Criminal Defense of Immigrants
§ 21.18 (F)
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(F) Expungements. Expungements generally do not erase a criminal conviction for immigration purposes. They do work, however, in two situations. First, expungement under the Federal First Offender Act. Second, for a noncitizen within the Ninth Circuit who has had a first-time simple possession type offense expunged that could have been expunged under the FFOA, if s/he has been prosecuted in federal court. See § 21.36, infra. Within the Ninth Circuit, expungements of “lesser offenses” including possession of paraphernalia and being under the influence of a controlled substance may also be effective. There is also a strong argument that expungements work for multiple possession (or lesser) counts brought before a judge in a single criminal proceeding, since then there is no prior disposition to disqualify the defendant from eligibility for Federal First Offender Act treatment.
 See Matter of Roldan, 22 I. N. Dec. 486 (BIA 1999) (en banc).
 Lujan-Armendariz v. INS, 222 F.3d 728 (9th Cir. 2000).
 Cardenas-Uriarte v. INS, 227 F.3d 1132 (9th Cir. 2000).
 See § 21.21, infra.
 See § § 21.19, 21.36, infra.
CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES OFFENSES " POSSESSION
Pagayon v. Holder, 642 F.3d 122, 2011 WL 2508239 (9th Cir. Jun. 24, 2011) (per curiam) (California conviction of possession of a controlled substance, under Health & Safety Code 11377(a), constituted a controlled substances conviction, triggering deportation under INA 237(a)(2)(B)(i), 8 U.S.C. 1227(a)(2)(B)(i), where respondents admission in removal proceedings he pleaded to guilty as charged established the drug involved as methamphetamine which was listed in federal drug schedules).