Judge John H. Wilson

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Samuels moved to vacate her convictions in two matters arguing her pleas were involuntary as she received ineffective assistance of counsel noting her attorneys on both matters never advised her of the immigration consequences of her guilty pleas. She was arrested and charged with criminal sale of marijuana on July 8, 1987, and of criminal possession of marijuana on Sept. 9, 1987. She entered a guilty plea to both charges, and has not appealed her convictions. Samuels alleged her attorneys assured her that pleading guilty would not have a negative immigration consequence. The court noted while Samuels argued she recently discovered the convictions mandated deportation, yet failed to indicate that any immigration proceedings were commenced against her. It found as Chaidez v. United States held that as Padilla v. Kentucky announced a new rule, defendants whose convictions became final before Padilla could not benefit form its holding, thus Padilla was inapplicable to the matter, while the standard in People v. Baldi applied. Yet, the court ruled, Samuels’ July plea was voluntary and knowing, denying vacatur, while concluding there was no evidence she knowingly and intelligently waived her constitutional rights, and granted vacatur of the September conviction.