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A0D7047497EF34DB872583920071101C Hearing Summary


Date Jan 30, 2019      
Location SCR 352

SB19-030 - Amended, referred to Senate Appropriations

01:34:58 PM  

Senator Gonzales, sponsor, explained SB19-030, concerning a remedy for improperly entered guilty pleas.  She discussed her reasons for introducing the bill, and the unanticipated problems noncitizens encounter with deferred judgment.  Senator Gonzales relayed instances in which deferred judgment for noncitizens does not clear charges but can, years or decades later, mean a denial of citizenship or deportation.  She reiterated that the consequences are often not adequately explained to the defendants. 

Senator Gonzales presented and discussed strike-below Amendment L. 001 (Attachment A).  She relayed that the amendment lays out a process for deferred judgment cases involving noncitizens.  She answered questions from the committee about a new fiscal note and reasons for the strike-below. 

01:47:55 PM  

Hans Meyer, representing himself as an immigration lawyer, spoke in favor of the bill.  He explained that the bill, as amended, provides procedural remedies to alleviate an unconstitutional guilty plea.  Mr. Meyer further reported that the amendment narrows the scope and provides a straightforward set of pleadings and responses for these cases. 

01:56:37 PM  

Bob Russell, representing the Denver District Attorney's Office, spoke in favor of the bill, as amended.  Mr. Russell agreed that noncitizen defendants often do not understand that their pleas have immigration consequences. 

01:59:42 PM  

Eric Johnson, representing the Immmigration Section of the Colorado Bar Association, spoke in favor of the bill.  He explained unconstitional pleas and deferred judgment.  He reiterated that immigration consequences are often not clearly laid out when explaining deferred judgment pleas to defendants.  He explained that  individuals who fail to comply with the terms of deferred judgment may bring up constitutional issues through 35(c) motions or other vehicles, as opposed to the defendants who comply with the terms and have no such recourse. 

02:05:36 PM  

Aaron Hall, an immigration attorney with the Joseph Law Firm, spoke in support of the bill.  He provided an example of a deferred judgment case he worked on with immigration consequences.  He expressed frustration that there was no available remedy to withdraw the plea. 

02:09:16 PM  

Kristi Englekirk, representing herself as a law student, spoke in favor of the bill.  She explained the research she conducted about deferred judgment and the lack of information provided to defendants about collateral consequences.

02:12:13 PM  

Tristan Gorman, representing the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar, spoke in support of the bill.  She also explained that criminal defendants are not adequately advised of immigration consequences when entering into a deferred judgment plea.  She further discussed the ways in which immigration law is separate and different from criminal law.

02:18:38 PM  

Erica Cano, representing herself, spoke in support of the bill.  She relayed a personal experience in which a family member was facing deportation because of a deferred judgment that was successfully completed years ago. 

02:25:23 PM
Motion Adopt amendment L.001
Moved Gonzales
YES: 0   NO: 0   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  Pass Without Objection

02:27:34 PM
Motion Refer Senate Bill 19-030, as amended, to the Committee on Appropriations.
Moved Gonzales
Cooke No
Gardner No
Rodriguez Yes
Gonzales Yes
Lee Yes
Final YES: 3   NO: 2   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS