Criminal Defense of Immigrants


§ 8.17 2. The Client

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The client who is in custody will frequently want to be released as soon as possible.  It is essential for counsel to discuss possible dispositions of the case very carefully with the client.  In particular, if the client will not be released from custody, because of an immigration hold followed by deportation, counsel must make this very clear to the client who might otherwise take a deportable plea believing, wrongly, that s/he will in fact actually be released from custody and can deal with any immigration problems later.  See Chapter 3, supra.


                It may also be difficult to convince a client who believes in his or her innocence to enter a plea of guilty to a non-deportable offense, even where a conviction as charged at trial would result in mandatory deportation.  This is another reason counsel must learn the exact immigration consequences of conviction of the various possible offenses involved in the case.