Vacate Convictions for Rights Violations
Recent changes in the law allow noncitizens who did not meaningfully understand, defend against, or knowingly accept the actual or potential adverse immigration consequences of a guilty or no-contest plea to petition the court to vacate their conviction. (Pen. Code, § 1473.7.) This procedure also applies to cases where there is newly discovered evidence of actual innocence or where a conviction or sentence was sought, obtained, or imposed based on race, ethnicity, or national origin. Vacating a conviction typically results in the legal process starting over. We work with our clients and prosecutors to negotiate new charges if starting over is not in the client’s best interest.