Attorney Failed to Explain Immigration Consequences | Ninth Circuit
In an important ruling, a unanimous Ninth Circuit panel in United States v. Rodriguez-Vega, No. 13-56415 (8-14-15), held that where deportation of an immigrant is a “virtual certainty” as a consequence of a guilty plea, the defense attorney has an affirmative duty to properly advise. It is not enough to say it is a “possibility” under those circumstances.
There, Rodriguez-Vega, a citizen of Mexico, entered the United States when she was 12 and became a legal permanent resident at 13. Ten years later she was charged with alien smuggling-related offenses, although she ultimately pled to a misdemeanor. Although her lawyer had told her about the “potential” for deportation, he thought that the misdemeanor might be helpful for immigration purposes.
The Ninth Circuit held that such nonfeasance constituted constitutionally ineffective assistance of counsel. Echoing Padilla v. Kentucky, this decision reaffirms our duties as criminal defense attorneys to comprehensively understand and correctly advise about harsh immigration consequences, especially in misdemeanors and low level offenses.
More About Immigration Cases
Criminal records of arrests, even where charges are dismissed, and almost all convictions, even for minor offenses, can and do follow a person for years.
A preliminary hearing is the ostensible first stop in the system of supposed checks and balances embedded in the concept of criminal prosecution and justice
You or someone you care about was just arrested for a felony in Pima County. This article will give you an overview of what to expect
Three things you can do where the prosecutor has failed to timely disclose important evidence related to your case.
Today we’ll talk about how victims may also influence the final outcomes of domestic violence criminal proceedings in Arizona, particularly in relation to a putative offer of “diversion.”
About Michael Harwin
Michael’s skill and experience have been recognized repeatedly. He holds an A-V 5/5 preeminent rating by Martindale Hubbell. He has been named one of the top lawyers in Arizona by Southwest Superlawyers, and one of the best lawyers in Tucson by Tucson Lifestyle Magazine. He also has been named one of the best lawyers in the United States by BestofUS.com , and given the highest rating possible by AVVO, 10/10 Superb. Amazon Books