If you are not a US Citizen, and you charged with a crime, chances are you may face incarceration with no bail because of an “immigration hold.”  You may then face deportation in removal proceedings in federal immigration court. These proceedings are completely separate from your criminal court case and may have severe implications on your ability to continue living in the United States, even if you have your Green Card. Regardless of whether the offense that was committed, or alleged, was minor in nature, the government may still pursue deportation through removal proceedings against you.

Many crimes are categorized as either “aggravated felonies” or “crimes involving moral turpitude, (CIMT’s)” even though they might not be classified as such in state criminal court. If you or someone you know (who is not a US Citizen) has plead guilty to what the immigration laws define as either an aggravated felony or a CIMT, you or that someone you know are likely facing deportation in removal proceedings.

It is crucial that you consult with experienced immigration attorneys who can aggressively protect your rights. Any violent crime such as battery, assault, murder, attempted murder, as well as theft crimes, robbery, burglary, and embezzlement can trigger these harsh punishments. Also, any drug related offense or any firearms related offense can, and usually does, trigger deportation in removal proceedings.

The United States Supreme Court has ruled that it is a criminal defense attorney’s duty to advise a non-citizen client of any immigration consequences that may result from their plea of guilty or no contest. However, there are many complexities that arise out of this duty. For example, would a plea on a particular charge make you inadmissible, removal or both? Does your Attorney know the immigration consequences of criminal activity? Make sure you get the right counsel.

Attorney Ross Erlich’s chief immigration attorneys have over 30 years of combined experience practicing immigration law exclusively. We will be able to review your case and determine first whether you may face deportation in removable proceedings, and if so, what type of relief can be sought on your behalf.

In some instances it can be possible to obtain post-conviction relief in the criminal courts.  There are a number of avenues to pursue for post-conviction relief.  Overturning a previous conviction for ineffective assistance of counsel, a motion for re-sentencing, reducing a felony to a misdemeanor, expungements, a motion to withdraw your guilty plea due to the court not properly advising you of the immigration consequences, and others.  In these cases, Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer Ross Erlich will look at the original court file and sentencing memorandum and see what was said to our client, what advisement of immigration consequences was mentioned, if there was an interpreter there assisting the client and what the client’s attorney at the time advised him or her of.

If you or someone you know are dealing with an immigration issue anywhere in greater Los Angeles, Downtown Los Angeles, North Hollywood, Van Nuys or Orange County, contact Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer Ross Erlich at (323) 222-4529.

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