Immigrant Attorney, Gail Seeram, explains that in Padilla v. Kentucky, 130 S. Ct. 1473 (2010), the U.S. Supreme Court held that criminal defendants receive ineffective assistance of counsel under the Sixth Amendment when their criminal attorneys fail to advise them that pleading guilty to an offense will subject them to deportation. The rule established through this case was that criminal defendants must be advised by their criminal attorney of the immigration consequences of a guilty or no contest plea in criminal proceedings. However, the case failed to state whether the rule applies retroactively, meaning, can criminal defendants who pled before 2010 (when the case was decided) claim ineffective assistance of counsel and challenge their prior convictions. In the State of Florida, the criminal courts have held that the Padilla decision is not retroactive and only applies to convictions after 2010.
Well, the U.S. Supreme Court will soon revisit this issue and decide whether the rule established in Padilla v. Kentucky, a 2010 decision, applies retroactively (or before 2010). The U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in Chaidez v. United States to determine whether Padilla applies to persons whose convictions became final before the 2010 court decision. If the U.S. Supreme Court rules that the 2010 Padilla decision is retroactive, then noncitizen convicted before 2010 that were not informed by their criminal attorney that their plea carries a risk of deportation may have an opportunity to vacate their convictions. This would allow many noncitizens who were removed/deported or currently in removal proceedings to challenge criminal convictions where they were not properly advised of immigration consequences of their pleas.
For more information, email Gail@GailLaw.com or call 1-877-GAIL-LAW or 407-292-7730.
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