Have You Been Deported After Successful Completion of Deferred Entry of Judgment in California?

If you have been deported after successfully completing Deferred Entry of Judgment ("DEJ") in California, let me help you.

I helped draft the language of California Penal Code section 1203.43, effective Jan. 1, 2016, which allows a defendant to withdraw a plea of guilty or no contest required to get the benefit of DEJ in California since 1997. DEJ allows minor drug offenders to plead guilty to an offense, be referred to a drug program, and then get their case "dismissed" after successful completion. Defendants are told that they will get a clean slate: the guilty plea will not be used against them in the future to deny them any "benefit."

For noncitizens this is misinformation: they are routinely deported for DEJ even after their case is dismissed since DEJ is deemed a conviction under federal immigration law. They are also denied admission to the U.S. since it is deemed a conviction.

Fortunately, the Legislature rectified this injustice. A motion can be filed by a defendant who successfully completed DEJ to withdraw the plea based on "misinformation." The Court must grant the motion if the defendant successfully complied with DEJ. This will result in the elimination of DEJ as a conviction under federal immigration law.

I recently handled a case where a client was deported after successful completion of DEJ. I did not represent the client initially in the removal proceeding. After Penal Code section 1203.43 was effective in January 2016, I filed a motion to withdraw the guilty plea based on misinformation and got an order to that effect. Then I filed a Motion to Reopen his order of removal and got the Board of Immigration Appeals to grant the Order.

Let me help you or your family member if they were deported after successful completion of DEJ.