Clients who have been abandoned by their attorneys may still be eligible for post-conviction relief even if they did not always meet the court’s deadlines. The Supreme Court ruled on January 19th, 2012 that it matters when an attorney abandons their client. This is good news for prisoners pursuing postconviction relief. Preciously the Supreme Court held that a criminal defendant has no right to counsel when filing a federal post-conviction motion, but the prisoner is still expected to meet strict deadlines. Now if an attorney abandons their clients and prisoners fail to meet the filing deadlines, they can argue good cause or request equitable tolling to overcome this procedural hurdle. Post-conviction relief is often necessary for immigration reasons for permanent residents as well as non-immigrants. Frequently, a person will get arrested for a crime. Their attorney will often get them a “great deal” where they can plead guilty to the felony, and only receive probation. However, there are frequently immigration consequences to this plea deal that can result in a surprise deportation. Sometimes post-conviction relief can be obtained if a person was not adequately advised of the immigration consequences, but it becomes an uphill battle. A much better approach is to retain a skilled criminal attorney that can also effectively advise about the immigration consequences. If the criminal attorney is not fully aware of the immigration consequences then a none U.S. Citizen defendant should have a consultation with an immigration attorney before agreeing to any plea bargain.
Categories: Immigration Lawyer Blog San Diego