Non US citizens who are convicted of a crime face challenges on two fronts: they face the possibility of imprisonment and a blemished criminal record, plus they risk deportation—or at best put their future opportunity for legal status in jeopardy.
If you are a non US citizen who has been convicted of a crime—or are concerned about that happening—understand that even a guilty conviction or similar final disposition may not be the end. When skilled firms such as STERN Law, LLC declare that they won’t take “no” for an answer, it means there are other alternatives to explore.
If you have been convicted of a crime, your attorney may seek post-conviction relief.
What Is Post-Conviction Relief?
Post-conviction relief are legal efforts, usually through some type of appeal, to change the impact or consequences of your criminal conviction.
Some examples are:
- Habeas corpus petitions
- Motions for New Trial
- Motion to Withdraw Plea
- Motion to Clarify Sentence
- Motion to Modify Sentence
- Pardon Applications
- Motions for Compassionate Release (federal court)
- 2255 Motions to Vacate (federal court)
- Direct Appeals
A crimmigration attorney’s tremendous value stems from their command of both criminal and immigration law. More importantly, they understand how one impacts the other.
Non US-citizens who have been convicted of a deportable crime still have options. Through post-conviction relief, your attorney can reduce or eliminate the conviction so that it doesn’t disrupt your immigration journey and future in the United States.
Am I Eligible for Post-Conviction Relief?
There are several reasons why post-conviction relief could be an appropriate next step. For example, if your attorney was “ineffective” and did not follow the law to properly represent you, your new attorney may cite this as a reason for pursuing post-conviction relief.
What is ineffective counsel? Did your attorney explain to you the consequences that a guilty verdict would have on your immigration status? This is particularly important for plea deals. What looks like the best deal in the eyes of a criminal defense attorney may not be in the best interest of the non US citizen. In other words, your criminal defense attorney may unknowingly broker a plea deal (which would be ideal for the client who is a citizen). You may discover that as a non US citizen, the presented solution puts you at risk for deportation or inability to improve your immigration status.
A crimmigration attorney can strategically advise you on the impacts of a conviction and advise you ahead of time. If you have already resolved the case, a crimmigration attorney can assess if a post-conviction option will provide you the relief that you need.
Your attorney may attempt to reduce or change your sentence or have the conviction be lifted, or vacated, altogether. The purpose behind this is to get your conviction changed to something that doesn’t trigger deportation, challenges to your visa or legal residency, and citizenship in the future.
It is important to note that this option may not be available to everyone. Also, remember from our recent blog that even dismissed charges can have a negative impact on your immigration process, even at times the same impact as a conviction.
Only a CrImmigration attorney can properly advise you in making the best decisions regarding your criminal charges or conviction as a noncitizen to avoid deportation and a negative impact on your immigration status.
STERN Law, LLC
If you are a noncitizen who has been convicted of a crime—or are anticipating a conviction could be possible —your immigration status may be in jeopardy. At STERN Law, we understand the impact that a criminal conviction will have on a non US citizen. As a noncitizen, you deserve proper representation and the best treatment the law affords. Contact STERN Law, LLC to schedule a consultation.