Appeal from the District Court of Ward County, Northwest Judicial District, the Honorable William W. McLees, Judge.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Crothers, Justice.
N.D. Supreme CourtState v. Garg,
This opinion is subject to petition for rehearing. [Go to Documents]
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Opinion of the Court by Crothers, Justice.
[¶1] Manmohan Garg appeals a district court order denying his motion to withdraw guilty pleas in two criminal cases. Garg argues the district court erred by denying the motion because his attorneys were constitutionally ineffective for failing to advise him of the deportation consequences of the plea agreements as required by the United States Supreme Court decision in Padilla v. Kentucky, 130 S. Ct. 1473 (2010). We affirm.
[¶2] Garg is a non-citizen living in the United States. In April 2011, Garg received notice from United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement that his immigration status was being revoked and that he was subject to deportation as a result of two previous criminal convictions in Ward County, North Dakota.
[¶3] The first criminal case was initiated in March 1994, when Garg was charged with class C felony attempt to deal in stolen property. Garg hired two attorneys and was represented at his preliminary examination and arraignment. A jury trial was scheduled for March 1995. In January 1995, Garg sent his attorneys letters indicating his desire to terminate their legal services. Both attorneys moved to withdraw, and the district court granted their motions.
[¶4] In February 1995, Garg accepted an agreement in which he pled guilty to class A misdemeanor attempt to commit theft of property. The plea agreement stated that "Defendant, Mon Mahon Garge, pro se" was advised of his right to be represented by an attorney and waived that right. The district court accepted Garg's guilty plea and entered a criminal judgment sentencing Garg to one year incarceration suspended for one year unsupervised probation.
[¶5] In August 1995, Garg, represented by a third attorney, moved to modify the criminal judgment. A letter filed with the motion explained:
"The basis for the request for modification is that at the time of entering into the Plea Agreement, I believe that neither Mr. Garg, pro se, nor the Ward Co. States Attorney's Office was aware of the Immigration and Naturalization Act provisions which provide that an alien who is convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude . . . may be excluded from the United States where they are sentenced to a term of incarceration exceeding six (6) months." The district court ...