Criminal Defense of Immigrants


§ 11.16 (D)

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(D)  Criminal Benefits of Reducing Misdemeanors to Infractions.  In addition, there may be significant criminal benefits to immigrants from reducing misdemeanor convictions to infractions.  For example, the maximum sentence for the federal criminal offense of illegal re-entry after deportation, in violation of 8 U.S.C. § 1326(b), will be increased from two to 10 years if the defendant has been removed from the United States after being convicted of “three or more misdemeanors involving drugs, crimes against the person, or both, or a felony (other than an aggravated felony) . . . .”[152]   The defendant’s criminal history score under the United States Sentencing Guidelines may also be improved by this means.

[152] INA § 276(b)(1), 8 U.S.C. § 1326(b)(1).