Criminal Defense of Immigrants
§ 5.2 A. In General
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The basic approach to defending a criminal case, so as to take immigration consequences fully into account and minimize them as much as possible, is quite simple:
1. Obtain exact information on the client’s immigration situation. See Chapter 4, supra.
2. Consult an immigration expert to determine realistic criminal goals that can minimize immigration consequences. See § 5.12, infra.
3. Determine with the client how important the immigration goals are, as opposed to traditional criminal defense goals. See § 5.13, infra.
4. Formulate a strategy that gives appropriate weight to the need to minimize adverse immigration consequences, in light of the other consequences of the criminal case and the desires of the client. See § § 5.16 ff, infra.
5. Continue to consult with an immigration attorney since additional immigration questions frequently arise during the course of the case. See § 5.15, infra.
This chapter will focus on the fourth step, how to develop a strategy.
 See also M. Vargas, Representing Noncitizen Criminal Defendants In New York State, Chapter 2 (N.Y. State Defender’s Association, Immigrant Defense Project, 3d ed., 2006).