Rancho Cucamonga Motion to Vacate Attorneys
Helping Request a Withdraw of Your Previous Conviction
A criminal conviction can have life-altering consequences. For instance, with a mark on your criminal record, you may find it challenging to get a job or a place to live. Also, if you are an immigrant, you may be subject to deportation. This can be stressful. What can make matters even more frustrating is if you're suffering these consequences because you plead guilty to the offense and you didn't fully understand the impacts that would have on immigration, or the conviction remains on your record even though new evidence of your innocence exists. Thankfully, California has a law (Penal Code 1473.7) that allows people in such circumstances to file a motion to vacate their judgment, which would reverse the guilty conviction.
Unfortunately, seeking to have your judgment vacated isn't easy. You must go through a complex process and ensure that you develop a sound argument for your request. Fortunately, you can have a lawyer by your side throughout, providing skilled advice and guidance. At Newman & Allen, we can deliver the legal representation you need. Backed by over 40 years of combined experience, our Rancho Cucamonga attorneys know the justice system and the laws concerning your rights. We will help seek to have your conviction vacated.
Who Qualifies to File a Motion to Vacate Judgment?
California Penal Code 1473.7 was enacted as a remedy for individuals convicted of offenses and are already out of custody. Before this law was passed, individuals had few options for challenging their judgments. For the most part, they could only take such action if they were still in custody – for instance, jail, prison, parole. Thus, if they had completed the terms of their sentence, they could not go back to the court and ask for a reversal of their conviction. The motion to vacate judgment law rectifies that limitation. It provides that a person can challenge their guilty verdict even if they are no longer in custody.
Two situations exist in which a person can seek to have their conviction vacated:
- When they pleaded guilty or nolo contendere to an offense, but a prejudicial error compromised their ability to fully understand or defend against the immigration consequences of such a plea. A prejudicial error is apparent when without it, the defendant would not have entered the plea, or when it would have been rational not to enter the plea under the circumstances.
- When the new evidence exists that points to the defendant's factual innocence, such as when DNA evidence reveals that the individual was not connected to the crime or another person admits to committing the offense.
If your situation meets either of the two criteria above, you may be entitled to a vacated judgment. To seek this relief, you must timely file your petition. According to the law, a petition is considered untimely filed when the individual has been released from custody and they have not made reasonable diligence to seek relief after receiving either a notice to appear in immigration court or a notice of final removal. At Newman & Allen, our Rancho Cucamonga motion to vacate judgment attorneys will review your situation and determine whether you can pursue this legal vehicle and if you meet the deadlines for applying.
What Happens If the Request Is Granted?
After filing a motion to vacate judgment, you may be scheduled for a hearing. During this proceeding, a judge will decide whether or not you have proven by a preponderance of the evidence that your conviction should be reversed. To show this effectively, you must thoroughly prepare for your hearing and develop a compelling argument. Our lawyers are skilled in developing persuasive strategies and will build a personalized solution for your specific needs.
If your request is granted, it will be as if the conviction never existed. However, your case may start at the beginning, meaning you may be required to defend yourself against the charges in court.