Commonwealth v. Valdez

Defendant, who was admitted to the United States as a lawful permanent resident alien, pleaded guilty to an indictment alleging larceny of a motor vehicle. Defendant later moved to withdraw the guilty plea and vacate the conviction, arguing that the judge accepted his plea without advising him that the guilty plea might have the consequences of exclusion from admission to the United States. The judge denied the motion. The Appellate Court affirmed, concluding (1) the Commonwealth failed to prove that Defendant received the required warning regarding exclusion from admission to the United States; but (2) Defendant failed to show that he faced the consequence of exclusion. The Supreme Judicial Court vacated Defendant’s conviction, holding (1) a defendant satisfies the burden of showing that his conviction may have the consequences of exclusion from admission to the United States by showing that he has a bona fide desire to leave the country and reenter and that, if he were to do so, there would be a substantial risk that he would be excluded from admission because of his conviction; and (2) Defendant here met this burden, and because Defendant was not warned of this consequence during his plea colloquy, his conviction must be vacated. View "Commonwealth v. Valdez" on Justia Law