There are time limitations to file a notice of appeal i.e 30 days and one issue may be whether your lawyer properly advised you of immigration consequences.
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I recently handled a post-conviction relief issue like this one. You definitely need an attorney to go through your entire file, the transcripts of each time you were in front of the judge, and everything you signed. However, even if there is no evidence that shows that you were informed by your attorney that you will almost certainly be deported under Padilla v. Kentucky, and you are allowed post-conviction relief, unless the D.A. is willing to work with you to reduce the charges, it may lead you into a prison sentence first, and then deportation afterwards because the D.A. may just recharge you with the original charges and this time, offer no deal and they will absolutely make sure that you KNOW that you will be deported after your sentence.
In the case I handled, the Attorney General's Office did not want to see my client deported because of many extenuating circumstances, which is why they offered my client a deal in the first place. After many hearings at immigration court and district court, extensive negotiation, research, and work by my office, as well as the cooperation by the Attorney General's Office, I was able to keep my client in the country. HOWEVER, trust me when I say, it could easily have been all in vain as the A.G. could have simply recharged my client with the original charges, which would have put my client in a very bad position. Had it not been for their cooperation, my client would very likely not be here.
I wil tell you that your case is extremely risky and most times, post-conviction relief under Padilla does not end up preventing eventual deportation, as even Padilla was deported. This case is a very hard case and given all the work involved, if I did it again, I would charge no less than 30,000 because of all the hearings, motions, meetings, negotiations, and other stuff I had to do... and that would just be for the post-conviction relief. If I had to put on a trial as well, I would charge for that separately. Also, I could not guarantee ANYTHING...no lawyer can. If you do not have that kind of money to give to an attorney to attempt what I was told by several other lawyers was "impossible to win" (a win being keeping my client from being deported) then I would suggest that you consider voluntary deportation so that you are not jail for months before you are finally deported.
I know this is not what you are wanting to hear, but this is the reality of your situation. I am sorry that I could not break it to you easier.
I think David gave a great answer. You're in a tough position, because it looks like your sentencing was already some time ago. There might be something as far as insufficient consultation on the immigration consequences being ineffective assistance of counsel... although that there was discussion of immigration at all might be difficult for you to get around.
Did the attorney ever say anything like, "you should ask an immigration attorney for more information?"
Like David mentioned, these are tough cases to turn around, and unfortunately it seems that a lot of people get false hope from immigration attorneys who tell them that criminal defense lawyers can go back and get convictions or guilty pleas set aside.
Clark County, Nevada practitioner.
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