion to vacate is likely to succeed and when it is appropriate to file the motion in court.

 

Our videos

Going to Court?

See All Courts