Just last year the Supreme Court ruled in Padilla v. Kentucky, 559 U.S. __, 130 S. Ct. 1473 (2010) that a criminal defendant must be warned of the danger that a guilty plea could result in his/her deportation from the US. The Court found that if the defendant’s criminal lawyer fails to advise his/her client of that risk, this is tantamount to ineffective assistance of counsel, in violation of the 6th Amendment. In practice, after Padilla, a lawyer’s failure to warn his/her client of the immigration risks can render that plea invalid.
I get calls all the time from prospective clients who were advised by their criminal defense lawyer to plead guilty, usually because it helped them avoid jail time and was sold as “the best deal under the circumstances”. Not so much. Sometimes years later, these clients are shocked when their application for Adjustment of Status, or even TPS is denied based upon that plea. Again and again I hear that “I never would have agreed to plead guilty if I had known that this meant I would never be eligible for a Green Card.” Some clients find themselves in an even worse situation when they plead guilty and then are immediately served with a Notice to Appear for deportation proceedings. So what does the Padilla case mean for you and can it help you?
Although each and every case turns on its own specific facts, it is highly likely that if you plead guilty to a criminal offense and were not advised that it could result in your deportation that The Law Offices of Karyn Schiller may be able to help you. In many states it is not yet clear if courts will allow Padilla to be applied retroactively. In other words, it is possible that if you plead guilty many years ago, it may be too late for you. But maybe not. It may be possible to successfully move the Criminal Court to vacate your conviction and thereafter, to take care of the immigration consequences of that plea. Not all cases will benefit from Padilla, but what do you have to lose? Call Attorney Karyn Schiller today to see if you can get another chance.
The Law Offices of Karyn Schiller in White Plains and New York City provides each and every one of its clients with personal, professional attention. Call (914) 358-1400 to set up a free consultation with Attorney Karyn Schiller, or just Click here. Someone will call you back to schedule your free consultation.