Sec. 54-1j. Ascertainment that defendant understands possible immigration and naturalization consequences of guilty or nolo contendere plea. (a) The court shall not accept a plea of guilty or nolo contendere from any defendant in any criminal proceeding unless the court first addresses the defendant personally and determines that the defendant fully understands that if the defendant is not a citizen of the United States, conviction of the offense for which the defendant has been charged may have the consequences of deportation or removal from the United States, exclusion from readmission to the United States or denial of naturalization, pursuant to the laws of the United States. If the defendant has not discussed these possible consequences with the defendant's attorney, the court shall permit the defendant to do so prior to accepting the defendant's plea.
(b) The defendant shall not be required at the time of the plea to disclose the defendant's legal status in the United States to the court.
(c) If the court fails to address the defendant personally and determine that the defendant fully understands the possible consequences of the defendant's plea, as required in subsection (a) of this section, and the defendant not later than three years after the acceptance of the plea shows that the defendant's plea and conviction may have one of the enumerated consequences, the court, on the defendant's motion, shall vacate the judgment, and permit the defendant to withdraw the plea of guilty or nolo contendere, and enter a plea of not guilty.
(P.A. 82-177; P.A. 97-256, S. 6; P.A. 03-81, S. 1.)
History: P.A. 97-256 amended Subsec. (c) by imposing a three-year time period after the acceptance of the plea for the defendant to show that his plea and conviction may have one of the enumerated consequences, and deleting provision that, in the absence of a record that the court provided the required advice, the defendant is presumed not to have received such advice; P.A. 03-81 amended Subsec. (a) to replace former provision prohibiting the court accepting plea unless the court "advises" the defendant of the possible immigration or naturalization consequences of conviction if the defendant is not a citizen and setting forth specific language of such advisement with provision that prohibits the court accepting plea unless the court first addresses the defendant personally and determines that the defendant fully understands such possible consequences, add "removal" from the United States as a possible consequence and add provision requiring the court to permit the defendant to discuss these possible consequences with the defendant's attorney prior to accepting plea, amended Subsec. (b) to make a technical change for purposes of gender neutrality and amended Subsec. (c) to make provisions applicable if court fails "to address the defendant personally and determine that the defendant fully understands the possible consequences of the defendant's plea, as required in subsection (a) of this section" rather than if court fails "to advise a defendant, as required in subsection (a) of this section" and make a technical change for purposes of gender neutrality.
Court found that the time limit for filing motion was procedural in nature and therefore could be applied retroactively. 251 C. 617. Warning of deportation and denial was substantial compliance with provisions of statute since defendant was warned guilty plea implicates immigration status. 257 C. 653.
Court need only inform defendant of potential deportation consequences rather than engaging defendant in a manner to ensure full understanding. 62 CA 805. Section is in place only to call defendant's attention to potential immigration consequences under federal law, not to inform defendant of every possible consequence of a plea. 68 CA 499.