Had Rene Reyes Campos known that his agreeing to a plea bargain would result in his deportation, he might have fought the charges.
In July 2009, Campos pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of simple robbery and was given a stayed sentenced of three years. Campos, who had been a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. since 2002, never told his attorney about his immigration status and his attorney never asked.
After the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2010 that people have to be advised when a plea arrangement could mean deportation, Campos moved to withdraw his guilty plea. The Supreme Court ruled 7 to 2 that the Sixth Amendment guarantee of an effective counsel extends to advice about the risk of having to leave the country. But a district court in Minnesota ruled that the Supreme Court order does not apply to people who’d already pleaded guilty.
Today, Minnesota’s Court of Appeals said that decision was wrong. “A defense attorney’s duty to properly advise his client before a guilty plea is hardly new,” the court said, concluding that Campos’ counsel was ineffective.