Earlier this week, George A. Terezakis, Esq. presented a lecture, at the Nassau County Bar Association, which provided the criminal defense bar with guidance on the best practices for criminal defense lawyers when defending non-citizens. The Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Padilla v. Kentucky requires defense attorneys to ascertain and advise their non-citizen clients of the direct immigration consequences of any proposed plea agreement, or of conviction after trial.
Criminal convictions can result in: detention, loss of legal status, deportation and permanent separation from the client’s family. Knowledge of the interplay between criminal and immigration law, and guidance from an experienced “crimmigration” attorney, can enable defense counsel to craft a plea agreement which avoids or minimizes adverse immigration consequences. This permits the client to make an informed decision as to whether to accept a proposed plea agreement, or to exercise their right to go trial.