Reopening Criminal Cases for Ineffective Assistance of Counsel
Criminal Convictions & Immigration Consequences
Green Card holders that have been convicted of a criminal offense may be deported from the United States and banned from ever coming back. Illegal immigrant and Visa holders may be precluded from ever obtaining lawful permanent status, and risk to be detained by the Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents.
For immigration purposes, a crime is considered an "Aggravated Felony" if it involves fraud, intent to procure serious injuries, possession of a weapon, or possession of drugs, and the Court imposed a sentence of incarceration of 1 year or more. There is no waiver available for an immigrant convicted of an Aggravated Felony.
As a general rule, a "Crime Involving Moral Turpitude" (CIMT) is a criminal offense whose elements involve fraud, larceny, or the intent to harm persons or things. A conviction can be considered a crime involving moral turpitude even is the Court did not impose a term of incarceration.
There is no list of Crimes Involving Moral Turpitude, because it is necessary to interpret the (state) criminal statute in light of the Federal immigration statute. An immigrant convicted of a Crime Involving Moral Turpitude may be able to apply for a waiver only in limited cases.
Legal Advice before a Guilty Plea
In Padilla v. Kentucky, The United States Supreme Court held that an immigrant has a right protected by the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution to be advised of the consequences that a guilty plea can have on his or her immigration status.
If you have been served with a Notice To Appear by the Federal Government because you plead guilty to a criminal offense, you need to speak with a New York Immigration Attorney. If you had not been advised that your guilty plea would have resulted in removal proceedings against you, your criminal case could be reopened for ineffective assistance of counsel.
I am admitted to practice law in New York and New Jersey, including the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second and Third Circuit. I have experience handling cases involving ineffective assistance of counsel based on the Padilla case, and I will do whatever is possible to avoid that your get deported from the United States.
Contact a New York Immigration Lawyer today