§ 12.4 B. Avoiding Damaging Admissions
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During the process of entry of a plea, it is very important for the defendant to avoid making any factual admissions that could cause immigration damage if they are introduced against him or her during later immigration proceedings. Any oral or written statements of fact made by the defendant are included within the “record of conviction” that can sometimes be consulted by the immigration authorities to determine the nature of the conviction in assessing whether it triggers deportation, inadmissibility, or other damaging immigration consequences. See § 16.24, supra. The same holds true for at least some statements made by defense counsel.
The three primary forms of admission that can cause immigration damage are (a) factual admissions by the defendant that can trigger conduct-based immigration consequences, see § 8.40(A), supra; (b) admissions of committing the elements of a crime of moral turpitude or controlled substances offense, see § 8.40(B), supra; and (c) factual admissions that are included within the record of conviction to bring it within a ground causing deportation, inadmissibility, or other damaging immigration consequences. See § 8.40(C), supra.