AN 18-year old Filipino male was granted lawful permanent resident status on or about June 3, 2010. He has been residing with his parents in Glendale, California, since May 23, 2003.
On October 12, 2011, he was arrested by the Glendale Police Department for allegedly possessing a controlled substance, meth, in violation of Health & Safety Code Section 11377(a).
But the case was rejected by the Glendale District Attorney’s Office on October 18, 2011, and no criminal complaint was filed against him.
He was subsequently arrested by the Glendale Police on February 5, 2012, for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, marijuana and methamphetamine, for which a misdemeanor complaint was filed in the Superior Court by the District Attorney’s Office.
The Author represented the Filipino youth, through his mother, at the deferred inspection proceedings and the criminal case for driving under the influence.
Deferred inspection after arrival from Philippines
Upon his return to the United States from the Philippines on August 3, 2012, the Filipino youth was “paroled” into the United States at the LAX, and placed in deferred inspection.
At the deferred inspection on September 5, 2012, attended personally by the Author and the Filipino client, Customs Border & Protection Officer Liao in the Los Angeles District Office asked the Filipino youth to: (1) obtain a letter from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, indicating that no criminal charges were filed against him for possession of controlled substance in regards to his arrest on October 12, 2011; and (2) report on the status of his criminal case for driving under the influence of drugs with the Glendale Superior Court.
On September 13, 2012, this Author personally represented the Filipino youth before Commissioner Nori Anne Walla in Department 2 of the Glendale Superior Court, who pled no contest to Count 1 of the misdemeanor complaint for driving under the influence of drugs, in violation of Vehicle Code Section 23152(a), and was sentenced on the same hearing.
Plea bargaining & sentence on driving under the influence
This Author plea-bargained with Assistant City Attorney Babakin of the City of Glendale, and obtained the following disposition: 3 years of Summary Probation, fine, penalties and assessments in the total sum of $1,700.00, AB541alcohol/drug program, 1 year suspension of driver’s license, and installation of interlocking ignition device (IID).
He was sentenced accordingly by Com. Walla, and given: up to October 4, 2012 to present proof of enrollment in the AB541 drug program; up to January 14, 2013 to present proof of completion of the drug program and proof of payment of all fines, penalties and assessments.
Return of passport and green card
At the deferred inspection on October 15, 2012, this Author, on behalf of the Filipino youth client, submitted to CBP Officer Liao: (1) the letter dated September 12, 2012 of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, indicating that no criminal charges were filed against the Filipino youth, who was arrested by the Glendale Police Department for charges of possession of controlled substance under Health & Safety Code Section 11377(a), but the case was rejected by the District Attorney’s Office; and (2) the duplicate original of the sentence sheet issued by Com. Walla of Department 2 of the Glendale Court.
The Office of Customs Border Protection (CBP) could have referred the case to the Immigration And Customs Enforcement (ICE) for issuance of a Notice to Appear (NTA), which would place the Filipino youth in removal proceedings, because the violation of any law relating to controlled substance is a ground for inadmissibility under Section 213(a)(2)(i)(11) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
Instead, CBP Officer Liao exercised positive prosecutorial discretion as requested by this Author in returning the Philippine Passport and Green Card of the Filipino youth.
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Roman P. Mosqueda has practiced criminal defense and Immigration law for over 20 years. He is a long-time member of the California Public Defenders Association. , and trained as a prosecutor with the Los Angeles City Attorney under the Trial Advocacy Program of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. He is also a volunteer, State-Bar trained arbitrator on attorney’s fees dispute resolution. Send comments or inquiries to [email protected] , or call (213) 252-9481 for free consultation appointment, or visit his website at www.mosquedalaw.com