The California Court of Appeals, Fourth Appellate District, has determined that a counsel who failed to advise her client before she entered her guilty plea that her plea would subject her to mandatory deportation has rendered ineffective assistance of counsel. An executed Tahl waiver form, advising the defendant she will be deported, does not substitute for the specific and correct advice of counsel regarding clear immigration consequences.

Moreover, where the record contains objective evidence (such as family ties, long-time lawful permanent residence, and an employment history in the United States) that the defendant would not have entered her guilty plea had she been so advised, prejudice is established. A defendant’s willingness to spend months in immigration detention fighting a case is further proof of her unwillingness to agree to a plea that would make her automatically deportable.

The full text of In re Reyna Perez Hernandez can be found here: