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Docket No.: 08-651
Certiorari Granted: Feb 23 2009
Argued: October 13, 2009
Decided: March 31, 2010


Assistance of Counsel, Deportation, Due Process, Immigration and Nationality Act, Right to Counsel, Sixth Amendment, habeas, immigration, ineffective assistance of counsel

PartyNames: Jose Padilla v. Kentucky
Petitioner: Jose Padilla
Respondent: Kentucky

Court Below: Supreme Court of Kentucky
Citation: 253 S.W.3d 482

Jose Padilla

Petitioner, who has lived in this country for nearly 40 years and served in the United States Army, is a legal permanent resident of this country, not a citizen. In 2001 Petitioner was indicted for trafficking in marijuana - an offense designated as an "aggravated felony" under the Immigration and Naturalization Act (INA). Prior to entering a plea of guilty to that offense, Petitioner was incorrectly advised by his counsel that the plea would not affect his immigration status. Unfortunately, because the offense was an aggravated felony, Petitioner's deportation is mandatory. Upon discovery of this fact, Petitioner sought post conviction relief in Kentucky's state courts arguing that his attorney had improperly advised him. The Supreme Court of Kentucky denied post conviction relief holding the Petitioner was not entitled to accurate advice from his attorney on immigration consequences because he had no Sixth Amendment right to counsel in that proceeding. Petitioner now seeks certiorari to review the following questions:

Question Presented:

1. Whether the mandatory deportation consequences that stem from a plea to trafficking in marijuana, an "aggravated felony" under the INA, is a "collateral consequence" of a criminal conviction which relieves counsel from any affirmative duty to investigate and advise; and 2. Assuming immigration consequences are "collateral", whether counsel's gross misadvice as to the collateral consequence of deportation can constitute a ground for setting aside a guilty plea which was induced by that faulty advice.


1) Is the mandatory deportation that results from a guilty plea to trafficking in marijuana a "collateral consequence" that relieves counsel of an affirmative duty to advise his client per the guarantees of the Sixth Amendment? 2) Assuming deportation is a "collateral consequence", can counsel's gross misadvice about deportation constitute a ground for setting aside a guilty plea that is induced by that advice?


October 13, 2009

Holding: reversed and remanded
Vote: 7-2
Opinion By:

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Case Documents

1PADILLA v. KENTUCKY Oral Argument Transcript (HTML)
2PADILLA v. KENTUCKY Oral Argument Transcript (PDF)
4PADILLA v. KENTUCKY Oral Argument Transcript (HTML)
Additional documents for this case are pending review.