Getting arrested by the police is always a frightening and sobering experience. But for immigrants, the risks of conviction of crime not only include prison time, but also expulsion from the United States. The time to seek immigration counsel is the time of arrest and not when Immigration & Customs Enforcement seeks to initiate detention and deportation proceedings. While everyone knows that they should hire a criminal attorney to navigate the criminal justice system, it is important for immigrants to obtain immigration counsel to ensure that any outcome provides the immigrant with the opportunity to fight to remain in the U.S. Once a judgement is entered and finalized, immigration consequences are set and it is very hard to undo the conviction because the immigrant did not know that the disposition required detention and deportation.
Less than ten percent of criminal cases go to trial. Thus, most arrests and criminal charges result in plea deals, wherein the accused gives up the right to go to trial in exchange for pleading guilty to certain offenses and the government’s agreement to recommend a reduced prison sentence. It is likely that your arrest will be disposed of in a plea bargain and you will plead guilty to some offense.
While many offenses require detention and deportation, not all criminal convictions have immigration consequences. Thus, the time of reaching a plea agreement, is when the conviction’s immigration consequences can be minimized.
Benach Collopy attorneys work with criminal attorneys throughout the country to craft pleas that either avoid immigration consequences or preserve the immigrant’s ability to challenge removal in the immigration court. Most importantly, we work with you so that you understand the consequences of the decisions you are making. We seek to understand your goals — whether they are the least jail time, the ability to remain in the U.S., or the avoidance of immigration detention — and work with your criminal attorney to get the possible deal for you in light of your criminal and immigration goals.
Being charged with a crime is a serious and challenging time. Benach Collopy takes the time to understand your goals and works with you to get you where you want to be, whether it is avoiding removal proceedings, preserving a fighting chance to remain, or returning to your home country without lengthy detention.
We’ll get you there.