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Void Criminal Convictions

A motion to "void a criminal conviction" is an application to overturn or set aside a court's verdict or other final ruling in a case. If successful, this motion grants you the opportunity to withdraw your plea so that you can alternatively plead "not guilty" to the offense. Essentially, the conviction gets erased and the case can get rewound back to the beginning.

Where immigration is concerned, this is an important protection afforded under U.S. law because it allows immigrants who have pled guilty to a criminal charge that could lead to deportation to rescind that plea and start over.

The Law Office of Jonathan Bruce is uniquely qualified to tackle matters at the point where immigration law and criminal law intersect. Jonathan Bruce has extensive experience in both areas, plus additional insights from his previous work as a felony prosecutor and a public defender.

Maarion County, Indiana Removal Defense Attorney

In order to prevail on a motion to void a conviction, you must prove that it is substantially more likely than not that you would not have entered a guilty or no-contest plea had you known all the facts at the time of the plea.

The state of Kentucky has played a prominent role in the interpretation of this law. In 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court determined in Padilla v. Kentucky that criminal defense attorneys must advise noncitizen clients about the deportation risks of a guilty plea.

In that case, Jose Padilla, a native of Honduras who had immigrated to the United States and become a lawful permanent resident, was arrested in Kentucky in 2001 for transporting marijuana. Padilla's defense attorney told him that conviction would not impact his immigration status, so he pled guilty pursuant to a plea bargain. The advice was incorrect, however, as his deportation was virtually automatic.

Padilla filed a motion for post-conviction relief in 2004, alleging that he had been given bad advice by his attorney. The Kentucky Supreme Court ruled that the incorrect legal counsel regarding the impact of Padilla's guilty plea was not cause for preventing his deportation. However, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the Kentucky Supreme Court's decision.

Meet With An Experienced Indiana Lawyer

The process of voiding a criminal conviction is complicated and difficult to successfully execute. It is important to obtain the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney to help. If you have questions regarding this or any immigration matter, call 859-905-9678 or use our contact form to schedule a consultation. Jonathan Bruce works with clients throughout Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio.


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Law Offices of Jonathan Bruce
Indiana Location:

30 E. Main St
Carmel, IN 46032
Local: 859-905-9678

Fax: 513-386-7311

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Kentucky/Cincinnati, OH location:

7000 Houston Road, Suite 3

Florence, KY 41042