I have two convictions in canada 35 years ago for possesion of marijuana both less then 5 grams. At the time of conviction I was told I was better off just accepting the fine rather then paying an attorney to fight the case. Which I accepted the fine. In one case the marijuana was a pipe with resin and was not mine, but it was in my car put there by a pasenger who would not own up to the pipe. The other was a roach found on the ground outside my driver car door. 25 years ago I received a pardon from the Canadian government. However due to a US immigration problem with the two convictions I am ineligible to be granted legal status in the US. The only way for me to be eligible is for one of the cases to be fully vacated. My querstion is, since I was not informed of what the consequences could be to me later on in life and would have fought the tickets and believe I would have won if I did know the consequences, is there any way to go back to the court and ask the court to vacate the charge?
I am sorry that your question has not yet been answered.Can you let me know if you still want an answer?If you do I will make my best efforts to find an expert who can answer this question for you.So please just let me know.Thanks
You face some significant hurdles to appeal your convictions after such a long time.First you have to explain why your appeal is 35 years late. This will be a big hurdle to overcome. Most Judges will likely say you had plenty of time to appeal.
The Law Re: Appeal of Conviction
The test to appeal a guilty plea is the same as the test to strike a plea.
A plea of guilty must be voluntary in the sense that the plea is a conscious volitional decision of the accused to plead guilty for those reasons which he or she regards XX XXXXXXXXXXX.
Ordinarily a plea of guilty involves certain inherent and external pressures. Plea negotiations in which the prosecution pursues a plea of guilty in exchange for forgoing legal avenues open to it, or agrees not to pursue certain charges, do not render the subsequent plea involuntary. What is unacceptable is coercive or oppressive conduct of others or any circumstance personal to the individual which unfairly deprives the accused of free choice in the decision not to go to trial. There is, of course, no closed list of circumstances calling into question the voluntariness of a guilty plea, however, they can include pressure from the court , pressure from defence counsel, incompetence of defence counsel, cognitive impairment or emotional disintegration of the accused or the effect of illicit drugs or prescribed medications.
While it is true that a valid guilty plea must be a voluntary, unequivocal and informed admission of the elements of the offence, there are many factual aspects that will impact the court’s decision whether or not an appeal of a guilty plea will succeed, and there are a number of hurdles to overcome. In T.(R.), 1992 CanLII 2834 (C.A.), the Ontario Court of Appeal held that where the validity of a plea is challenged for the first time on appeal, the accused bears the heavy onus of showing that the plea was invalid.
You could aways apply to the US government for a waiver.
I will accept your answer but had another quick question. Would the fact that i never got into any trouble in the last 35 and never thought my quilty plea would affect me, be a good explaination and would you be available to represent me?
Certainly those factor would help you. I cannot represent you with that. You should find a local criminal lawyer by going to www.criminallawyers.ca
8 Years experience
Mark: I live in Long Beach, California and the charges were in Hamilton, Ontario. Can you provide me with a competent attorney that works in this area of the law.
There are a couple of ways to do that. I would recommend a lawyer who is a member of the Ontario Criminal Lawyer's Association. Www.criminallawyers.ca