Criminal Defense of Immigrants


§ 5.17 (A)

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(A)  Preparation of Chronology.  In analyzing a client’s situation to determine the immigration consequences of a particular disposition in a pending criminal case, it is necessary to develop a combined criminal and immigration chronology.  For each prior conviction or other disposition of a criminal case, list in chronological order the dates of each offense, plea or verdict (of guilty to what offense), and sentence.  It is also advisable to list the exact date of release from criminal custody and the termination of probation or parole.


                The same chronology should contain the critical immigration dates and events as well, including original date of entry, status at entry, later immigration statuses and the date they were obtained and lost, the date the OSC or NTA[8] was filed beginning removal proceedings, the dates and purposes of significant exits from and entrances into the United States, key family relationships, the immigration status of immediate family members, etc. 


                An intake questionnaire is included in Appendix A at the back of this book, and contains all the dates of key immigration events normally required to analyze the situation.


                Placing this information in a chronology, with the date at the left, and the event on the right will enable you to determine the immigration effect of each conviction and sentence, the change in the criminal history necessary to eliminate adverse immigration consequences, and basic eligibility requirements for the different forms of post-conviction relief.


The importance of preparing this chronology cannot be overemphasized.  It can be kept up to date with each new development and each change in the applicable law, and will provide an important tool for the ongoing validation of, and necessary changes in, the strategy.


[8] The Order to Show Cause is the charging paper used by the INS to initiate deportation proceedings begun prior to April 1, 1997.  The Notice to Appear serves the same function for removal cases initiated on or after that date.