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State v. Ambroise

March 11, 2010

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
MATHURIN AMBROISE, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Atlantic County, No. 07-01-00007-SGJ.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted February 23, 2010

Before Judges Wefing and Messano.

Defendant was indicted for first-degree transporting property derived from criminal activity, N.J.S.A. 2C:21-25a, and second-degree receiving stolen property, N.J.S.A. 2C:20-7. On July 7, 2008, he entered a negotiated plea of guilty to the latter charge, with the State agreeing to recommend that defendant be sentenced as if convicted of a third-degree crime to a term of three years. Defendant subsequently filed a motion to withdraw his guilty plea. The trial court denied the motion and sentenced defendant in accordance with the terms of the plea agreement. Defendant has appealed. After reviewing the record in light of the contentions advanced on appeal, we reverse and remand for further proceedings.

Question 17 of the plea form executed by defendant asked, "Do you understand that if you are not a United States citizen or national, you may be deported by virtue of your plea of guilty?" The answer "Yes" was circled.

When defendant entered his guilty plea, he had the following colloquy with the trial court.

Q: I understand that you are not a citizen of this country, is that correct?

A: Yes, I'm not.

Q: All right. And we discussed earlier today that by entering a guilty plea, it may have an adverse impact upon your immigration status and you understand that?

A: Yes, sir.

Q: All right. And you believe that you've had enough time to review that issue with your counsel?

A: I wish to have more time, but I think we did our best.

Q: All right. Well, you're going to have a sentencing date that's later on. We're likely giving sentencing dates in September and perhaps even would be agreeable to something a little bit later than that if everybody needed a little bit more time. So at ...


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