New Supreme Court Immigration Decision Could Prevent Deportation And Removal for Some Drug Convictions.
How does this case effect non citizens?…
The U.S. Supreme Court just decided a case on June 1, 2015, Mellouli v. Lynch, 575 U.S. (2015)that could have a instrumental effect on non citizens in Massachusetts who also have a drug conviction.
What this means for Massachusetts Defendants to a criminal drug charge who may not be citizens of the U.S. ?
The Court’s opinion is helpful for fighting removal based on any drug conviction where the state statute at the time of conviction covered any substances that are not listed in the federal schedules. This decision can help provide various defenses against deportation and removal to protect Defendants who ultimately receive guilty convictions or admissions to sufficient facts (CWOF) as dispositions in Massachusetts for drug offenses.
How do you know if this applies to your situation?
Whether the substance you are charged with possessing is actually on the federal schedule is the first issue. If not, then that offense cannot make you deportable. Therefore, end of story.
The next issue would be to check the state schedule for the class charged under and see if there are substances that are not on the federal schedule. If the Massachusetts list includes some substances that are not on the federal schedule, and if a plea to the generic offense (e.g. “did possess with intent to distribute a Class E substance”) was the disposition, then all information about the actual substance should be kept out of the record of conviction.
Ultimately, this is one effective way to avoid an unnecessary deportation and removal.
Porreca Law Office will continue to keep you updated how this case effects Immigration consequences in Massachusetts.