Criminal Defense of Immigrants


§ 8.61 v. Slow Plea of Guilty

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A defendant can enter what is called a “slow plea” of guilty.  This really constitutes an agreement to submit the case to a court trial on the police report or other documents, with the understanding that the defendant will be found guilty of specified offenses.  This will result in a verdict of guilty, which will constitute a conviction for immigration purposes just as surely as if a plea of guilty had been entered.[150]  One advantage, in many jurisdictions, is that the verdict can be appealed without seeking a certificate of probable cause to appeal.  Many courts err in the requirements of taking a valid slow plea, since the requirements are very similar to those required when a plea of guilty is entered, but the courts frequently do not understand them.  During the pendency of the appeal, the conviction is not yet final for immigration purposes in most circuits.  See § 7.37, infra.

[150] INA § 101(a)(48)(A), 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(48)(A).