Withdrawal of Guilty Plea Allowed When Defendant Not Informed of Deportation Risk

The Minnesota Court of Appeals decided that Defendants may withdraw guilty pleas if he or she is not informed that deportation may result from the conviction.

Rene Rayes Campos entered a guilty plea in 2009 to simple robbery for the benefit of a gang. Mr. Campos, who had been a legal U.S. citizen for nearly seven years prior to the guilty plea, was not told by his attorney or the Court that his conviction could result in deportation. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in early 2010, that attorneys must inform their clients that entering a guilty plea may negatively impact the client’s immigration status. After the new ruling, Mr. Campos motioned the Hennepin County District Court in 2010 to withdraw his guilty plea on the basis that his attorney never discussed possible consequences of his guilty plea with him. The Hennepin County Court denied his motion incorrectly holding that the new U.S. Supreme Court ruling did not apply retroactively.

The Court of Appeals overturned the Hennepin County Court Order setting forth that not only do criminal defense attorneys have a duty to inform their clients of possible immigration consequences resulting from guilty pleas, but judges also have a duty to inquire as to whether Defendants have been informed of such before accepting a guilty plea. As Mr. Campos’ guilty plea is now withdrawn, his case will be sent back to Hennepin County District Court for resolution.

A criminal conviction can have adverse collateral consequences. To discuss possible ramifications of a criminal charge contact a dedicated Minnesota criminal defense attorney right away.