In the case of Commonwealth v. Christ O. Lys’, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has to address what type of evidence is required at a motion hearing to warrant vacating a plea based on ineffective assistance of counsel. In the defendant, filed a motion for new trial to vacate a plea after he was detained and put into removal proceedings.
The defendant was charged with selling marijuana and cocaine to an undercover police officer. The defendant faced a 28 count indictment, but accepted a plea to three counts of distribution of marijuana. The defendant filed a motion for new trial based on his trial counsel’s failure to provide him with the immigration consequences of his plea.
The defendant filed an affidavit stating that the lawyer did not advise him of immigration impact of the plea. The motion judge found that the plea counsel did not testify or provide an affidavit; accordingly, the motion judge stated that he must give the affidavit of the defendant full credit given the lack of evidence.