Criminal Defense of Immigrants


§ 1.9 A. Clients

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This book is no substitute for the advice of a competent attorney.  Do not try this alone.  If you make a mistake in this complicated area, you may find yourself deported forever away from your home and family.  It is most likely impossible to recover from a mistake.  If you accept a guilty plea to a certain offense, thinking it will be one of the safe havens identified in this book, and it does not work for any of a number of reasons, it will very likely be too late for you to go back and try to change it.  Once the court and prosecutor have a conviction on you, they hold on like pit bulls and will not let you out of it.  It is very difficult and expensive to try to obtain post-conviction relief that will in fact eliminate a conviction for immigration purposes.  See Chapter 11, infra. [5]


                You must try to get it right the first time.  It is much cheaper to do so before conviction than it is to make a mistake and then try to go back and undo the damage.


                The best self-defense is as follows:

[5] See also N. Tooby, Post-Conviction Relief for Immigrants (2004).