Published on:

I was convicted for a crime, but my attorney never told me I would be deported, what do I do now?

This is a common occurrence in the state of Florida. Non-citizens are arrested for crimes and they enter pleas to the charges without being told of the probable or possible immigration consequences of their convictions. Many criminal defense attorneys have little or no knowledge of the immigration laws of the United States. So many times, a non-citizen enters a plea in a criminal case, only to find out after that the plea is being used by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to try to deport them. What should you do if you, a family member or friend is in this position?
The easy answer is to go back in time and hire a criminal defense attorney who has extensive experience and knowledge of immigration law. The more practical answer is to hire an immigration attorney who is also an experienced criminal defense attorney who can try to go back and fix the errors in your criminal case.
Hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney who is also knowledgeable and experienced in immigration law is a non-citizens’ best chance to protect both their rights in criminal court and their immigration status. A criminal attorney with immigration knowledge and experience can make sure that a non-citizen knows the truly clear consequences of any plea to a criminal offense and can explain the probable and possible immigration consequences of any criminal conviction. A skilled and knowledgable criminal attorney can work with the prosecutors to reduce or remove the immigration consequences in a criminal case.
Hiring a criminal defense attorney that also practices immigration law can save a non-citizen time and money. Rather than hiring both a criminal attorney and an immigration attorney, hiring one attorney who does both has many advantages. However, few criminal defense attorneys have a real, practical and useful knowledge of immigration law, and even fewer immigration attorneys practice criminal defense.
If you find yourself in Immigration Court or find that ICE is trying to deport you or you were denied an immigration benefit because of a criminal conviction, you should consult with an experienced immigration attorney who also handles criminal defense as soon as possible. Generally, if you entered your plea in the criminal case less than two years ago, a criminal defense attorney can go back and try to vacate your plea and reopen your criminal case if you were not properly advised as to the immigration consequences of your plea.
The experienced immigration and criminal defense attorneys at Shorstein, Lasnetski & Gihon can help any non-citizen with their criminal case, their immigration case, or both. Call us today.