Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

USA v. Contreras

United States District Court, N.D. California

May 31, 2018

USA, Plaintiff,
v.
ALDO MARTINEZ CONTRERAS, Defendant.

          ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO SET ASIDE, CORRECT, OR VACATE SENTENCE PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. § 2255 Re: Dkt No. 55

          SUSAN ILLSTON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Defendant Aldo Martinez Contreras (“Defendant”) filed this pro se motion to vacate, set aside, or correct a sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. For the reasons discussed below, defendant's motion is DENIED.

         BACKGROUND

         Defendant is a citizen of Mexico. Dkt. No. 48. In 2001, defendant was convicted in Napa County, California of two counts of violating Cal. Pen. Code § 261(a)(3) (rape where a person is prevented from resisting by intoxication or anesthetic substance, or any controlled substance, and this condition was known, or reasonably should have been known to the accused). Id. Defendant pled no contest and was sentenced to eight years in prison. Id. On October 4, 2004, defendant was released on parole, and on May 4, 2005, defendant was deported to Mexico. Dkt. Nos. 48, 66. Defendant later reentered the United States without authorization. On April 23, 2015, defendant was detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents in Napa County. Id. Defendant was subsequently charged with illegal reentry in violation of 8 U.S.C. § 1326. Id.

         On March 18, 2016, defendant pled guilty to the charge of illegal reentry. Dkt. Nos. 46-47. The government recommended a sentencing range of 41-51 months under the United States Sentencing Guidelines (USSG). Dkt. Nos. 48, 50. The range was based on a 16-level enhancement under USSG 2L1.2(b)(1)(A) for defendant's 2001 state conviction involving an aggravated felony. Dkt. Nos. 48, 50. Defendant requested a sentence of 24 months. Dkt. No. 49. This Court sentenced defendant to 28 months in prison. Dkt. No. 54. Defendant did not file a direct appeal.

         On April 17, 2017, defendant filed the present pro se motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 claiming ineffective assistance of counsel in connection with his 2001 state conviction, which was the basis for his federal conviction. Dkt. No. 55. The government opposed defendant's motion on the grounds that: (1) the claim is untimely; (2) defendant waived the right to bring such a claim when he made an unconditional guilty plea; (3) defendant's motion does not state a cognizable claim for relief; and (4) defendant's motion should also be denied on the merits. Dkt. No. 66. Defendant did not file a reply.

         LEGAL STANDARD

         A prisoner in custody under sentence of a federal court who wishes to attack collaterally the validity of his conviction or sentence must do so by filing a motion to vacate, set aside or correct the sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 in the court which imposed the sentence. 28 U.S.C. § 2255(a). Under 28 U.S.C. § 2255, the federal sentencing court is authorized to grant relief if it concludes that “the sentence was imposed in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States, or that the court was without jurisdiction to impose such sentence, or that the sentence was in excess of the maximum authorized by law, or is otherwise subject to collateral attack.” Id. § 2255(a). If the court finds that relief is warranted under section 2255, it must “vacate and set the judgment aside” and then do one of four things: “discharge the prisoner[, ] resentence him[, ] grant a new trial or correct the sentence as may appear appropriate.” Id. § 2255(b); United States v. Barron, 172 F.3d 1153, 1157 (9th Cir. 1999).

         DISCUSSION

         In his section 2255 motion, defendant seeks to vacate his federal conviction on the grounds that it was predicated on his state conviction from 2001, which he alleges was unconstitutional. Dkt. No. 55.[1] Defendant claims that counsel in his state court case was ineffective for failing to advise him of the immigration consequences of his plea. Id. Defendant alleges this rendered his 2001 no contest plea “involuntary.” Id.

         The government argues defendant is not entitled to relief for four reasons. First, the government argues defendant's claim is procedurally barred as it is untimely. Dkt. No. 66. Second, the government argues defendant waived the right to bring this claim when he entered an unconditional guilty plea in his federal case. Id. Third, defendant's motion does not state a cognizable claim for relief because the claim is barred by the Supreme Court's decision in Daniels v. United States, 532 U.S. 374, 382 (2001). Id. Lastly, even if the Court were to reach the merits of defendant's claim, the claim should be denied as defendant has not provided evidence that his state case plea would have been different if he had known of the immigration consequences. Id. The Court declines to reach the government's last argument because it agrees that defendant waived the right to bring the present claim, and the claim is nonetheless barred by the Supreme Court's decision in Daniels. For the reasons set forth below, the Court DENIES defendant's motion.

         I. Timeliness

         As an initial matter, the Court finds that defendant's motion is timely. Title 28 U.S.C. § 2255(f) sets a one-year limitation period to file a motion for relief under the statute. This period runs from:

(1) the date on which the judgment of conviction becomes final; (2) the date on which the impediment to making a motion created by governmental action in violation of [federal law] is removed, if the movant was prevented from making a motion by such governmental action; (3) the date on which the right asserted was initially recognized by the Supreme Court, if that right has been newly recognized by the Supreme Court and made retroactively applicable to cases on collateral review; or (4) the date on ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.