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I'm an Immigrant and Was Charged with a Crime. What Kind of Lawyer Do I Need?

Tragically, many immigrants who are accused of crimes are represented by lawyers who do not understand the consequences of their client’s immigration status should their client plead guilty or “no contest.” The consequences of accepting a potential plea bargain or being convicted can have very severe consequences on your immigration status.

The potential immigration consequences for non-U.S. citizens charged with crimes are severe and could lead to deportation. If you do retain a criminal defense lawyer, s/he should be familiar with immigration law. At The Modi Law Firm, PLLC, we highly recommend scouting the lawyer’s credentials. Do they know immigration law? What is their plan for your defense? In some cases, a person can plead guilty and merely get probation, not understanding the fact that making that plea can result in mandatory immigration detention and/or deportation proceedings.

The U.S. Supreme Court recognized this in the 2010 Padilla vs. Kentucky case, when the Court stated that the nature of the seriousness of deportation consequences could outweigh a criminal plea. Moreover, criminal defense attorneys may want to refer to an immigration attorney, just so they are not liable for the immigration consequences to a plea bargain.

Crimes that may land someone in deportation proceedings as deportability grounds can include:

  • Aggravated felonies
  • Controlled substances offenses
  • Domestic violence crimes
  • Multiple convictions with the total sentence of at least 5 years
  • Crimes of “moral turpitude,” such as murder, rape, child abuse, kidnapping, robbery, aggravated assault, theft, fraud, and more


Are you charged with a crime and need a competent immigration attorney in Houston? Contact us at The Modi Law Firm PLLC for a case evaluation at (832) 514-4030 today.

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