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Name: People v. Miranda
Case #: B171524
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 11/03/2004

The trial court erred in granting the defendant’s motion to withdraw his guilty plea, where that motion was made more than six months after the initial grant of probation. Defendant, assisted by a Spanish-language interpreter, entered into a plea agreement in 1997 and was advised of the immigration consequences of his plea. He received probation under the terms of the agreement; in 2003, he was arrested on a bench warrant for a violation of probation. The defendant then moved to withdraw his plea, arguing that had he known of the adverse immigration consequences, he would never have entered a guilty plea. He argued that the plea was involuntary due to insufficient legal advice. The court granted his motion to withdraw his plea, and set the matter for trial. The Court of Appeal reversed, noting that Penal Code section 1018 permits withdrawal of a plea at any time prior to judgment or within six months after a grant of probation is made. The legislative history of that section suggests that the six-month time limit was enacted specifically to eliminate late motions to withdraw pleas, and thus the limitation was properly construed as a jurisdictional time limit. Thus, the trial court lacked jurisdiction to hear the motion to withdraw the plea.