How Reducing a Felony to a Misdemeanor Can Help a Permanent Resident

I just had a case where my client, a long-term lawful permanent resident, had a 9 year old felony conviction for P.C. 273.5(a) for domestic violence. Since that time he had no further arrests or convictions, stopped drinking, did not reside with the victim, and obtained a P.C. 1203.4 dismissal of his case. Many noncitizens think an expungement under P.C. 1203.4 eliminates a conviction, but it rarely does. But, when he returned from a short trip outside the U.S. he was put in deferred inspection and removal proceedings for conviction of a crime of moral turpitude.

We filed a motion in Superior Court to reduce his felony to a misdemeanor based on his good behavior for the past 9 years since he was convicted for this offense. This is called a P.C. 17 motion.

Over the objection of the probation department which merely focused on the facts of the original case, we convinced the judge that he deserved a reduction to a misdemeanor and if he did not get a reduction he could be deported. Even though the conviction is still a crime of moral turpitude, since his original sentence was five months in jail, he fit within the petty offense exception to deportability---a misdemeanor with a sentence of 6 months or less and no prior crimes of moral turpitude.

Call me if you have been put in deferred inspection or removal proceedings after returning from a trip abroad. Let me see if I can help you.

We can represent noncitizens in any county in California.