New United States Supreme Court Decision
Commonly, individuals are arrested and charged with a crime and they are
not US citizens and their actual status can vary. It is important if one
is not a citizen to fully understand the consequences of an
arrest and the further consequences of a conviction.
On March 31, 2010, the United States Supreme Court held that a
criminal defense attorney has an affirmative obligation to advise noncitizen clients of
the potential immigration consequences resulting from a guilty plea
(Padilla v. Kentucky). The Court stated that "As a matter of federal law, deportation is
an integral part indeed, sometimes the most important part of the penalty
that may be imposed on noncitizen defendants who plea guilty to specified crimes.
Criminal defense lawyers must become knowledgeable about the immigration
consequences of criminal convictions. It is very important to make sure
your criminal defense lawyer knows your exact immigration status before
any plea bargain is reached.