Immigration Newsletter

Friday, October 16, 2009

Immigration Impact » Blog Archive » U.S. Supreme Court Considers “Collateral Consequences” for Immigrants in Criminal Cases

Immigration Impact » Blog Archive » U.S. Supreme Court Considers “Collateral Consequences” for Immigrants in Criminal Cases

Will the Supreme Court decide that an attorney giving a client the wrong advice on the immigration consequences of a criminal conviction is grounds for withdrawing a guilty plea?  That is what is at stake in the Padilla v. Kentucky case.

Here in New Hampshire -- I have had pretty good luck over the years in getting cases reopend when the client misunderstood the immigration consequences of his/her plea.  Unlike other New England States, NH has no statutory requirement or court rule that a defendant be warned of the possible immigration consequences of a conviction. 

However, a guilty plea does have to be made knowingly and voluntarily.  A New Hampshire lawyer (or judge for that mater) has no duty to inform a defendant about immigration consequences.  However, if the defendant convinces the judge that he/she only agreed to plead guilty to an offense because the attorney affirmatively told them that it would not result in deportation  - that may be grounds for vacating the conviction.