People v. Antonio-Antimo

In People v. Antonio-Antimo, P.3d (Colo. No. 99SC384, September 18, 2000), defendant was charged with certain offenses involving a schedule II controlled substance. A plea agreement was reached in which defendant agreed to plead guilty only to sale of a controlled substance and the prosecution and defendant agreed that "the sentence concession is no jail time and being held for deportation." The court accepted the plea and ordered that defendant be granted probation for a period of five years and that a condition of the probation was that defendant cooperate with deportation authorities. As part of the sentence, however, the court ordered that defendant "leave the country." Thereafter, defendant asked to withdraw his plea on the basis that the order to leave the country constituted an illegal sentence. The Court held that when the plea agreement itself is lawful, the proper remedy, if possible, is to modify an illegal sentence and permit the enforceable plea agreement to stand. The agreement must be set aside only if the parties bargain for an illegal sentence. See Chae v. People, 780 P.2d 481 (Colo. 1989). The court then concluded that the agreement itself was legal and that the trial court was correct in vacating the order that in effect illegally imposed deportation upon defendant.