People v. ChenAnnotate this Case
Chen was charged with cultivating marijuana, possession of marijuana for sale, and theft of services. The arraignment form stated, “If you are not a United States citizen, a plea of Guilty or No Contest could result in your deportation, exclusion from admission to this country, or denial of naturalization.” Chen signed the form, attesting she understood it; her court interpreter also signed, certifying it had been translated. Chen pleaded no contest to cultivation of marijuana. On her plea form Chen initialed the statement regarding the immigration consequences. Her interpreter certified it was translated to Chen. At the hearing, through an interpreter, the court asked Chen whether the interpreter read the form, whether Chen understood, and whether she had time to discuss it with her attorney. Chen responded, “Yes.” Years later, Chen moved to vacate her plea and conviction under Penal Code 1473.7 and 1016.5, arguing her attorney failed to properly advise her of the immigration consequences and that she is a Permanent Resident and the primary caretaker for her parents. She asserted that she had no knowledge of her brother's marijuana grow operation but that her attorney told her she would go to jail unless she took a plea bargain. The district attorney cited evidence of Chen’s involvement in the marijuana operation. Chen’s attorney testified that he talked to Chen about her immigration status. The court of appeal affirmed the denial of relief.