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Rulings Dealing With an Immigration Case and a Defendant's Motion to Withdraw Guilty Plea

By FindLaw Staff on March 05, 2010 11:15 AM

The Seventh Circuit decided an immigration case and a criminal case involving a defendant convicted of distributing crack cocaine.

In Gonzalez-Balderas v. Holder, No. 09-1890, the court faced a challenge to the BIA's denial of a Mexican National's request to reapply for admission retroactive to the date of her second reentry.  The petitioner initially entered the U.S. illegally by using someone else's documentation and removed, which made her ineligible to seek readmission for five years.  She illegally reentered a second time, which meant that she would be prevented from reapplying for permission to enter for ten years.  Thus, in affirming the denial, the court held that application for retroactive relief cannot be granted when the effect would be to lift the ten-year bar.

In US v. White, No. 09-2053, the court faced a challenge to the district court's denial of defendant's motion to withdraw his guilty plea.  The defendant's motion was based on a "mutual mistake" that upon learning that his criminal history made him ineligible for a "safety valve" reduction, the two other reductions the government had agreed to had the practical effect of being negated.  However, in rejecting defendant's claims, the court affirmed the denial in concluding that the defendant know the possible consequences of his plea and the government did not promise a specific sentence. 

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