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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Before the commencement of voir dire, Christopher James Kelley entered a plea of guilty to the offense of aggravated sexual assault and elected to have the jury assess punishment. The trial court admonished Kelley of his rights and made inquiries into Kelley’s mental competence and the voluntariness of his plea. Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Art. 26.13 requires the trial court to admonish a defendant before his plea of guilty or nolo contendere about the range of punishment for the offense, potential effects of a plea-bargain agreement and a sex-offender-registration requirement. Under Art. 26.13, the court must also admonish the defendant of the fact that if the defendant is not a U.S. citizen, a plea of guilty or nolo contendere may result in deportation, the exclusion from admission to this country or the denial of naturalization under federal law. It is undisputed that the trial court failed to admonish Kelley as to the deportation consequences of his plea. Kelley entered a plea of guilty to the offense of aggravated sexual assault of a child. The trial court convicted him, and the jury assessed punishment at 25 years of imprisonment. In two issues, Kelley contended that the trial court erred in failing to fully admonish him as to the consequences of his guilty plea. HOLDING:Reversed and remanded. On the first issue, the court found that the record was silent as to the immigration consequences of Kelley’s guilty plea. When the record is silent regarding the consequences of conviction in the context of a guilty plea, the court stated, the court must infer that the defendant did not know the consequences of his plea. The court stated: “We cannot infer from a silent record that the defendant was aware of the consequences of his plea.” A nonconstitutional violation of Art. 26.13, the court stated, is subject to a harm analysis under Texas Rule of Appellate Procedure 44.2(b). The essential question in determining harm is, “[C]onsidering the record as a whole, do we have a fair assurance that the defendant’s decision to plead guilty would not have changed had the court admonished him?” Because the court could not determine whether Kelley was a U.S. citizen, it declared it “impossible to determine with any certainty whether his decision to plead guilty would have changed had he been properly admonished.” Accordingly, the court found it lacked a fair assurance that Kelley’s decision to plead guilty would not have changed had he been admonished. Therefore, the court found that the error was not harmless. When the trial court fails to admonish a defendant about the immigration consequences of his guilty plea, the court held that a silent record on citizenship, or a record that is insufficient to determine citizenship, establishes harm by the standard of Rule 44.2(b). OPINION:Anderson, J.; Hedges, C.J., and Anderson and Seymore, JJ.

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