Crimmigration

The practice area of crimmigration, a new and upcoming area of law, is the intersection between immigration and criminal law. It means that you or a loved one has a case that involves both immigration and criminal issues.

Some common crimmigration cases include:

  • Sample case

    • Noncitizen arrested for minor criminal offense, known as misdemeanor, but immigration or ICE hold is placed on him in jail so that he cannot bail out. Once criminal case is over, he is asked to appear in immigration court.

  • Lavy Law’s crimmigration remedy

    • First, Lavy attorney will encourage sheriffs to exercise favorable discretion to release client from jail pursuant to California’s Trust Act.

      Second, negotiate with the District Attorney’s Office an immigration safe plea. Or, if the case is weak and client is innocent, pressure the D.A.’s office to dismiss the case, and if not, win case at jury trial.

      Finally, represent client in immigration court and assist him to either get legal status and/or have case closed by ICE government attorney through showing factors in support of prosecutorial discretion.


  • Sample case

    • Noncitizen arrested for a serious criminal offense, known as felony, and after serving time in jail or prison, he is transferred to immigration custody and not allowed to post bail (subject to mandatory detention).

  • Lavy Law’s crimmigration remedy

    • First, Lavy Lawyer will file a motion to change venue in immigration court to move client’s case closer to where his attorney and family is located (and the court is more liberal).

      Second, ask the new immigration court to grant client a bond hearing and make a determination that he is not subject to mandatory detention.

      Third, clean up client’s criminal record by a motion to vacate or similar vehicle, proving according to California and federal law that prior counsel 1) failed to advise client of immigration consequences, 2) failed to defend client from immigration consequences, and/or 3) gave affirmative misadvice.

      Finally, ask immigration court for relief – ie: asylum, cancellation of removal- based on client’s cleaned up criminal record and eligibility.


  • Sample case

    • Noncitizen wants to apply for DACA so that he can obtain work authorization, but is afraid to do so because of a conviction on his record.

  • Lavy Law’s crimmigration remedy

    • First, Lavy attorney will file a motion to vacate in local court to clean client’s criminal record showing that there was ineffective assistance of counsel or other procedural/substantive error made based on the law.

      Second, once motion is granted, renegotiate client’s plea with the prosecutor in criminal court by explaining the collateral and unjust immigration consequences and obtain an immigration-harmless alternative.

      Finally, assist client to apply for DACA by showing that old conviction was dismissed and new conviction does not make client ineligible for relief.


  • Sample case

    • Legal Permanent Resident (LPR or green card holder) returns from trip abroad and gets stopped at border due to prior conviction. Immigration officer paroles him into U.S., but gives him notice to appear at the Customs and Border Patrol office

  • Lavy Law’s crimmigration remedy

    • First, Lavy Lawyer will represent client in interview before Customs and Border Patrol and prove to them that conviction does not make him inadmissible.

      Second, if client is placed in custody, request a bond hearing to prove that client is not subject to mandatory detention.

      Third, assist client to obtain immigration relief through naturalization, 212(c) waiver, LPR cancellation, or other form of immigration relief.


  • Sample case

    • LPR wants to renew their green card, but is afraid to do so due to recent conviction and/or failure to pay taxes.

  • Lavy Law’s crimmigration remedy

    • First, if conviction makes client removable, Lavy attorney will reopen criminal case in court to renegotiate an immigration-harmless alternative.

      Second, assist client to become up to date on taxes.

      Third, apply for renewal of green card by proving conviction and/or failure to pay taxes is no longer an issue.


  • Sample case

    • LPR wants to naturalize, but is afraid to do so because of recent conviction on their record.

  • Lavy Law’s crimmigration remedy

    • First, Lavy Lawyer will request client’s FBI criminal history and criminal case file to determine whether the conviction is a permanent or conditional bar to citizenship, and/or will affect client’s good moral character.

      Second, assuming conviction is not a permanent or conditional bar, apply for naturalization by proving good moral character to immigration officer.

      Second, if conviction is a permanent bar, assist client to vacate conviction and negotiate new plea that is not a permanent bar to relief.

      Second, if conviction is a conditional bar, wait at least 5 years for client to apply.

      Third, represent client in the naturalization interview and obtaining approval on same day.

If one of the above scenarios applies to you or a loved one, then you will need both an immigration and a criminal attorney to help you obtain the best remedy. Many noncitizens think that the immigration and criminal case are one case, and the court is the same court. But, actually they are two separate cases, located in two separate courts. Also, the laws, rules of evidence and rights as a defendant are different in both the immigration and criminal courts. For example, a marijuana possession offense is treated as a minor offense in criminal court, but in immigration court, the same offense could get you deported or removed from the country! With Lavy Law, you can have two in one – an attorney who specializes in both immigration and criminal law.

Contact us today at (212) 321-0226 for a consultation with our attorney. We look forward to helping you stay in the country and be reunited with your loved one.

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