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Name: People v. Superior Court (Zamudio)
Case #: S073031
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 07/12/2000
Subsequent History: Modification of opinion 23 Cal.4th 823a
Summary

Zamudio was advised that his conviction might result in deportation. He was not however, advised that his conviction might also result in exclusion from admission to this country. In 1998, he filed a motion pursuant to Penal Code section 1016.5 seeking to vacate his plea because he had been improperly advised. In support of his motion, he filed a declaration from his trial attorney that the conviction created the possibility that Zamudio would suffer adverse immigration consequences. The motion was granted, and the prosecution applied for writ relief which was summarily denied by the Court of Appeal. Here the high court reversed the ruling of the Court of Appeal, however, because it should not have summarily denied petitioner’s application for writ relief on the ground that the trial court was not required to determine whether Zamudio had suffered prejudice in ruling on his section 1016.5 motion. When the Court of Appeal summarily denied the People’s writ petition, the grounds for the denial were not revealed. The California Supreme Court remanded to the Court of Appeal so that it could consider alternative grounds timely raised by Zamudio, such as whether the trial court’s order may have been appealable, thereby precluding writ review. Moreover, the trial court erred when it granted relief under section 1016.5 without requiring Zamudio to demonstrate that he was prejudiced by the incomplete advisement. Zamudio had to show not only more than a remote possibility that his conviction will have one or more of the specified adverse consequences, but also that, properly advised, he would not have entered the plea. The Court of Appeal was instructed to issue the writ instructing the trial court to make a factual determination of this issue. Dissenting opinion by J. Mosk held that there is no requirement in the Penal Code that a noncitizen convicted criminal seeking to vacate the judgment under section 1016.5 must show that he would have proceeded to trial if he had known the possible consequences of his plea. The trial court was not required to reject Zamudio’s Penal Code section 1016.5 motion as untimely. Even if defendant knew in 1992 that he might be subject to deportation, he did not know that he would be subject to exclusion until 1997. Further, Zamudio had no way of knowing of changes in the law which would occur subsequent to 1992. The immigration consequences advisements that Zamudio received in 1992 were not in substantial compliance with the statute. Possible deportation is not the functional equivalent of exclusion. Appellant’s 1997 guilty plea did not “correct” any error in the advisements given in 1992. The purpose of Penal Code section 1016.5, which is to provide fairness to criminally accused noncitizens, cannot be served by after-the-fact warnings. Dissenting opinion by J. Mosk held that there is no requirement in the Penal Code that a noncitizen convicted criminal seeking to vacate the judgment under section 1016.5 must show that he would have proceeded to trial if he had known the possible consequences of his plea. The trial court’s conclusion that Zamudio was subject to adverse immigration consequences based on his plea was adequately supported. In addition to the attorney’s sworn declaration, the court had documentary evidence which showed that a border patrol hold had been placed on Zamudio. Dissenting opinion by J. Mosk held that there is no requirement in the Penal Code that a noncitizen convicted criminal seeking to vacate the judgment under section 1016.5 must show that he would have proceeded to trial if he had known the possible consequences of his plea. It was not error, however, for the trial court to have denied petitioner a hearing on the Penal Code section 1016.5 motion. There is no authority for the proposition that a trial court necessarily abuses its discretion by resolving evidentiary conflicts without live testimony.