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United States v. Banda – Case Brief Summary (Federal Court)

In United States v. Banda, 1 F.3d 354 (5th Cir. 1993), the petitioner entered a guilty plea and was subsequently proceeded against for deportation.

"The thrust of Banda's complaint is that he was denied the effective assistance of counsel because his attorney in the criminal proceeding did not tell Banda that he might be subject to deportation if he pleaded guilty to the charge." 1 F.3d at 355.

The Fifth Circuit first rejected a due process claim that the plea was involuntary.

Banda claims now that if he had known of the possibility of deportation he would not have pleaded guilty. ...

In United States v. Gavilan, we nailed the door shut on any due process claim based on counsel's failure to warn the criminal defendant of possible deportation. This court noted that defendants have no due process right to be informed of the collateral consequences of criminal proceedings. That principle applies even to harsh collateral consequences, such as loss of the right to vote, to travel abroad, or to drive a car. (1 F.3d at 355.)

The Court then rejected the Sixth Amendment claim that Banda had been denied the effective assistance of counsel.

The courts that have addressed the question of counsel's failure to warn of possible deportation have uniformly held that deportation is a collateral consequence of the criminal process and hence the failure to advise does not amount to ineffective assistance of counsel. We are not aware of any court that has held to the contrary. Indeed, this conclusion squares with the Supreme Court's observation that the accused must be "fully aware of the direct consequences" of a guilty plea. Brady v. United States (1970). We find this position persuasive and adopt it as our own. (1 F.3d at 356.)