LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a man’s claim that a Pope County circuit judge failed to provide a required warning that his criminal case could lead to deportation proceedings.
Rumaldo Rangel pleaded guilty in August 2014 to one count of possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver and was sentenced to two years in prison followed by a three-year suspended sentence.
In November 2015, Rangle, who is not a U.S. citizen, filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus, arguing that he was entitled to be released because he was not provided with a required warning about his possible deportation. A Pope County circuit judge denied the petition in June 2016, and Rangle appealed that decision.
In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court said Thursday the circuit judge’s decision to deny the petition was not in error. The judge did not have jurisdiction to consider the petition because Rangle was no longer in custody, the Supreme Court said.
“A person on probation by definition is not in custody,” the court said in an opinion written by Justice Karen Baker.