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Introduced by   Senator Campbell of Windsor District

Referred to Committee on


Subject:  Crimes and criminal procedure; pleadings and proof; trial; pleas

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to require the court to advise a defendant of possible immigration consequences to pleading guilty to a criminal offense.


It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  13 V.S.A. § 6565 is amended to read:

§ 6565.  PLEAS

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(c)(1)  Prior to accepting a plea of guilty or a plea of nolo contendere from a defendant in a criminal proceeding, the court shall personally address the defendant in open court, advising him or her of and determining that he or she understands the following:  “If you are not a citizen of the United States, you are hereby advised that pleading guilty or nolo contendere to a crime may affect your immigration status now or in the future.  Admitting guilt may result in immigration consequences even if the charges are later dismissed.  Your plea or any admission of guilt that you make in this court may result in your deportation or removal from the United States, could prevent you from ever being able to obtain legal status in the United States, or could prevent you from becoming a U.S. citizen.”  The court shall advise the defendant during every plea colloquy at which the defendant is proffering a plea of guilty or a plea of nolo contendere.  The court shall also give the advisement to the defendant prior to any admission of facts sufficient to warrant a finding of guilt.  The defendant shall not be required to disclose to the court his or her legal status in the United States

(2)  If the court fails to advise the defendant in accordance with this subsection, and he or she later at any time shows that the plea and conviction may have or has had one of the enumerated consequences listed in subdivision (1) of this subsection, the court, upon the defendant’s motion, shall vacate the judgment and permit the defendant to withdraw the plea or admission and enter a plea of not guilty.

(3)  Absent an official record or a contemporaneously written record kept in the court file that the court provided the advisement as prescribed in this subsection, including a docket sheet that accurately reflects that the warning was given as required by this subsection, the defendant shall be presumed not to have received advisement.  An advisement previously or subsequently provided the defendant during another plea colloquy shall not satisfy the advisement required by this subsection, nor shall it be used to presume the defendant understood the plea or admission he or she seeks to vacate would have the consequences of deportation, exclusion from admission to the United States, or denial of naturalization.

(d)  Each state’s attorney shall submit an annual report to the office of the executive director of the state’s attorneys, in such form as he the executive director may require, providing information as to the use of plea agreements.


This act shall take effect July 1, 2006 and shall apply to pleas of guilty, pleas of nolo contendere, and admissions to sufficient facts which occur on or after the effective date of this act.

Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont