Published Decision From the Court of Appeal of California, First Appellate District, Division Two, Regarding Penal Code section 1473.7

I now have my first published decision. People v. Morales (2018) 25 Cal.App.5th 502. The case came out of San Mateo County Superior Court and involved the statutory interpretation of Penal Code section 1473.7, specifically when a motion to vacate could be raised in the trial court. The judge held the language of the statute necessitated that a final order of removal be established or a notice to appear in deportation proceedings. The court of appeal ruled for appellant that such a reading was too restrictive and not the intent of the Legislature. A brief summary of the case is as follows: In 2002, Morales pleaded no contest to a drug offense. He served his sentence, voluntarily departed the U.S., and reentered the country. In 2017, while residing in the U.S., he moved to vacate this conviction under the newly enacted Penal Code section 1473.71, hoping to obtain legal status via a “U visa.” Morales contended that but for his conviction, his assistance in a 2009…

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