Sonia Antionette Dodd v. United States

Case: 16-11598 Date Filed: 09/25/2017 Page: 1 of 6 [DO NOT PUBLISH] IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE ELEVENTH CIRCUIT ________________________ No. 16-11598 Non-Argument Calendar ________________________ D.C. Docket Nos. 3:12-cv-01084-MMH-MCR; 3:09-cr-00051-MMH-MCR-4 SONIA ANTIONETTE DODD, Petitioner-Appellant, versus UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent-Appellee. ________________________ Appeal from the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida ________________________ (September 25, 2017) Before TJOFLAT, HULL and WILSON, Circuit Judges. PER CURIAM: On February 19, 2009, Sonia Antionette Dodd and her children, Alex, Frederick and Branddie Campbell, were indicted for conspiracy to possess 1000 Case: 16-11598 Date Filed: 09/25/2017 Page: 2 of 6 kilograms of marijuana or more, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846; Alex and Frederick were also charged with possession of the drug with intent to distribute, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a). A jury convicted Alex and Frederick of both offenses; Branddie and Dodd pled guilty. In United States v. Campbell, 434 F. Appx. 805 (11th Cir. 2011), we affirmed Alex and Frederick’s convictions and Dodd’s sentence. On October 4, 2012, Dodd move the District Court to vacate her sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 on the ground that her trial attorney rendered ineffective assistance in failing to inform her that as a permanent resident and that her conviction of the § 846 conspiracy offense could result in her deportation. Following an evidentiary hearing, the Court denied her motion, granted a certificate of appealability on the issue of “whether Dodd’s counsel was constitutionally ineffective in his advice to her regarding the immigration consequences of a guilty plea . . ., specifically whether Dodd demonstrated prejudice from any deficient performance by counsel.” In her pro se brief on appeal, Dodd argues that she would have proceeded to trial had counsel informed her about the immigration consequences of a guilty plea. She disputes that she pled guilty because of the possibility that her daughter, Branddie, would testify against her at trial.1 She also contends that her plea 1 Branddie and Dodd both pled guilty to the conspiracy offense on February 22, 2010. 2 Case: 16-11598 Date Filed: 09/25/2017 Page: 3 of 6 agreement was not beneficial to her, and that she has substantial ties to the United States. In a § 2255 proceeding, we review legal conclusions de novo and factual findings for clear error. Osley v. United States, 751 F.3d 1214, 1222 (11th Cir. 2014). A claim of ineffective assistance of counsel is a mixed question of law and fact that we review de novo. Id. We allot substantial deference to the factfinder in reaching credibility determinations to witness testimony. Devine v. United States, 520 F.3d 1286, 1287 (11th Cir. 2008). The Sixth Amendment guarantees a defendant effective assistance of counsel at critical stages of a criminal proceeding, including when she enters a guilty plea. Lee v. United States, 137 S. Ct. 1958, 1964 (2017). To demonstrate that counsel’s representation was constitutionally ineffective, a defendant must show that: (1) counsel’s representation fell below an objective standard ...

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