US vs. Bonilla, No. 09-10307 (3-11-11)(Reinhardt with Berzon and Pollak, Sr. D.J., E.D. Pa). In Padilla, the Supremes made clear that the defendant must be advised of the immigration consequences to a guilty plea.
Here, the defendant, a legal resident who had been in the country thirty years, faced a count of possessing an unregistered firearm and being a felon in possession. He had mental issues, and so his wife (a US citizen) frequently spoke for him. he asked his lawyer what the immigration consequences were, and she said probably deportation. After he pled straight up, he learned that he was facing certain deportation for agg felonies. He then moved to withdraw his guilty plea. the district court denied the plea, stating that he knew there would be some consequences. On appeal, the 9th reversed and remanded. The 9th stressed that the standard for moving to withdraw was a "fair and just" reason, which was to be liberally construed. Here, the defendant and his wife inquired about the consequences before the plea, and were not told of the dire consequences; it was only afterwards that the full extent of the consequences of the guilty plea came through. Moreover, the defendant plead straight up, and so did not receive some great benefit in accepting a plea. The fact that court felt that the defendant would have pled guilty anyway doesn't cut it.
Padilla is clear that the real consequences of the plea must be disclosed.
Although the lawyer failed to get him the information, believing he was a citizen, the lawyer did come through afterwards and admitted a mistake.