NEW CASE DETAILS OBLIGATION OF CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER ADVISING TEACHER RE: EFFECT ON PENSION

Filed under: Criminal Law, News Tags: by Steven F. Fairlie @ June 10, 2010

In Commonwealth v. Abraham, decided by the Pennsylvania Superior Court on June 08, 2010, the Court ruled that a criminal defense lawyer must advise his client if a guilty plea will result in forfeiture of the teacher’s pension. In Abraham, the defense attorney did not advise his client that pleading guilty would result in a forfeiture of the client’s pension. After entry of the guilty plea the client’s pension fund was forfeited and the client filed a Post-conviction Relief Act petition, or PCRA, alleging ineffective assistance of counsel. The trial court had ruled that the lawyer was not ineffective, but the Superior Court reversed, in a holding similar to that of the recent United States Supreme Court holding in Padilla, posted here earlier, that a criminal defense lawyer must advise his client of the immigration consequences of a guilty plea to any crime that could result in deportation.

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