The New Jersey Superior Court recently held that an attorney can be constitutionally ineffective if he provides legally incorrect information to his client regarding the effects of a guilty plea on immigration status and the defendant relied on that information in making his decision to plead guilty.
This decision gives defendant’s the ability to seek post-conviction relief in New Jersey on these grounds. A defendant who pleads guilty to a removable offense based on the legally incorrect information from his/her attorney can now file a post-conviction relief application and successfully argue that the court should vacate the guilty plea. Prior to this decision, relief based upon similar grounds was difficult, if not impossible to obtain. I will continue to post more information on this important decision in the coming weeks