For individuals living or working in California who are not U.S. citizens, a conviction under California criminal law may cause deportation or other generally undesired immigration consequences. However, after a conviction, all hope is not lost. A petition to grant post-conviction relief such as vacating or modifying a conviction may be a viable option, thus preserving an individual’s right to stay in the United States.
Experienced criminal legal counsel may help you receive some form of post-conviction relief that will remove a conviction for purposes related to deportation and immigration. Such relief may be appropriate if you were convicted or pled guilty because of the ineffective assistance of counsel or were not properly informed of the potential immigration consequences related to the conviction.
The following are common forms of post-conviction relief available to immigrants:
- A motion to overturn the conviction based on ineffective assistance of counsel;
- A motion for re-sentencing to avoid a conviction for an aggravated felony or other inadmissible or deportable crime;
- Reducing a conviction from a felony to a misdemeanor;
- A motion to withdraw a guilty or no-contest plea because you were not advised by the court of the immigration consequences of the plea;
- A motion to withdraw a plea for other reasons; and
- A habeas corpus petition.
It is crucial that any immigrant convicted of criminal charges, even for some minor offenses, obtain post-conviction relief. A conviction may have extremely negative consequences on the immigration status of an individual who is not yet a U.S. citizen.
Federal law, specifically the Immigration and Nationality Act states that a conviction may result in deportation, and/or inadmissibility. If a non-citizen is deportable, this person may be removed from the country unless some post-conviction relief is obtained. If an immigrant is inadmissible, he or she potentially may not
- Re-enter the country after leaving,
- Become a US citizen,
- Apply for permanent residency (a “green card“), or
Also, a status of inadmissibility may make it much more difficult for illegal immigrants to apply for an adjustment of status and obtain legal immigration status.
For over forty years, the Dolan Law Offices have provided post-conviction services to help the residents of the Coachella Valley clear their criminal record to restore their future as productive, law-abiding members of our community. There are not many attorneys more experienced in helping California residents clear their criminal records than John Patrick Dolan. Call the Dolan Law Offices today at (760) 775-3739 or find out more online here.