Criminal Defense of Immigrants
§ 5.10 B. 5 Steps
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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;
2. Consult an immigration expert to determine realistic criminal goals that can minimize immigration consequences;
3. Determine with the client how important the immigration goals are, as opposed to traditional criminal defense goals;
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; and
5. Continue to consult with an immigration attorney since additional immigration questions frequently arise during the course of the case.
 See M. Vargas, Representing Noncitizen Criminal Defendants In New York State, Chapter 2 (NY State Defender’s Association, Criminal Defense Immigration Project, 4th ed., 2006).