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(Immigration) Do you have to be an attorney to file for Criminal Relief on behalf of someone based on ineffective counsel?

Los Angeles, CA |

I am interested in exploring the possibility of Criminal Relief for my Fiance'. He plead guilty to Robbery in 2010 and served a 3 year sentence. He was not properly notified by his criminal attorney of the adverse possibilities of him accepting the plea. He is currently being held in El Centro Processing while facing removal proceedings to Belize. Is there something that can be done to prevent this? His next court date is May 6 which has been noted his master hearing, so I am trying to find assistance quickly as time is running rapidly. Thank you in advance for your time and assistance.

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Attorney answers 5

Posted

The problems your fiancee faces are multiple, not the least why so much time has passed since conviction. Only an attorney can file the appropriate motion on his behalf but it would be an uphill battle.

I have had success with these motions but much depends on the case history. I invite you to call me for a free consultation if you wish at 213-324-4206.

Posted

It may be possible to seek to vacate the Robbery conviction and obtain a stay in the immigration matter. However, you must understand that success here is not only fact-driven, but also extraordinary and, therefore, less likely to succeed than to fail. However, feel free to contact my law firm to discuss representation of your fiance. You are correct that time is running out. You need to hire counsel now. www.taubcriminaldefense.com

The information provided herein does not create an attorney-client relationship. The information provided is to suggerst some general principles and should not be relied upon for client decisions. Only upon the hiring of counsel can such advice be custom-tailored to the client's specific situation and needs.

Posted

While it is possible to have a conviction reversed for failure to properly advise a client as to potential immigration consequences, do understand that the charges would just be reinstated and he would essentially be starting from square one. The criminal charges would not be dismissed. Furthermore, when a judge takes a plea, they usually inform the client that the plea could result in their being deported and denied admission to the United States or naturalization as a United States citizen. By the way, I hear Belize is a nice place. Lots of American go to retire there.

The information and legal suggestions made herein do not in any way create an attorney-client relationship. The responses provided herein discuss general principles of law and should not be relied upon by the asker in making legal decisions. Only an attorney who has met with the asker and fully reviewed the facts and circumstances of the asker's individual case should be relied upon for legal advice. If you find my suggestions helpful, please mark the appropriate box as helpful.

Asker

Posted

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

Posted

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.

Asker

Posted

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.

Posted

You absolutely have to have an attorney file this and you haven't much time. There are only a few grounds to have the conviction reversed and you identified one of the issues. These are not easy motions to win, but if your fiance is facing deportation you have no other choice but to try to vacate the plea. These are complex motions. We have had people in similar situations, in immigration custody, released and their convictions over turned on much older cases. But each case if fact dependent. You also need competent immigration counsel. We can provide both resources.

Brian Michaels
Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney
www.socalcrimdefense.com
3109919179

Posted

That requires a motion under PC 1016.5, for which there is no time limit, but either the defendant himself or an attorney must file it, and you must find an attorney who understands the subtleties of such motions [and not all criminal lawyers do]. If he was insufficiently advised of the immigration consequences, and those consequences have now come to roost, a 1016.5 motion would be granted by a judge who knows what he is doing. www.kennedyforlaw.com

Asker

Posted

Thank you so much, I greatly appreciate your response. Is this motion the same as a Habeas Corpus? Does this still apply if the person has served their time and has been custody released to Immigration Processing?

Michael James Kennedy

Michael James Kennedy

Posted

No, it is not; that is why I wrote "you must find an attorney who understands the subtleties of such motions ...."

Asker

Posted

What a blessing, you've extended hope & confirmed Faith! Do you accept these type of cases?

Michael James Kennedy

Michael James Kennedy

Posted

I do handle such cases, but I would need to have more details before I would want to be responsible for generating false hopes. Most can be won, some cannot be. Contact me. www.kennedyforlaw.com

Asker

Posted

Thank you I will contact your office ASAP

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