§ 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. 
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:
 See also N. Tooby, Post-Conviction Relief for Immigrants (2004).