San Leandro Motions to Vacate a Criminal Judgment
If you are charged with a crime, you are likely to be nervous, uncertain, and scared about the potential consequences. Unfortunately, this might lead you to plead guilty or otherwise act hastily under pressure during a trial in a way that does not match up with your best interests.
However, a San Leandro motion to vacate a criminal judgment is one form of relief following a conviction that may be available to you under California law. An experienced attorney could help you understand your rights in this regard and assess the circumstances of your situation.
Defining Motions to Vacate a Criminal Judgment
Under California Penal Code §1473.7, a defendant in a criminal proceeding may file a motion to vacate a criminal judgment under certain circumstances. The purpose of this motion is to erase the previously-set conviction and allow an individual charged with a crime to effectively start over, usually to plead “not guilty” to a charge. Motions to Vacate under Penal Code section 1473.7 are one of the only forms of relief for those who are experiencing immigration consequences due to a past conviction such as removal proceedings and impending deportation.
The circumstances surrounding these motions can be complex, especially if a person seeking to make a motion is underprepared or underrepresented. An experienced attorney might be able to help file a motion in San Leandro toward vacating a criminal judgment.
Grounds for a Motion in San Leandro
Usually, a defendant must show “good cause” in order for a judge to grant their motion to clear a criminal judgment. For example, a good cause might be proven by demonstrating that the defendant lacked competent or effective legal representation, or that he or she was coerced or put under undue pressure to enter a guilty plea.
A lack of awareness of the collateral consequences of pleading guilty to a crime is one of the most common reasons to file a motion. As outlined in CPC §1016.5, an individual may not realize when he or she enters a guilty plea that, for example, there are immigration-related consequences that might result, including deportation. Similarly, a guilty plea that leads to a criminal conviction might result in a denial of a professional license or a job opportunity—repercussions that some defendants may not be aware of.
Whether or not to grant this type of motion is usually up to a judge’s discretion, excepting certain situations. If, for instance, a defendant appeared without counsel at the time that he or she originally pled guilty to a crime, the court might grant a motion to vacate a judgment that has been filed upon the demonstration of good cause.
Alternatives to Vacating a Court Decision
If an individual is unsuccessful in vacating a criminal judge through a motion, there are other alternatives that might allow him or her to achieve similar results. These forms of relief include a review for an appeal, a petition to expunge criminal convictions, a certificate of rehabilitation, or an application for pardon.
How Filing Motions to Vacate a Criminal Judgment in San Leandro Might Help
While post-conviction relief in the form of San Leandro motions to vacate a criminal judgment may not available to everyone, it may be an option worth investigating if you have pled guilty without effective assistance of counsel resulting in deportation consequences or removal proceedings. If you are eligible for this type of relief, a successful motion might allow you to effectively restart your case and seek a different result.
For help with this, you may wish to consult with an experienced defense attorney to assess your circumstances and determine the most effective strategies available under your unique circumstances. To learn what legal options are available for you, call an attorney today.