Wisconsin Supreme Court lets immigrant withdraw guilty plea

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Wisconsin Supreme Court

MADISON — The Wisconsin Supreme Court says a Mexican immigrant who wasn’t told that pleading guilty could result in deportation can withdraw her plea.

Melisa Valadez was convicted of drug charges in multiple cases a decade ago and served jail time. She later alleged she couldn’t renew her permanent resident card because of the conviction and filed to withdraw her guilty pleas. The circuit court denied her motion to withdraw her pleas.

The Supreme Court ruled 4-2 Thursday the circuit judges never told her a guilty plea could result in deportation as required by state law.

Marc Christopher, Valadez’s attorney, says the decision sends a clear directive that courts must warn people about potential immigration consequences of their pleas.

Department of Justice spokeswoman Anne Schwartz says they’re reviewing the decision