PC 1203.43 Removes Convictions for Immigration Purposes

Recently-enacted California Penal Code § 1203.43 helps to prevent the unintended immigration consequences of Deferred Entry of Judgment (DEJ), by eliminating the DEJ as a drug “conviction” for immigration purposes.

Before the enactment of Cal. Pen. Code § 1203.43, non-citizens who successfully completed DEJ still had a drug “conviction” for immigration purposes, even though Cal. Pen. Code § 1000 provides that it is not a conviction “for any purpose.” These “convictions” led to many non-citizens being subject to removal from the country. Recognizing the discrepancy between the clear language of Cal. Pen. Code § 1000 and how federal law defines a “conviction,”  the California Legislature enacted § 1203.43 in order to rectify the situation where defendants who pled guilty and were given DEJ actually do have their convictions erased for all purposes.

The Law Offices of Andres Bustamante has successfully litigated 1203.43 motions in criminal court and, based on those motions, terminated immigration proceedings in order to help non-citizens avoid the disastrous immigration consequences of a guilty plea in a DEJ case.