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Prosecutor MUST Consider Immigration Consequences in Plea Negotiations

Prosecutor MUST Consider Immigration Consequences in Plea Negotiations

Under California Penal Code Section 1016.3, There are certain mandatory obligation of both the defense and the prosecution.  “The defense lawyer must provide accurate and affirmative advice about the immigration consequences of a proposed disposition….”

It seems kind of funny that they have to make a law telling the defense lawyer he needs to do his job.  But, what used to happen is a defense lawyer would try to compartmentalize the job and tell the client to go consult with an immigration lawyer.  Not so fast, said the legislature.  Defense lawyers now have to really know their stuff about immigration.  And that word, “affirmative”, they can’t just know their stuff, they have to share it with you as well.

For years I’ve had prosecutors tell me that they won’t reward my clients because the client was not a citizen.  Why should your client benefit from coming here illegally?  Times, they have a changed.  Penal Code Section 1016.3 now requires that prosecutors “…consider the avoidance of adverse immigration consequences in the plea negotiation process as one factor in an effort to reach a just resolution.”

I currently represent a young woman in nursing school who is here in California illegally.  She is working on her master’s degree along with her R.N.  She came to California when she was 2.  Her father likewise, came here illegally.  Dad worked construction for years.  Mom cleaned houses.  They saved their nickels and bought a home on Oxnard.  Dad got his contractor’s license and started a construction business that he has run successfully for over 20 years.

My client was out one night with her boyfriend.  They got into a fight and she drove home to her parent’s house after having a few drinks.  She was pulled over on the freeway for speeding and arrested for DUI.  The conviction for DUI will cause her DACA status to be withdrawn.  Thanks to Penal Code Section 1016.3, our DA MUST consider this in the settlement negotiations.

To Be Continued.

If you or someone close to you has been arrested for a crime in Southern California, I would be happy to speak to you about how I can help.  Don’t let one mistake ruin your life.  Call a lawyer who puts you first and takes your immigration status seriously.  If your lawyer didn’t ask you about your immigration status when they met, you may want to find a new lawyer.

Attorney Jeffrey Vallens (818) 783-5700 or email me: