The California state legislature enacted 807 new laws during the 2015 legislative session.
CA Penal Code sections 1016.2 & 1016.3 were added this year, addressing how both prosecutors and defense counsel deal with the immigration consequences of guilty pleas in criminal cases.
The new laws require that defense counsel provide to their clients accurate and affirmative advice about the immigration consequences of any proposed disposition of the client’s case and that prosecutors, “in the interests of justice … shall consider the avoidance of adverse immigration consequences in the plea negotiation process as one factor in an effort to reach a just resolution”.
Thus, the lawyers on both sides of criminal cases involving individuals who may be subject to immigration consequences as a result of their prosecution must take those potential consequences into consideration as part of the plea bargaining process.
Presumably, this will also mean that courts will be inquiring of defendants entering guilty pleas whether or not their lawyers have advised them of the potential immigration consequences. One more thing for defense counsel to keep in mind.
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