Judges vacate plea for man facing possible deportation
An admitted drug suspect will get a second chance to decide whether to take his 2007 case to trial or stick with a plea bargain that could send him to a deportation facility.
When Winston Griffin admitted to conspiracy and criminal sale of a controlled substance charges, the judge — Justice Danny Chun — did not tell him that when his prison term is completed he faced the possibility of being deported, according to a decision made by the Second Department Appellate Division.
As a part of Justice Chun’s obligation is to “alert a noncitizen defendant, through a ‘short, straightforward statement on the record,’ that, if the defendant is not a United States citizen, ‘he or she may be deported on a guilty plea’ … Here, the Supreme Court never mentioned the possibility of deportation,” the judges wrote.
The higher court unanimously decided on Wednesday to “remit the matter to the Supreme Court, Kings County, to afford the defendant an opportunity to move to vacate his plea” now that Griffin is aware that deportation is a definite possibility.
Griffin, 58, already served two to six year in prison.
The Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office and Winston’s attorneys also agreed to redo the plea hearing. A date for the hearing has not been determined as of press time, but the higher court gave the parties 60 days to report back to them on Winston’s decision.