Criminal Defense of Immigrants


§ 21.23 (F)

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(F)  Expungement.  Counsel can argue that transportation for personal use is a “lesser offense,” and therefore expungement of a first-time conviction for transporting a controlled substance will work, for immigration purposes, as well as an expungement for simple possession.[207]  See § 21.36, infra.  If successful, the same argument should work equally well where the noncitizen has been convicted of simple possession and transportation, as long as both convictions were entered during the same criminal proceeding.[208]  Since some states, like California, punish transportation more seriously than simple possession,[209] it may be difficult to succeed in making this argument in those jurisdictions.

[207] Cardenas-Uriarte v. INS, 227 F.3d 1132 (9th Cir. 2000) (possession of paraphernalia).

[208] See § 21.36, infra.

[209] Compare California Health & Safety Code § 11360(a), with California Health & Safety Code § 11357(a).