NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted November 27, 2012
On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Morris County, Indictment No. 04-06-0713.
Joseph E. Krakora, Public Defender, attorney for appellant (Suzannah Brown, Designated Counsel, on the brief).
Jeffrey S. Chiesa, Attorney General, attorney for respondent (Frank J. Ducoat, Deputy Attorney General, of counsel and on the brief).
Before Judges Messano and Kennedy.
Defendant appeals from an order of the Law Division denying his petition for post-conviction relief (PCR) without an evidentiary hearing. We affirm.
State Accusation 04-06-713A charged defendant with a single count of fourth-degree false swearing, N.J.S.A. 2C:28-2(a). The accusation charged that on December 28, 1999, defendant "knowingly did falsely state while under oath" that statements made on an application submitted to the United States Department of State were true. On June 22, 2004, while represented by counsel, defendant signed a plea form agreeing to enter a plea of guilty to the accusation in return for a sentence of 180 days' imprisonment in the Morris County Correctional Facility. The plea form recited defendant's understanding of the charge and his waiver of various rights. In addition, defendant answered "YES" on the form to Question 17: "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?"
On the day he executed the plea form, defendant appeared in court to place his plea on the record. Defendant was sworn and, in response to questions posed by his attorney, acknowledged his waiver of the right to proceed by indictment returned by the grand jury and his agreement to plead guilty to the accusation. Defendant also expressly waived his trial rights and stated he understood the charge to which he would be pleading, and that he "would have a criminal record as a result of this."
After a discussion between the prosecutor and defense counsel on the record, defendant stated he understood that in return for the guilty plea, he would receive a sentence of probation conditioned on serving 180 days in the county correctional facility. During the plea colloquy, defense counsel asked defendant, "[Y]ou are not a United States citizen and there is a risk or chance that you can be deported as a result of this plea. Do you understand that?" Defendant replied, "Yes" and then acknowledged that he was satisfied with counsel, had no questions and had been given enough time to think about the plea.
Defendant thereafter provided a factual basis for the plea, admitting that he had knowingly submitted a passport application that contained false information. Defendant was sentenced on July 23, 2004, to two years of probation, conditioned upon 180 days of incarceration in the county correctional facility. Defendant filed no appeal.
On April 26, 2010, defendant filed a pro se PCR petition, in which he stated he had been incarcerated for "the last three years" in the Maryland Correctional Institute on charges that were "not related" to his false swearing conviction in New Jersey. Defendant alleged his counsel in New Jersey was ineffective because he "failed to adequately advise" defendant of his right to a speedy trial, trial by jury, to confront the State's witnesses, due process, compulsory process, and "to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusations against him[.]" Defendant also alleged his counsel failed to advise him "to consult a competent immigration attorney who is able to competently and adequately advise him concerning immigration laws ...