Under previous law if a non-citizen discovered, many years after accepting a plea bargain, that the conviction triggered an adverse immigration consequence, there was often no avenue for relief because a habeas corpus petition could only be sustained if the individual was in “constructive custody” –., still serving a sentence, or on probation or parole. AB 813, signed by the Governor, solves this problem. It creates a right for a person no longer imprisoned or restrained to prosecute a motion to vacate a conviction or sentence due to “prejudicial error damaging the moving party’s ability to meaningfully understand, defend against, or knowingly accept the actual or potential adverse immigration consequences of a plea of guilty or nolo contendere.” It also allows for a motion to vacate where “[n]ewly discovered evidence of actual innocence exists that requires vacation of the conviction or sentence as a matter of law or in the interests of justice.”
One can say that criminal law deals with looking after public interests. It involves punishing and rehabilitating offenders, and protecting the society. The police and prosecutor are hired by the government to put the criminal law into effect . Public funds are used to pay for these services. If suppose you are the victim of the crime, you report it to the police and then it is their duty to investigate the matter and find the suspect . In most cases, if a charge has been properly presented and if there is evidence supporting it, the Government, not the person who complains of the incident, prosecutes it in the courts. This is called a system of public prosecutions. On the other hand, civil law is about private disputes between individuals or between an individual and an organization or between organizations . Civil law deals with the harm, loss, or injury to one party or the other. A defendant in a civil case is found liable or not liable for damages, while in a criminal case defendant may be found guilty or not.