Gulzar testified that he would not have pled guilty had trial counsel advised him that his guilty plea would have resulted in automatic deportation. Tr. p. 12. Under the analysis in Segura, Gulzar’s conclusory testimony to that effect is insufficient. He must also show special circumstances or present specific facts that warrant post-conviction relief. Segura, 749 N.E.2d at 507; see also Sial v. State, 862 N.E.2d 702, 706 (Ind. Ct. App. 2007).
Gulzar argues that special circumstances are present in this case. Specifically, he argues that the members of his nuclear family—his mother, father, brother, and sister—live in the United States, and for that reason, his deportation would be especially difficult for him and them. Thus, Gulzar argues that his case is like Sial. In Sial, the defendant had lived in the United States for twenty years and had a wife and a thirteen-year-old daughter who was an American citizen. Sial, 862 N.E.2d at 706. In Sial, we found that the defendant had shown “sufficient special circumstances and specific facts” to support his claim that he would not have pled guilty had he been informed of the immigration consequences. Id. Here, we acknowledge that Gulzar’s parents and siblings are his nuclear family; they immigrated together in hopes of becoming naturalized citizens and have lived in this country for almost twelve years. In fact, Gulzar’s mother, father, brother, and sister have all become naturalized citizens. Tr. p. 10. If deported, Gulzar would be forced either to leave his family behind or to uproot them from the country that has been their home for more than a decade.
While these may indeed be special circumstances, as our Supreme Court acknowledged in Segura, “We see no reason to require revisiting a guilty plea if, at the end of the day, the inevitable result is conviction and the same sentence.” 749 N.E.2d at 507. That is, the Court acknowledged that it is only in “extreme cases” that “a truly innocent defendant” pleads guilty “because of incorrect advice as to the consequences.” Id. This is not one of those extreme cases. Gulzar was charged with three Class D felonies. His participation in the underlying crimes was documented on surveillance video, and the items purchased with the stolen credit card were found in his apartment. Notably, Gulzar has never denied his involvement in these crimes. Gulzar thus had few choices: plead guilty or not guilty, both of which left sentencing to the trial court’s discretion. In light of the evidence establishing Gulzar’s guilt, pleading guilty allowed Gulzar to secure a significant benefit by reducing his liability to only one Class D felony in hopes that the trial court would give him a reduced sentence. In fact, Gulzar received a completely suspended sentence.
While Gulzar may have shown special circumstances related to his family, in light of the evidence establishing his guilt, he has failed to demonstrate prejudice as a result of trial counsel’s failure to advise him that his guilty plea would result in automatic deportation. We therefore affirm the post-conviction court.
CRONE, J., and BRADFORD, J., concur.