Criminal Defense of Immigrants


§ 1.14 b. Seeking Post-Conviction Relief

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Immigration counsel will often be called upon to offer an opinion on whether a disposition or conviction will trigger removal when a client is seeking post-conviction relief from a conviction.  Post-conviction counsel will often claim in criminal court that original criminal defense counsel rendered unconstitutional ineffective assistance of counsel, since s/he had an obligation to defend the client against the adverse immigration consequences of a deportable conviction and failed to do so.  The criminal lawyer should have identified a “safe haven” closely connected to the criminal charges and sought to arrange a safe haven disposition, but made a mistake in failing to do so.  See Chapter 2, infra.