Investigation to Avoid Immigration Consequences
The investigation phase of a crimmigration case is a critical stage in determining you or your loved one’s immigration-safe plea or post-conviction relief. This stage is often referred to as discovery in the context of a criminal case and starts at the inception of the case. The goal of a proper investigation is to obtain as many facts as possible to assist in the defense of the case. After all, the more facts that we have on your side or awareness of an absence of facts not on your side, the stronger your case will be.
Once a Lavy Lawyer is assigned to your case, s/he will begin investigating by collecting the following:
- The charging paper( i.e., complaint, information, etc.)
- The police report
- The state and/or FBI rap sheet or criminal history report
If you have already been convicted or have pleaded guilty or no contest, s/he will additionally collect:
- The docket or clerk’s minutes from the plea and sentence
- The reporter’s transcript of the plea and sentence
- The waiver of rights form signed by the defendant
- The probation report
- All documents in criminal file
- Original counsel’s file
- Immigration file
With regards to post-conviction relief only, your Lavy Lawyer may obtain a declaration from the defendant/respondent, and possibly the prior counsel to supplement the motion used in criminal court to reopen the case. A declaration is a written statement made under the penalty of perjury that can be used as evidence in a court of law. In some cases, a declaration is just as effective as though the person was testifying as a witness on stand.
After obtaining all of the facts in your case, your Lavy attorney will conduct research under California state and federal law. The research is done to determine what is the best plea you could take to avoid immigration consequences, or your best vehicle to reopen your criminal case, as well as your best form of immigration relief. The goal is to allow you or your loved one to stay in the United States and avoid being removed or placed in immigration detention.
Please note that if you have already taken a plea, it is possible the investigation will reveal there is no option/low probability of success/small difference to clean your record and avoid immigration consequences. If this is the case, you can consult with you criminal counsel on whether you want to still make an attempt to do so in court. Either way, Lavy Law’s investigation of your case is still valuable for your piece of mind- to know that you did everything in your power to avoid immigration consequences.
The last step in the investigation stage is to write a report for you or your criminal counsel on the best strategy to take to avoid immigration consequences or to clean your criminal record. This report will include citations to relevant criminal and immigration law and be easy to understand. The report will also include a strategy for your counsel to take, outlining the most desirable course of action.
If you are a criminal attorney representing a non-citizen, or a defendant/respondent in immigration court and want to avoid immigration consequences, call us today for a free consultation at (212) 321-0226.