Crimes of Moral Turpitude


§ 10.8 (E)

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“No One Knew.”  In some cases post-conviction counsel may be barred from bringing an ineffective assistance of counsel claim.  In California, for example, habeas corpus is unavailable for persons who are no longer in criminal custody.  Instead, a coram nobis claim must be made on the basis of a mistake of fact.  In this case, a claim may be brought by arguing that no one knew (a) the problem that the plea of guilty would cause defendant’s immigration disaster, or (b) the solution that an equivalent plea or sentence would not have caused this result, and (c) if these facts had been known to court and counsel, this particular plea would not have been entered, and there is a reasonable chance an immigration-safe plea would have been entered instead.[97]  Although this is not an ineffective assistance of counsel claim, it is another way to bring immigration consequences to bear in attempting to vacate a conviction on a ground of legal invalidity.

[97] People v. Superior Court (Giron), 11 Cal.3d 793 (1974); People v. Wiedersperg, 44 Cal.App.3d 550 (1975).