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Asker
Posted over 1 year ago.

I understand that it would not be dismissed however based on the facts surrounding the case, he would have taken it to trial instead of listening to his inadequate attorney and accepting a plea. Although the judge reads that statement in each plea, a person not well versed in legal jargon depends upon their counsel for interpretation. If an attorney is not aware of immigration status and never inquires but assumes ones citizenship based solely off appearance then I would think that attorney should be held accountable. We cannot assume in life and most importantly in Law because what a person assumes can differ from what one actually knows.

By the way Belize was once a nice place to retire, however things have drastically changed for Americans. It is unsafe there.

Thank you for your response..

Joseph Salvatore Farina
Joseph Salvatore Farina, Criminal Defense Attorney - Sacramento, CA
Posted over 1 year ago.

Thank you for your well thought out response. You have made some excellent points. However, neither you or I know what was said between your fiance and his attorney and of course neither one of us has seen the police report. We don't know what evidence the police and DA had, such as witness statements. It's easy to say let's go to trial, but when you do that, you place the outcome in the hands of 12 jurors from the community and you have to hope for the best. That being said, an attorney has an ethical duty to inform his or her client of the immigration consequences so they can make an informed decision to plea or not to plea. An attorney also has a duty to inquire as to the client's immigration status and should not make assumptions. Finally, the only side of the story you are hearing in your fiance's, which may be influenced by the fact that he is going to be deported.
Sorry to hear that Belize is no longer friendly to Americans.

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Asker
Posted over 1 year ago.

In most cases I would agree that emotions hold a great influence upon a persons ability to accept fact and clearly rationalize. However that is not the case in this situation. In this rare case I was privy to the police report which included witness statements as well as each discovery report. I sat in on each prelim hearing as well as read the transcripts after the fact only to conclude the evidence & case presented by the prosecution regarding my fiance' did not hold true baring. It lacked sufficient evidence & intent that could not have been proven had it gone to trial. All of the previous reports given to me by the same attorney who never met with his client outside of right before an appearance in court. Furthermore I still have the initial text messages from mentioned attorney in 2011 saying he never knew, inquired or mentioned immigration status/consequence. Now in 2013 he is singing a new tune via text that he did in fact advise. Facts of the case:3 co-defendants, 4 witnesses including 1 being the police office that made the initial stop, 1 location allegedly robbed. 2 defendants identified by person(s) allegedly robbed the 3rd(finace) was sitting in the car never aware of what was going on & never identified by anyone other than the officer making the traffic stop as the person driving & a drunken passerby lacking the ability to make a positive ID in a lineup after sobering up.

I'm no expert such as yourself however I do believe that if I were an attorney I'd take on each case with the same amount of passion as I have for this one. Everyone, including immigrants should have the right to adequate legal counsel it's just really sad that not everyone takes their jobs as serious as others. I don't mind paying for the best and when I am not satisfied as a consumer I demand my money back. It seems that is the only option in this situation. It's very unfortunate for those who don't have someone to lobby on their behalf.