Articles Posted in Immigration Issues

Recently a client charged with serious federal narcotics crimes came to me with a tale of woe: his prior counsel who had been representing him during the investigation phase of the case had incredibly been simultaneously representing a witness who was cooperating against him in the same case.  When my new client was indicted he came to me, terrified, because a) his former lawyer knew all about his criminal background including the client’s culpability in the case for which he had just been indicted; and b) he was not an American citizen despite living in America since he was two years old; therefore, a conviction to any of the narcotics charges against him would result in his deportation back to a country he had not visited since he left as a child.  The client was desperate and without hope: his former lawyer had advised him to either cooperate with the government or, if deported, to attempt to illegally sneak back into America – two choices the client was unwilling to do. Within 15 minutes of meeting this client and hearing his tale of woe, I told him “I know you won’t believe this but what your former lawyer did to you may end up being your only chance out of this mess.”  Eleven months later, despite facing initially a minimum five to 40 years in prison pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(B) and definite deportation, my client received just a 30 month sentence to a Travel Act charge (a non-deportable offense) and received a recommendation for the Residential Drug Abuse Program (RDAP) which could result in his release from prison in just over a year.  Moral to the story: as any of the best New York federal drug and narcotics attorneys know, when given lemons in a case make lemonade.   Continue reading

A very frightening collateral consequence of being convicted of a crime if you are not an American citizen is deportation. It doesn’t matter if you came over to America with your parents when you were a young child and now are 55 years old with a family including four children under the age of 18: if you never became a naturalized United States citizen and decades later are convicted of a crime contained within the category of offenses known as “Aggravated felonies,” there is a great likelihood you are being deported with no chance of readmittance into America in the future. And these “Aggravated felonies” – which does not even have to be a felony – include the great majority of crimes charged in New York state and federal indictments in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and all over the country. A partial list includes: murder, sexual abuse/rape, narcotics offenses, racketeering, firearms offenses, money laundering, fraud if the loss to the victim is more than $10,000, theft or tax evasion, perjury, child pornography and commercial bribery. While this seemingly limits plea bargaining for a non-citizen charged in such a case, you can hire a top criminal attorney in New York who has helped clients charged with aggravated felonies to nevertheless avoid deportation. Continue reading