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State v. Leon

August 4, 2010

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
RAMON LEON, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Union County, Indictment No. 99-04-0471.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted March 16, 2010

Before Judges Wefing and LeWinn.

Defendant appeals from the December 7, 2007 order of the trial court denying his petition for post-conviction relief (PCR). We affirm.

On April 21, 1999, defendant entered a plea of guilty to the fourth-degree offense of unlawful taking of a means of conveyance, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:20-10(d). At his plea hearing, the following colloquy occurred between defendant and the judge, which is pertinent to his appeal:

Q: Are you an American citizen?

A: Legal resident. I'm not a citizen, but I'm a legal resident.

Q: What country are you from?

A: Cuba.

Q: You have the right to contact the diplomatic counsel [sic] of Cuba, and to have them contact you. If you want to do that, if you want to stop now here, and try to reach the Cuban counsel [sic], or do you want to go ahead and do your plea now?

A: I'll do the plea.

On his plea form, defendant circled "yes" in response to question seventeen: "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 following colloquy occurred between defendant and the judge regarding the plea form:

Q: Did you sign this plea form on your case . . . ?

A: Yes, I did.

Q: Of your own free will?

A: Yes, I did.

Q: Did you read it and understand it before ...


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