Criminal Defense of Immigrants


§ 8.62 (D)

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(D)  Defense Counsel’s Duty to Seek Non-Criminal Dispositions.  Defense counsel also have a duty to seek a non-criminal disposition if possible, regardless of immigration consequences:  “Whenever the law, nature, and circumstances of the case permit, defense counsel should explore the possibility of an early diversion of the case from the criminal process through the use of other community agencies.” [153]  Defense counsel have an even stronger obligation to seek a non-conviction disposition in the case of a noncitizen defendant because of the damaging immigration effects of a conviction, as compared to those of a non-conviction disposition, on his or her life.


[153] ABA Standards for Criminal Justice on the Defense Function, Standard 4-6.1(a) (1993).