Conviction not tossed in deportation case

Nov. 22, 2012 at 9:37 AM

MIAMI, Nov. 22 (UPI) -- The Florida Supreme Court said it would not throw out the drug conviction of a man who said his lawyer didn't tell him he could be deported for pleading guilty.

Gabriel Hernandez, originally from Nicaragua, pleaded guilty 11 years ago to drug charges in exchange for one year probation. Now a successful bank administrator with an otherwise unblemished criminal record, he sought to have his conviction thrown out after a Kentucky man, Jose Padilla, successfully had his conviction thrown out under similar circumstances, The Miami Herald reported Wednesday.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2010's Padilla vs. Kentucky that criminal defendants received "ineffective assistance of counsel under the Sixth Amendment when their attorneys fail to advise them that pleading guilty to an offense will subject them to deportation."

The Florida Supreme Court unanimously agreed Wednesday that the Padilla ruling is not "retroactive," The Herald reported.

Hernandez could still take his case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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