California Penal Code Section 1016.5 provides protections for immigrants that are defendants in California criminal court.
Essentially this law ensures that immigrant defendants enter a plea with the understanding that they could be deported, be denied naturalization, and or be excluded from the United States. This law enacted in 1978, was enacted by the legislature to address a wrong that the California legislature recognized.
The California Legislature back in 1978 found that too many immigrants were entering pleas that harmed their interests in immigration court.
Today, courts are very careful to ensure that immigrant defendants are properly advised. In being very careful that immigrant defendants are properly advised most judges and courts required that a defendant completes a Tahl Waiver form, where a defendant would have to essentially initial boxes next to the right or advisement is given to prove that the defendant recognizes and acknowledges the waiver.
When courts fail to advise then California Penal Code 1016.5 provides for a remedy and allows for an immigrant defendant to withdraw their plea. California Penal Code 1016.5 is a useful law that provides a remedy for immigrant defendants that entered a plea in criminal court that may harm their fate in Immigration Court.