The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court held in Commonwealth v. Sylvain that ineffective assistance of counsel claims based on the failure to advise a defendant of the immigration consequences of a criminal conviction can be brought prior to the Padilla decision under Article 12. The SJC declined to follow the recent decision of the United States Supreme Court holding that ineffective assistance of counsel claims could only be made for case decided after Padilla. Since Padilla, it has been the obligation of every Massachusetts criminal defense lawyer to advise any defendant of the immigration consequences of any plea in a criminal case.
- SJC Rejects the reasoning of Chaidez.
The U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision in Chaidez v. United States finding that the right to counsel on the deportation consequences of a guilty plea expressed in Padilla was in fact a “new” rule, and so applies only to convictions finalized after the Padilla decision (after 2010). Thus, according to Chaidez, Mr. Sylvain is not eligible for the relief under Padilla since he was convicted and sentenced in 2007.