Criminal Defense of Immigrants


§ 10.33 E. Evidentiary Hearing

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                Immigration consequences often render the sentence far more important for a noncitizen defendant, than for a defendant who is a United States citizen, because of the lifelong collateral consequences for the defendant and his or her family.  Counsel should therefore consider conducting an evidentiary hearing, if the law and court allow, to call witnesses, including immigration counsel and the defendant’s family members, who will be affected as well by the immigration consequences, to ensure that prosecution and court are aware of the importance of the issue for the defendant.  The prospect of a lengthy evidentiary hearing may motivate some busy prosecutors and judges to assure the defendant, before sentence, of a non-deportable or other favorable sentence to avoid the necessity of expending scarce judicial resources on the question.