Our 17 year old client was arrested and charged with a “B” violent felony assault after members of a gang crashed a birthday party and assaulted his friend. He faced 25 years in prison. In the course of the wild fight which broke out between the guests and the gang members, a gang member was stabbed and seriously injured.The police arrested several people, including our client, who denied involvement in the stabbing, but admitted being involved in the fighting.
We provided the District Attorney’s Office with character letters from our client’s teachers stating he was a model student and athlete, as well as from his employer. We also presented evidence indicating he had not been involved in the stabbing. Our client was permitted to plead guilty to a misdemeanor assault and was adjudicated a “youthful offender” – which resulted in no criminal conviction and a sealed record. After he was taken into immigration custody, we were also retained to defend him in his deportation-removal proceedings.
Because our client had not been convicted of a crime, we were able to obtain his release under bond, and to avoid his deportation for five (5) years. Unfortunately, because he was undocumented, and was unmarried, he remained subject to deportation. Over the five (5) years we represented our client, he continued to work and stay out of trouble.After his application for D.A.C.A. was denied due to his prior serious, criminal charge, he faced imminent deportation. We refused to accept that our client would be deported. We appealed to government supervisors with extensive documentation regarding the circumstances surrounding his arrest; his good moral character; his history of gainful employment; and the fact that his severely disabled brother depended upon him for financial support, and physical care. We also enlisted the assistance of national immigrant advocacy groups on his behalf. As the result of these combined efforts, we learned last week the government is no longer seeking his deportation, that they consent to close the deportation proceedings against him, and that he can remain in this country with his family.