Non-Citizens Facing Criminal Charges and Immigration Consequences

While defending clients in criminal courts across the State, STERN Law discovered that immigrants appeared to receive a lower quality of representation than Americans.  Whether this is because of a language barrier, the attorneys’ lack of knowledge of the immigration process, or an overall cultural bias, this difference in treatment is unacceptable.

Over the past few years, Attorney Jessica Stern has dedicated herself to improving the representation of immigrants facing both criminal and immigration consequences. Through clear and consistent representation, STERN Law provides representation and counsel for immigrant clients who face any criminal charge or allegation. A non-citizen with criminal charges has very different consequences and options than a United States Citizen. If you are not a citizen, any criminal conviction will likely affect your ability to achieve or maintain lawful status or may even cause you to be deported from the United States.  It is critical that you have a lawyer who fully understands both the criminal and immigration process throughout your entire criminal case before any conviction is entered.

Your criminal lawyer is required, under U.S. Supreme Court case Padilla v. Kentucky, to properly advise you of the deportation risks. However, most criminal lawyers do not understand immigration law.  Your criminal lawyer might tell you to contact an immigration lawyer to understand the immigration situation, but according to the law your criminal lawyer is supposed to provide you with that advice.  Instead of going back and forth between a criminal and immigration lawyer, you should seriously consider STERN Law as counsel for the criminal case in order to receive  consistent and competent advice regarding the affects on your immigration status from the very start.

If you have already retained a lawyer for your criminal case, consider talking with her about a Padilla consultation with STERN Law so that your lawyer can receive the proper understanding of immigration consequences in order to give you the correct advice before you enter a plea to criminal charges.


Similarly, if you have already finished your criminal case, and it resulted in a conviction (any admission of guilt), STERN Law will best know how to help you in Immigration Court or with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).  Before you attempt to file any immigration application, you must first understand if the conviction will make you either inadmissible or removable/deportable. If so, your application could trigger removal/deportation proceedings.  It is important that your immigration attorney also understands the criminal laws of Georgia in order to counsel you on your best options and the effects of the criminal conviction.