Criminal Defense of Immigrants


§ 11.56 viii. The Jurisdiction Where the Conviction Occurred is Relatively Sympathetic

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Rural jurisdictions are often much more personal than urban courts.  The judge may see the defendant every week at a coffee shop, or play golf every weekend with defense counsel.  These circumstances can work to the client’s benefit — or detriment — depending on the relationships.  If the specific judge or prosecutor is racist or xenophobic, it may not be wise to let them know the immigration situation if they are not already aware of it.

                Conversely, the anonymity of urban courts can enable requests for post-conviction relief to slip through unnoticed, which would never be possible in a smaller court.  Some jurisdictions will be far more favorable, to immigrants and criminal defendants in general, than others will.  Local counsel must be consulted to learn these critical facts.




Elizondo-Vasquez v. State, __ S.W.3d ___, 2011 WL 4916610 (Tex. App. Oct. 18, 2011) (commenting on the prosecutions concession on appeal of reversible Padilla error :We note that it is the primary duty of all prosecuting attorneys, including any special prosecutors, not to convict, but to see that justice is done. TEX. CODE CRIM. PROC. ANN. art. 2.01 (West 2005). Admirably, in this circumstance, the State has not only recognized the futility of blindly opposing what appears to be settled law, it has fulfilled its primary statutorily-imposed duty to see that justice is done in this case. In doing so, the State has performed ethically and in the best tradition of the legal profession, a course of action we wholeheartedly commend.)