Criminal Defense of Immigrants


§ 10.15 (A)

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(A)  Avoiding Sentence.  A sentence is required before a conviction exists.[42]  If for any reason no sentence at all is imposed, no conviction exists for immigration purposes.  See § 7.20, supra.  One way to avoid imposition of any sentence at all is if prosecution and court agree to “deferred sentence,” an agreement under which sentence is postponed on various conditions, and the charges are later dismissed if the defendant complies with them during the period of deferred sentence.  See § 7.32, supra.  This effectively avoids a conviction so long as no punishment, penalty or restraint is imposed on account of the plea. 

[42] Perez v. Elwood, 294 F.3d 552 (3d Cir. 2002) (sentence required to constitute conviction; date of sentencing, not the date of the jury verdict, is controlling as the date of conviction, because it is not until the court either enters judgment or finds guilt and imposes sentence that a conviction has occurred).