Advice for a Defense Attorney
While some criminal cases may be relatively straightforward, others may involve complicated legal issues related to other areas of law. One common example of a complex case is when criminal charges are brought against an individual who is not a citizen of the United States. Many different criminal cases involve immigrants and the outcome of their criminal case can have a substantial effect on their immigration status. Specifically, convictions for many different crimes can result in the initiation of deportation proceedings and automatic detention of your client by ICE. In order to minimize the immigration consequences of a criminal matter, it is imperative that a defense attorney fully identify and understand all of the immigration implications that may exist. View my presentation on DWI’s, DP’s, Crimes and Immigration for NJ criminal defense attorneys here.
Advice for a NJ Criminal Defense Attorney
The wisest advice for a New Jersey criminal defense lawyer who does not have a particular expertise in immigration law is to consult with an attorney who has handled this specific type of case. Immigration consequences can arise from many different aspects of a criminal case and a skilled crimmigration lawyer will specifically understand how to categorically analyze a criminal case to determine the potential immigration consequences. A crimmigration attorney can help through every stage of the case to identify how both criminal and immigration consequences can lead to deportation.
Handling Criminal Cases that May Result in Deportation
There are no hard and fast rules for which criminal cases may have immigration consequences. Therefore, in any case involving a foreign national, assessing the criminal and immigration consequences is critical. The following are some examples of types of cases that may have serious immigration consequences:
- Domestic violence or orders of protection violations
There are many additional offenses that may trigger immigration consequences under certain circumstances. For this reason, it is always wise to discuss your particular case with a crimmigration attorney who can fully evaluate the situation.
Criminal Consequences Resulting in Deportation
The following are some of the consequences of a criminal case that may lead to deportation proceedings:
- Conviction – A conviction of certain offenses is the most common trigger for deportation proceedings, whether it is by a judge, jury, or guilty plea. For the purposes of immigration law, a deferred adjudication of guilt or similar outcome generally counts as a conviction and can lead to deportation. Avoiding conviction entirely is, of course, the most preferable method of avoiding both criminal and immigration consequences.
- Sentence – For some offenses, potential deportation depends on the severity of the crime, which is often judged by the sentence issued. For example, many convictions will trigger deportation if the defendant receives a sentence involving at least one year in jail. Negotiating for a lesser jail sentence can sometimes help to avoid immigration consequences.
- Restitution – Similar to a jail sentence, the amount of restitution owed can also decide whether or not a defendant faces deportation. For instance, for some fraud or financial crimes, deportation may occur if the amount taken was over $10,000. Having the worth of the case and the restitution reduced can also assist in preventing deportation under some circumstances.
Immigration Consequences Resulting in Deportation
Criminal consequences can lead to several different immigration consequences. The following are the main examples of immigration consequences that can stem from a criminal case:
- Bar to immigration relief – If a foreign national has already applied for relief from removal, the outcome of a criminal case may render them ineligible for any relief.
- Removal proceedings – Following a conviction, a documented or undocumented immigrant may have removal proceedings initiated, during which they might be detained by immigration authorities.
- Inadmissibility – In addition to deportation, a crime can cause an individual to become inadmissible to the United States in the future.
It is crucial that both you and your client fully understand all of the possible immigration consequences and how they may affect their future.
Consult an Experienced Crimmigration Attorney as Soon as Possible
Because of the complex web of immigration and criminal laws in the U.S., it is understandable that many attorneys are unsure of how to proceed in cases involving these legal issues. Attorney Ronald Mondello has extensive experience handling cases in which criminal and immigration laws and consequences intersect and often provides valuable assistance to criminal defense attorneys who are representing foreign nationals. You should never risk your client’s future by failing to thoroughly examine the criminal and immigration consequences of a particular outcome. Instead, please do not delay in calling for a consultation with the law office of Ronald P. Mondello, Esq. Attorney at Law today.