Criminal Defense and Immigration Consequences

New United States Supreme Court Decision

Commonly, individuals are arrested and charged with a crime and they are not US citizens and their actual status can vary. It is important if one is not a citizen to fully understand the consequences of an arrest and the further consequences of a conviction.

On March 31, 2010, the United States Supreme Court held that a criminal defense attorney has an affirmative obligation to advise noncitizen clients of the potential immigration consequences resulting from a guilty plea (Padilla v. Kentucky). The Court stated that "As a matter of federal law, deportation is an integral part indeed, sometimes the most important part of the penalty that may be imposed on noncitizen defendants who plea guilty to specified crimes.

Criminal defense lawyers must become knowledgeable about the immigration consequences of criminal convictions. It is very important to make sure your criminal defense lawyer knows your exact immigration status before any plea bargain is reached.