Immigration Consequences of Criminal Convictions
Criminal convictions can often cause draconian and lifelong immigration consequences, including removal/deportation, mandatory detention, loss of eligibility for relief from removal, the inability to travel, and disqualification from citizenship. The interplay of immigration consequences in relation to a particular offense is frequently counterintuitive, as a conviction for a minor offense might carry a minimal criminal sentence, yet could result in removal or lifetime banishment from the United States. In light of these consequences, both the Colorado and United States Supreme Courts have clearly stated that noncitizen defendants have a Sixth Amendment right to be properly advised by their defense counsel regarding the immigration consequences of a guilty plea on conviction.
Private Counsel and Alternate Defense Counsel (ADC) Crimmigration Advisements
In light of these Supreme Court rulings, and in order to assist both private and appointed counsel in meeting their constitutional duty to provide effective assistance of counsel, The Meyer Law Office, PC provides expert advice to defense practitioners and their clients regarding the specific immigration issues facing a particular noncitizen defendant. Such affirmative and individualized advice from a crimmigration expert ensures both that defense counsel provides effective assistance of counsel and that noncitizen defendants make informed decisions regarding their criminal cases. More importantly, such expert advisements can often help clients seek resolutions to the pending criminal cases that mitigate or avoid adverse immigration consequences entirely.
Strategic Analysis of Criminal and Immigration Bond Issues
In Colorado criminal cases, strategic decision making regarding bond in both criminal and immigration cases can make the difference between successful plea negotiations for noncitizen defendants and uncounseled pleas that trigger major immigration consequences. The Meyer Law Office, PC helps noncitizen defendants navigate the issue of custody, bond in criminal and immigration court, and the successful resolution of both criminal and immigration matters.
Recently, The Meyer Law Office, PC has been involved in advancing major policy reforms related to the issues of immigration detainers – also commonly referred to as ICE holds – in counties throughout Colorado. At present, over 20 counties have passed policies that will no longer honor immigration detainers, and instead will release persons when they have posted bond or otherwise resolved their pending cases. Nonetheless, noncitizen defendants in these counties will want to proactively strategize about how best to resolve issues of custody and plea negotiations in order to mitigate or avoid adverse immigration consequences.
In both those jurisdictions that have enacted detainer reform and those which continue to honor constitutionally suspect immigration detainers, noncitizens still face the possibility of being taken into ICE custody. Because of the comparatively higher immigration bonds and issues related to mandatory or discretionary immigration detention, it is crucial for people to strategically analyze their criminal and immigration cases prior to charting a particular course of action. The Meyer Law Office, PC provides comprehensive representation in both criminal and immigration matters, as well as providing expert advisement to defense counsel representing noncitizen clients.
Noncitizens may seek to withdraw a conviction in situations where they were not accurately advised about the immigration consequences of a plea or conviction. This process is known as postconviction relief, and is often the only way for a noncitizen to avoid adverse immigration consequences for certain convictions in situations where there may otherwise be no viable defense to or relief from removal.
Expert Witness Testimony
Hans Meyer, Esq. has been qualified as an expert witness in various county and district courts throughout Colorado. He has testified as an expert witness in postconviction cases regarding the constitutional duties of defense counsel and the immigration consequences of criminal convictions.