Criminal Defense of Immigrants
§ 8.32 G. Role of Defendant's Immigration Status
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The defendant’s immigration status can be a positive or negative factor in plea negotiations. If the current criminal offense, and the defendant’s prior criminal history, are not too serious, and the immigration consequences of a plea to the new offense as charged will wreak havoc on the lives of the relatively blameless defendant and his entirely blameless family, the immigration situation can constitute a positive equity that can motivate the prosecutor and court to allow an immigration-harmless plea in the current case. See § 8.33, infra.
On the other hand, particularly in this era if inflammatory immigration rhetoric, the defendant’s noncitizen immigration status can constitute a negative equity in some people’s minds, that must be neutralized if possible. See § § 8.34-8.36, infra.
CRIM DEF -- PROSECUTORIAL DUTY TO NEGOTIATE IMMIGRATION -- LOS ANGELES D.A. POLICY PROVIDES EXCEPTION TO NORMAL PLEA BARGAINING RULES WHERE ADVERSE IMMIGRATION CONSEQUENCES ARE DISPROPORTIONATE
The prosecutor has a duty to consider immigration consequences when raised by a defendant in the context of plea negotiations. The Los Angeles District Attorneys Office has posted its policy online, allowing deputy district attorneys to make exceptions to the ordinary plea-bargaining and post-conviction relief settlement policies when adverse immigration consequences are disproportionate, if the approval of a superior is obtained. http://da.co.la.ca.us/sd03-04.htm