The Court of Appeals, in a full-fledged opinion by Judge Garcia, over a three-judge concurrence, determined defendant’s argument that the trial judge failed to inform him of the deportation consequences of his plea to a felony was subject to the preservation requirement. The defendant’s failure to preserve the error precluded appeal:
“[D]ue process compels a trial court to apprise a defendant that, if the defendant is not an American citizen, he or she may be deported as a consequence of a guilty plea to a felony” … . However, before we may consider whether a trial court fulfilled that obligation, we must determine whether a defendant preserved the claim as a matter of law for our review or whether an exception to the preservation doctrine applies … . Here, service on defendant, in open court and months before the plea proceedings, of a “Notice of Immigration Consequences” form provided him with a reasonable opportunity to object to the plea court’s failure to advise him of the potential deportation consequences of his plea, making the narrow exception to the preservation doctrine unavailable to him … . * * *
“Generally, in order to preserve a claim that a guilty plea is invalid, a defendant must move to withdraw the plea on the same grounds subsequently alleged on appeal or else file a motion to vacate the judgment of conviction pursuant to CPL 440.10” (Peque, 22 NY3d at 182). While reiterating this rule in Peque, we also acknowledged that “where a defendant has no practical ability to object to an error in a plea allocution which is clear from the face of the record, preservation is not required” (id.). This exception to the preservation requirement, however, remains narrow … . * * *
The very first sentence of the Notice explicitly told defendant that “a plea of guilty to any offense” could “subject [him] to a risk that adverse consequences w[ould] be imposed on [him] by the United States immigration authorities, including, but not limited to, removal from the United States . . . .” It further noted that, among other things, a conviction for “burglary . . . or any other theft-related offense . . . for which a sentence of one year or more is imposed” would be deportable.
Those unambiguous statements provided defendant with sufficient notice of possible immigration consequences, including deportation, of his conviction, giving him “a reasonable opportunity” to express concerns to the court — during either his plea or at sentencing — regarding those consequences … . People v Delorbe, 2020 NY Slip Op 02126, CtApp 3-31-20