By Audrey Sawyer
VENTURA, CA — A drug, firearm and assault case from 1995 was dismissed and expunged here in Ventura County Superior Court this week after the accused’s initials were not found, as he was advised of the immigration consequences of his case.
The man was facing charges in 1995 for battery on a person, possession of a deadly weapon and possession of a controlled substance—all were dismissed/expunged in court this week.
The prosecution agreed with the defense, stating, “We have reviewed the plea form and there were no initials for paragraphs regarding any immigration advisements. Under 1016.5, there is a presumption that no advisement was provided.”
Deputy District Attorney Miriam Arichea confirmed prejudice was established, citing a conviction for Safety Code section 11350 is a removal offense.
The penal code requires courts inform those accused of a crime of a possibility that a conviction could result in their deportation. Many noncitizens have entered pleas to criminal offenses without knowing that this was grounds for deportation.
Judge Patricia M. Murphy granted the motion, stating she is signing an order that the case is vacated, the conviction is set aside, and that the DOJ will be notified as pursuant to 1016.5 of the penal code.
Citing PC section 1385, the prosecution asked to dismiss the case in the interest of justice, which was then granted, and the accused was discharged.