California Post Conviction Attorney

At the Law firm of Colleen O’Hara, we nullify convictions in order to prevent deportation of non-citizens and to prevent revocation of professional licenses

Bad things happen to good people. Don’t let a past mistake destroy your future. If you’ve been arrested and/or you have a criminal record, anyone can easily learn all about your criminal case, including potential employers, apartment building managers, financial institutions (banks), even family members and neighbors. Clearly, it is in your best interest to expunge or seal your criminal record as soon as possible to avoid any unnecessary problems or embarrassment.

Motion to Vacate Conviction

A motion to vacate conviction may be brought to nullify convictions and obtain dismissals/lesser offenses for immigration purposes, in order to obtain professional licenses or government jobs, or for any other lawful purpose.

California Penal Code Section 1016.5 requires that a judge advise a person charged with a criminal offense  that he/she could be deported, denied naturalization, and excluded from admission to the United States as a result of the offense.  If the person does not receive such a warning, or the record does not explicitly state that the person received this warning, then a conviction could be vacated.  Once the conviction is vacated, it is as though the person had never been conviction of the offense, and the case starts over from the beginning.  At this stage, the case could be dismissed completely, or negotiated to a lesser charge.

California Penal Code Section 1473.7 is a new law that is effective January 1, 2017, that is designed to provide immigrants with additional grounds by which a person may get his/her conviction vacated and dismissed/modified.  To vacate his/her conviction, a person must show by a preponderance of the evidence that either 1) there is newly discovered evidence of actual innocence, or 2) a prejudicial error was committed that damaged the person’s ability to meaningfully understand, defend against, or knowingly accept the actual or potential adverse immigration consequences of the plea.

Post-Conviction State Habeas Petitions

If a person is in custody, on probation or parole, he/she is eligible to file a state habeas petition to try to vacate his/her conviction.  The basis of a habeas petition may include prejudicial error to the person on the basis of a violation of his/her statutory or constitutional rights.  If the petition is granted, then the case starts over as though the person had never suffered a conviction.

Motion to Withdraw Plea

California Penal Code Section 1018 affords the right to move to withdraw their guilty or no contest pleas if there is good cause to do so. This code section states as follows:  “On application of the defendant at any time before judgment or within six months after an order granting probation is made if entry of judgment is suspended, the court may, and in case of a defendant who appeared without counsel at the time of the plea, the court shall, for good cause shown, permit the plea of guilty to be withdrawn and a plea of not guilty substituted.”   Examples of good cause to withdraw a plea include, but are not limited to the following: 1)  A person was not properly warned about any adverse immigration consequences by the court or his/her own attorney; 2)  A person was not represented by an attorney at the time of his/her plea, and was not given all of the legally required warnings by the court before being allowed to represent himself/herself; 3)  The court did not provide the proper admonitions that are required by statutory or constitutional law; and 4)  A person’s attorney did not provide the proper admonitions that are required by statutory or constitutional law.   If the judge grants the motion to withdraw plea, then the case begins anew, and the person is now in a position to either take his/her case to trial, or to negotiate a better disposition.

Proposition 47

  • Proposition 47 will no longer be available for post-conviction relief after November 2017.
  • Proposition 47 retroactively reduces felony simple drug convictions to misdemeanors.
  • Proposition 47 retroactively nullifies convictions for certain theft offenses and replaces them with lesser offenses.  For non-citizen immigrants,
  • Proposition 47 can nullify or modify certain theft offenses to make them not deportable and eligible for legal immigration status.

Hire An Experienced Post-Conviction Attorney

Contact Colleen O’Hara now to discuss the California state post-conviction proceedings that are right for your circumstances and goals. We are dedicated to seeing that the next decision made in your case is the right one. Dial 213 628-3929 now!