Many defense attorneys fail to consider the potential consequences a criminal case will have on their clients.  And even where a person has committed a crime, had a momentary lapse, or made a stupid mistake, and deserves “some kind of punishment,” that individual does not deserve to be deported and — as would have been the case for Joe A. — to be separated forever from his family.

That case made me feel particularly good, because it involved a charge that could have resulted in Jesusa’s brother being deported.

Based on the evidence, I did not want to chance it in front of a jury.  However, I managed to convince the prosecutor my client had not intended to commit the charged crime; it was an accident resulting from momentary thoughtlessness.  The prosecutor agreed that under the circumstances, deportation was a harsh penalty — plus it would have caused his family to suffer, as his children and soon-to-be-ex-wife would remain in America, but would lose his financial (and other) support — and deportation would surely have occurred if he were convicted or entered a plea to the charge.

I worked out an appropriate compromise and my client ended up with probation and an agreement that would not result in his deportation.  However, I did not stop there.

Immigration courts don’t always have to rely solely upon the charge in order to deport someone.  True, they first consider the conviction to see if it “categorically establishes a deportable felony.” (Robert James McWhirter, The Criminal Lawyer’s Guide to Immigration Law: Questions and Answers (2d Ed. 2005) § 4.33, p. 118.)  But in some cases they will go on to review “judicially noticeable documents.”  These documents can include “the indictment, the judgment of conviction, jury instructions, a signed guilty plea, or the transcript from the plea proceedings,” but do not include the California Abstract of Judgment. (Id. at § 4.34, p. 118-119, citing United States v. Navidad-Marcos, 367 F.3d 903 (9th Cir. 2004).)

For those reasons, I took care that my client’s signed guilty plea did not make the usual People v. West stipulation.  People v. West, 3 Cal.3d 595 (Cal. 1970) basically outlines the ways to show that an adequate basis for the plea exists. Under People v. Enright, 132 Cal.App.3d 631, 634-635 (Cal.Ct.App. 4th Dist. 1982), this can include police reports. I did not want to give an immigration court any basis for reviewing police reports! Additionally, I worked with the court and prosecutor so that there was no mention of words that might create difficulties when the court took the plea, lest the plea transcripts come back to haunt my client later.

In the end, the State received the pound of flesh it wanted, without stripping my client’s family of its father and brother.  My client is attending anger management classes, where he tells me his counselor cannot believe the arrangement I made to protect him from deportation.

The bottom line is this: If you are not a citizen of the United States, you should call a criminal defense lawyer who understands immigration before moving forward in your criminal case.

8 comments

  1. How would being deported separate your client from his family forever?

    Is there a law that would prohibit his wife and children from relocating to his home country?

    I applaud you for representing your client to the best of your ability and having genuine concern for the welfare of his family. However, there is something about this that gives me an uneasy feeling in my stomach.

    it seems to me that if your client did something that would cause him to be deported if convicted then Congress has decided that to some degree he isn’t the type of person that we want here in our country.

    Please understand, I’m not trying to pick a verbal fight with you or be disrespectful. Just explain to me how this man remaining in the U.S. serves the greater good for society.

  2. How would being deported separate your client from his family forever?

    Is there a law that would prohibit his wife and children from relocating to his home country?

    I applaud you for representing your client to the best of your ability and having genuine concern for the welfare of his family. However, there is something about this that gives me an uneasy feeling in my stomach.

    it seems to me that if your client did something that would cause him to be deported if convicted then Congress has decided that to some degree he isn’t the type of person that we want here in our country.

    Please understand, I’m not trying to pick a verbal fight with you or be disrespectful. Just explain to me how this man remaining in the U.S. serves the greater good for society.

  3. How would being deported separate your client from his family forever?

    Is there a law that would prohibit his wife and children from relocating to his home country?

    I applaud you for representing your client to the best of your ability and having genuine concern for the welfare of his family. However, there is something about this that gives me an uneasy feeling in my stomach.

    it seems to me that if your client did something that would cause him to be deported if convicted then Congress has decided that to some degree he isn’t the type of person that we want here in our country.

    Please understand, I’m not trying to pick a verbal fight with you or be disrespectful. Just explain to me how this man remaining in the U.S. serves the greater good for society.

  4. How would being deported separate your client from his family forever?

    Is there a law that would prohibit his wife and children from relocating to his home country?

    I applaud you for representing your client to the best of your ability and having genuine concern for the welfare of his family. However, there is something about this that gives me an uneasy feeling in my stomach.

    it seems to me that if your client did something that would cause him to be deported if convicted then Congress has decided that to some degree he isn’t the type of person that we want here in our country.

    Please understand, I’m not trying to pick a verbal fight with you or be disrespectful. Just explain to me how this man remaining in the U.S. serves the greater good for society.

  5. Follow him? In essence, I have; he periodically calls me to thank me again for what I did for him and his family.

    As for his lazy ass, from what I understand, he’s got a job pulling down a little more money per year than your average attorney and, no doubt, much more useful and productive to society than you. (Of course, I’m just speculating, based on your apparent lack of education.) Which means he’s benefiting society through paying high taxes, as well.

    Incidentally, he uses English better than you and spells words correctly when using the written form of it. But, then, since he’s got a degree from a university where reading is a prerequisite to matriculation, that probably has something to do with it. You probably went to an American school.

    Every once in awhile, an idiot like you comes along and gives me the opportunity to write a snarky response. So I will thank you for that! 🙂

  6. Follow him? In essence, I have; he periodically calls me to thank me again for what I did for him and his family.

    As for his lazy ass, from what I understand, he’s got a job pulling down a little more money per year than your average attorney and, no doubt, much more useful and productive to society than you. (Of course, I’m just speculating, based on your apparent lack of education.) Which means he’s benefiting society through paying high taxes, as well.

    Incidentally, he uses English better than you and spells words correctly when using the written form of it. But, then, since he’s got a degree from a university where reading is a prerequisite to matriculation, that probably has something to do with it. You probably went to an American school.

    Every once in awhile, an idiot like you comes along and gives me the opportunity to write a snarky response. So I will thank you for that! 🙂

  7. WAY TO GO. Another illegal alien with a criminal history who cant get a job and will more than likely be on welfare. If u were such a great lawyer defending our rights, u woulda thrown his azz on the next bus (along with his family) out of this country. Didnt u forget he broke the law to come here. Well done. Another leach free to consume my hard earned tax dollars. Ill make a bet with u. Follow this guy and learn what happens to him in the future. I will put money on it he will be arrested again probably for the same thing he was picked up for(domestic violence more than likely). Ur fellow american. Thanks for protecting my rights. My right = protecting our borders. You coulda been an extension of the border and gave him due justice. Well u werent, u made the aggregiious mistake of letting him free back into this country along with his anchor babies. I applaud u for ur due diligence, NOT. I hope ur consience is fine after he gets arrested for something more violent since he probably cant get a decent job and may resort to crimes of a diffferent sort. Well done idiot.

  8. WAY TO GO. Another illegal alien with a criminal history who cant get a job and will more than likely be on welfare. If u were such a great lawyer defending our rights, u woulda thrown his azz on the next bus (along with his family) out of this country. Didnt u forget he broke the law to come here. Well done. Another leach free to consume my hard earned tax dollars. Ill make a bet with u. Follow this guy and learn what happens to him in the future. I will put money on it he will be arrested again probably for the same thing he was picked up for(domestic violence more than likely). Ur fellow american. Thanks for protecting my rights. My right = protecting our borders. You coulda been an extension of the border and gave him due justice. Well u werent, u made the aggregiious mistake of letting him free back into this country along with his anchor babies. I applaud u for ur due diligence, NOT. I hope ur consience is fine after he gets arrested for something more violent since he probably cant get a decent job and may resort to crimes of a diffferent sort. Well done idiot.

Leave a comment:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Newsletter Signup

Sign up to receive a newsletter with blog posts, curated criminal defense news, information relating to my law office, and more!

Recent Posts

Topics

Archives