Are You Charged With a Criminal Offense?
Here’s How an Immigration Judge Will View Your Conviction
First, be aware of this important fact: your criminal lawyer is not an immigration expert. He or she does not understand the effect a guilty plea or a no-contest plea can have on your immigration status. You could soon be facing deportation and placed in removal proceedings.
Before you enter your misdemeanor or felony plea, talk to the experienced immigration lawyers at Nalbandian Law – 818-244-0310 – and learn exactly how a criminal conviction can affect your immigration status.
What Constitutes a Conviction to an Immigration Judge
- Even if you have pled “no contest” or “guilty” to a crime, served time, and then after completion of probation, the case is dismissed, this still counts as a conviction for immigration purposes. Even if your probation was completed over a decade ago, your case was dismissed, and you think it will not count for immigration purposes, you need to consult first with Nalbandian Law’s immigration lawyers before you apply for any type of immigration relief.
- Even if you have been in California’s Deferred Entry of Judgment Program (DEJ) for first-time drug offenders and you have successfully completed DEJ drug treatment and education program in lieu of jail time, this also typically counts as a drug conviction, even if the drug charge no longer counts as a conviction under state law. However, the law on this issue has recently changed as we will explain it below.
When a Conviction Does Not Count
The only time a conviction no longer counts against you for immigration purposes is when the conviction has been “vacated” under a) constitutional grounds or b) ineffective assistance of counsel and c) not just for rehabilitation reasons. “Vacated” means that the original verdict is set aside as if the first trial and conviction never happened.
UPDATE: New California Law Helps Aliens Vacate Drug Convictions
When California law PC-1203.43 went into effect January 1, 2016, it gave certain aliens with drug convictions a new legal avenue to fight deportation. The law states that if you have a controlled substance possession conviction and have successfully completed California’s Deferred Entry of Judgment Program, you may now have the option to take your case back to California state court and request that your drug conviction be vacated so that it no longer counts as a conviction for immigration purposes.
The Importance of Criminal Immigration Research
Before you plead guilty or no contest for any crime, before you travel, before you apply for any immigration relief, and before you take your case back to California state court, it is strongly advised that you hire an expert immigration attorney to conduct the appropriate Criminal Immigration Research on your behalf. For over 16 years, Nalbandian Law has helped thousands of clients overcome setbacks and continue on their path toward citizenship. Along the way, Mr. Nalbandian and his team have earned a 99% success rate for winning even the most difficult cases that other lawyers can’t handle. Clients praise his expertise with consistent 5-star reviews. This is just one recent example:
“One of the best attorneys! I was in removal proceedings and Sassoun Nalbandian won the case in court on March 16, 2016. He is very honest and a hardworking attorney. He always works hard to help his clients and solves their issues. Thank you Sassoun and God Bless You!”
Read more 5-Star Client Reviews
Success in Criminal Immigration Cases Is a Joint Effort
“I want to make sure that you and your criminal attorney understand the law as it relates to immigration issues,” said Mr. Nalbandian, “because a criminal plea that works well for a U.S. citizen often can have disastrous and irreversible consequences for an alien who has committed the same type of crime. We want to help provide you with the best legal advice possible and the best chance of staying in the U.S. and avoiding deportation.”
Constantly Vigilant About New Immigration Laws
Immigration laws change daily; it’s a reality which demands our unwavering attention to new laws and precedents and how they may affect our clients.
Schedule a Private Consultation Today!
Call Nalbandian Law at (818) 244-0310 or contact us online to schedule a confidential consultation with lead attorney and criminal immigration expert Sassoun A. Nalbandian. He will review your situation carefully and determine the best course of action for you.
*Approval rates do not guarantee future approval of your petition. No attorney can ethically guarantee any outcome. Always consult with a licensed, competent immigration attorney such as the experienced immigration attorneys at Nalbandian Law before filing your case.