§ 2.22 IV. It is Part of Our Job as Criminal Lawyers, and It is In Our Interest to Do a Good Job
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It is quite common for judges and criminal lawyers to believe that criminal counsel has no responsibility to protect the client against the collateral immigration consequences. This is not true. It has always been our job to protect our clients against convictions and sentences, and investigation of the potential immigration consequences of a criminal case is one means of discovering exculpatory and mitigating facts that can be used to obtain less serious convictions and shorter sentences – i.e., to reduce the direct penal consequences of the case, our core responsibility. Moreover, the standard of practice has changed to require us to protect the client against the collateral immigration consequences as well. Finally, it is in our own interest to do so, for a host of reasons.