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People v. Figueroa-Lemus.

2020 CO 59. No. 18SC572. Matters Subject to Appeal—Immigration Advisements.

June 22, 2020

Both the People and defendant petitioned for review of the Court of Appeals’ judgment affirming the denial of defendant’s Crim. P. 32(d) motion to withdraw his guilty plea. The People challenged the appellate court’s jurisdiction on the grounds that until defendant is actually sentenced and judgment of conviction enters, there can be no final judgment from which an appeal would lie. Defendant challenged the appellate court’s ultimate conclusion on the merits that he was not entitled to an advisement by his counsel to the effect that he would be detained without bond during the pendency of any deportation proceedings initiated against him by the federal government.

The Supreme Court vacated the Court of Appeals’ judgment. A guilty plea taken pursuant to a statutorily sanctioned stipulation to defer judgment and sentence does not become a final, appealable judgment unless and until the deferral is revoked, sentence is actually imposed, and judgment of conviction enters. Accordingly, defendant was without any immediate right to appeal the denial of his Crim. P. 32(d) motion, and the Court of Appeals was not authorized to entertain defendant’s claim. The Court chose, nevertheless, to exercise its original jurisdiction in this case and found that defendant was adequately advised concerning the deportation consequences of his plea. Therefore, the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying his motion to withdraw.

Official Colorado Supreme Court proceedings can be found at the Colorado Supreme Court website.

Related Topics

Matters Subject to Appeal, Immigration Advisements

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