WHAT IS POST CONVICTION RELIEF?
Post-conviction relief refers to a legal process whereby a person or their attorney petitions a
court requesting reversal of a prior conviction or modification of a sentence. If the court grants
the person’s request it will vacate their prior conviction or modify the sentence. Our office has
successfully helped persons reverse their conviction or modify the sentence in San Diego.
POST CONVICTION RELIEF FOR IMMIGRANTS
An increasing number of legal aliens and undocumented immigrants with certain felony or
misdemeanor convictions are being denied the ability to acquire U.S. citizenship or lawful
permanent residency because of a prior conviction. Many more of them are being deported by
immigration authorities if the conviction is considered an aggravated felony or a crime of moral
If you plead guilty to a crime that is being used by immigration officials to deny your application
for U.S. citizenship or claim that you are deportable because you have a conviction for an
aggravated felony or a crime of moral turpitude, then call us.
The Rodriguez Law Firm can help lawful permanent immigrants and undocumented aliens
reverse a past conviction if they plead guilty without knowing that the conviction will make them
deportable, not be allowed reentry to the United States, or not be able to become a US citizen. If
hired, we begin by collecting and reviewing court records and court transcripts of the
proceedings. We will interview witnesses and the former defense attorney so that we can assess
if your 6 th Amendment rights to affective assistance of counsel was violated. Once we complete
our investigation and if the information supports the bases for the motion we will file the
appropriate type of motion to vacate the criminal convictions or modify the sentence.
POST CONVICTION RELIEF
TYPES OF POST CONVICTION RELIEF
- 1473.7 Motion to vacate conviction – Focus on Attorney misadvised
- 1016.5 Motion to vacate conviction – Focus on Court misadvised
- 18.5 Motion to modify sentence
- 1203.4 Expungement -Dismiss charges
- 17(b) Reduce felony to a misdemeanor
- Habeas Corpus motion
- Motion for New Trial
The leading cases in California for those interested in reversing a conviction have been codified
under Penal Code sections 1473.7, or 1016.5. These codes require that the petitioner prove by a
preponderance of evidence that his or her attorney or the court did not correctly advise them of
the immigration consequences before they pled guilty.
INEFFECTIVE ASSISTANCE OF COUNSEL
We’ve heard from many immigrant clients that their defense lawyer never told them the crime
they plead guilty to will be used to deport them, deny them the ability to return to the United
States or never be able to become a U.S. citizen. Unfortunately, the more post-conviction cases
we handle the more we discover that some defense attorneys don’t ask their clients if they are an
immigrant before they plead guilty. The problem is that many criminal lawyers are not familiar
with immigration laws and unable to properly advise a noncitizen client if the crime will have
adverse immigration consequences.
Fortunately, there has been a cluster of Supreme court cases that allows a noncitizen defendant to
file a what is commonly called a Padilla motion which is based on the violation of defendant’s 6 th
Amendment rights, Padilla v. Kentucky, and Strickland v. Washington.
If you are currently charged with a crime and you’re not a US citizen, then you should call us
before you plead guilty. Our office has provided legal advice to many noncitizen defendants or
their attorneys before accepting a plea deal. Our goal is to provide the correct information that
allows you or your defense attorney the information they need to make a counter offer that does
not make you deportable.
If you already pled guilty to a crime and it is being used to deport you or prevent you from
becoming a US citizen, then call us for a consultation so that we can determine if you are eligible
to file a motion to vacate and reverse your conviction.
We are a Southern California Law Firm service the communities in San Diego, Chula Vista,
National City, Mira Mesa, El Cajon, Vista, Encinitas, Ocean Side and in many other
communities throughout the State of California.