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Once a prisoner pleas guilty by signing a 1244-A, does that automatically make him an "aggravated felon"?

Bedford, TX |

My fiance is getting ready to plea guilty by signing a 1244-A, the only reason he is doing this is because he wants to make the amount of time he is in jail shorter. If he decides to have the jury to decide his fate he'll waste time because most Texans are not all for illegal immigrants. He is being accussed of DWI with a minor under 15 and another DWI within the 3 months from each other. He also has an immigration hold because he is undocumented. My question is this, since he is pleading guilty will he be considered an aggravated felon? The reason why I'm asking is because according to my research I have found that "aggravated felons" do not have a chance to ever become legal in this country. Please Help!

I also believe if he is considered an aggravated felon that he would not have a chance to obtain an immigration bond. Is this accurate?

Attorney Answers 6

  1. Best answer

    Your tentative legal research is legally correct that the effects of certain criminal pleas are fatal to immigration cases.
    DO NOT PLEAD to any criminal offenses, especially if the offense is felony until you have discuss any criminal consequences of such pleas with a good criminal and immigration attorneys. As they say you cannot unring the bell, and once an undocumented alien becomes an aggravated felon under the INA that person becomes statutorily inadmissible for any prospective immigration benefits.

    DISCLAIMER The answer given above by the lawyer serves for educational purposes only and provides general information and a basic understanding of the applicable law. Take notice that the answer above does not create an attorney-client relationship as this website is not intended to provide anyone a specific legal advice. Anyone using the site expressly consents that there is no attorney client privilege between any person and any attorney responding. Further take notice that the site should not be used as a crude substitute for any professional and competent legal advice by a licensed professional attorney in the applicable jurisdiction. The attorney above attempted to provide competent professional information, however, the law and its applications may change frequently and vary greatly from other U.S. jurisdictions and locales. Therefore, any information and materials provided above are general in nature, and may not apply to specific factual and legal circumstances related to one’s personal legal issues. Contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer admitted to practice in your State under an attorney-client privilege to further receive a competent legal advice before making any important decisions about your particular legal issue. For further inquiries please contact: Attorney Alexander Ivakhnenko 1021 West Adams, 102, Chicago, Illinois 60607 773-562-8602

  2. Signing a 12.44 does not make a case aggravated. It is either aggravated by the facts of the case or it's not. A DWI Child is not aggravated for the purposes of sentencing. How this will impact his immigration status is a question for an immigration attorney.

    Macy Jaggers's answer to a legal question on Avvo does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Ms. Jaggers offers everyone a free consultation to discuss their case. Feel free to call her office at 214-365-9800 to make an appointment (phones are answered 24 hours) or visit her website at for more information about her services and recent victories.

  3. You need to consult with an immigration lawyer about this.

  4. Tex. Penal Code Section 12.44(a) is the reduction of a State Jail Felony punishment range to that of a misdemeanor. He would still have a felony conviction on his record if he were to plea to this. A conviction of DWI with Child Passenger can seriously affect his ability to stay within the United States and he could be subject to deportation and exclusion from the country. He really needs to consult an immigration attorney as to his chances of U.S. Citizenship, deportation, and possible exclusion from the United States. I will edit the practice areas to include immigration.

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  5. I agree with other lawyers: you need to have an Immigration lawyer to review an offer before pleading guilty to anything.

    Att. number 917-885-2261 This advice does not create an attorney client relationship. No specific legal advice may be offered by the lawyer until a conflicts check is undertaken. Information sent through a web form or via email may not be treated as confidential. Please accept my apologies for spelling mistakes. Law Office of Alena Shautsova

  6. As my colleagues have ready made clear, once an alien is an aggravated felon there is no going back. However, as general rule, DUI with a minor is not "aggregated" for sentencing purposes. But before your fiancé pleads to anything, he needs to discuss the consequences of such a plea with both a qualified criminal defense attorney and a qualified immigration attorney in your area.

    Please remember this is not official legal advice, and this is no way establishes an attorney-client relationship. For a free 15 minute phone consultation please call 972-638-7207.

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