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

In United States v. Yearwood, 863 F.2d 6 (4th Cir. 1988), the defendant entered a guilty plea to a charge of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and was subsequently proceeded against for deportation.

He sought to vacate the plea on the ground that, because of lack of advice, he had been denied the effective assistance of counsel.

"With new counsel, Yearwood filed a § 2255 motion, alleging that his previous counsel failed to advise him of the collateral consequence of deportation mandated by his guilty plea." 863 F.2d at 7.

The Fourth Circuit flatly rejected the contention.

Turning to the issue raised in defendant's § 2255 motion, we agree with the circuits which have decided the issue and found that an attorney's failure to advise a client that deportation may result from a conviction does not constitute ineffective assistance of counsel. ...

Defendant's trial counsel had no spontaneous duty to inform defendant that his guilty plea would lead to his being deported. (863 F.2d at 7-8.)