Pending charges/Before you are convicted:
Always speak with a qualified immigration attorney with criminal expertise before you plea to a charge or charges in criminal court or to any deal that a prosecutor is offering you, even if it sounds good on paper. Often, public defenders and even private criminal attorneys may not know the immigration implications of certain admissions, pleas, and sentences as their priorities – keeping you out of jail and minimizing the sentence, avoiding a third strike, for instance – may be different than what is best for your immigration case. And criminal attorneys are often overworked and underpaid and cannot easily be experts at immigration law.
If you are currently represented, send us your criminal transcripts of everything you have ever been charged with or convicted of and arrange for a case evaluation appointment with us to discuss what would be involved in analyzing the potential impact on your criminal case. And talk to your criminal defense attorney about their willingness to work with us in pre-plea negotiations so you can do as little damage to your immigration case in the U.S. as possible.
We regularly research case law in your jurisdiction, the Board of Immigration Appeals, and the Circuit court that has jurisdiction of your potential conviction and can provide your defense attorney with our recommendations of these consequences and how to avoid them by choosing alternative, safer pleas or alternative sentencing to avoid the sting of certain pleas for your immigration status.