If you are a non-citizen facing criminal charges, you face more than just the loss of your liberty. Criminal convictions can have serious immigration consequences. The outcome of a criminal case may affect a non-citizen’s ability to remain in the United States, to become a citizen, or to re-enter after leaving to travel or visit family. Certain criminal convictions and/or terms of imprisonment make non-citizen criminal defendants, even those with legal permanent resident status, subject to mandatory detention and removal (deportation).
For many non-citizens, the threat of deportation is more terrifying than a prison sentence because it means permanent separation from the home that they have made here, and the family and friends who remain behind in the States. A criminal defendant’s immigration status also means that they may face mandatory detention awaiting trial or disposition, and more onerous prison conditions once sentenced. Such clients require the skills and experience of an attorney well versed in the intersection of immigration and criminal law to craft a plea or negotiate a sentence that avoids immigration consequences.
The attorneys at Robert G. Stahl, Esq. Criminal Lawyers, have this knowledge and experience. We have applied our knowledge and experience in representing clients who have been arrested and face trial in a wide variety of matters, including credit card fraud, mortgage fraud, obstruction of justice, health care fraud, terrorism, and drug possession and trafficking.
We also represent clients whose prior attorneys failed to give them advice about immigration consequences, or provided incorrect advice in this complicated and ever evolving field of law, by drafting and filing motions for post-conviction relief and coram nobis petitions in state and federal court.
We constantly educate ourselves in seminars and conferences where we learn about recent developments in the law, and consult with experts where necessary to ensure we give correct advice and achieve the best results while avoiding immigration consequences for our criminal clients. From a trial perspective, our experience representing non-citizens and immigrants has also been helpful in understanding and presenting cultural defenses, challenging admission of confessions and suppressing evidence where the client’s language proficiency and background may have precluded understanding his or her rights or waiving them properly, and preparing sentencing mitigation.
Attorney Laura K. Gasiorowski, Esq. frequently lectures on immigration consequences and criminal law. She has been a panel member and speaker for the “Immigration Law and Criminal Acts” seminar presented by the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education, New Jersey State Bar Association, every year since 2012 along with well-respected judges, defense attorneys and immigration lawyers. Her lectures have focused on representing non-citizens and immigrants in the criminal justice system, and the particular challenges of language and culture differences.