Criminal Defense for Noncitizens
Why is Criminal Defense for Noncitizens a Specialty Area of Practice?
Criminal convictions can cause draconian and permanent immigration consequences for noncitizen clients. Even seemingly minor convictions can lead to ineligibility for lawful status, mandatory immigration detention, and removal/deportation, even for legal permanent residents and visa holders. In fact, many times a plea bargain that would be favorable for a citizen could have devastating and disproportionate immigration consequences for a noncitizen.
For that reason, it is crucial to have a criminal defense attorney who fully understands crimmigration law, meaning how the criminal justice system and the immigration system interact with one another. This includes a strategic analysis of the potential immigration consequences that flow from contact with the criminal justice system, and experience in navigating both criminal law and immigration law successfully on behalf of clients.
The Meyer Law Office, PC specializes in providing effective criminal defense for noncitizen clients. We combine the traditional skills of aggressive litigation and strategic plea negotiations with a nuanced understanding of the complex interactions between immigration law and the criminal justice system to assist immigrants in resolving criminal cases successfully. Our firm works to resolve cases not only from a criminal perspective, but also for what are often the more important goals of preserving opportunities to obtain or maintain lawful immigration status, obtain release from immigration custody, prevail in immigration court cases, and reunite with a person’s family and community.
The Meyer Law Office, PC Represents Noncitizens in the Following Matters:
- Document Related Offenses
- Criminal Impersonation
- Identity Theft
- ForgeryTraffic Offenses
- DUI and DWAI
- Driving Without a License and Other Traffic Matters
- Driving under Revocation or Suspension
- Offenses related to car accidents
- Careless Driving Resulting in Bodily Injury
- Vehicular Assault
- Domestic Violence and Crimes Involving Persons
- Domestic Violence offenses
- Misdemeanor Assault
- Felony Assaults
- Menacing and other offenses
- Drug Offenses
- Misdemeanor drug possession
- Felony drug possession
- Distribution and related offenses
- Marijuana and other drug offenses
- Property Offenses
- Trespass and Burglary
- Criminal Mischief and damage to property
- Motor Vehicle Theft
Can a Person Avoid Immigration Consequences for an Existing Conviction?
Merely because a person has pleaded guilty to a crime that carries immigration consequences does not mean that person will automatically be removed or become ineligible for relief. Even after a defendant has pleaded guilty, the conviction can often be withdrawn due to a constitutional violation that occurred in the underlying case. The Meyer Law Office, PC specializes in postconviction relief for noncitizen defendants, including:
Ineffective Assistance of Counsel Claims Related to Failure of Defense Counsel to Advise Regarding the Immigration Consequences of a Guilty Plea
As both the the Colorado and United States Supreme Courts have clearly held, defense counsel have a responsibility under the Sixth Amendment to properly advise their noncitizen clients regarding the immigration consequences of a particular guilty plea or conviction. Unfortunately, many defense attorneys do not understand or prioritize these potential immigration consequences, and therefore fail to provide adequate representation to their clients. In situations where a defense attorney fails to properly investigate and advise a noncitizen defendant regarding the immigration consequences of crimes, a person may be able to vindicate their Sixth Amendment rights and have that conviction withdrawn based on the ineffective assistance of counsel. The Meyer Law Office, PC specializes in pursuing these postconviction relief for noncitizen clients.
Guilty Pleas Made by Those Unrepresented by a Lawyer
In order for a guilty plea to be valid in a criminal case, a person must have a full understanding of their constitutional rights as a defendant, and knowingly, intelligently and voluntary waive those rights as part of the process of pleading guilty. In situations where a noncitizen defendant did not have defense counsel to represent him, there are certain circumstances under which a guilty plea may nonetheless be withdrawn based upon a constitutional infirmity in the underlying proceedings.