Client: Lawful Permanent Resident
Client’s Country of Origin: Jordan
Case Type: Criminal and Removal
Date of Approval: August 2016
Our client retained Herman Legal Group after being convicted of a removable crime. Prior to consulting us, our client had been formally represented by a criminal defense attorney unfamiliar with immigration law. While a criminal lawyer may believe it is in one’s best interest to plead guilty to a crime in order to lessen the charge or sentence, when representing an immigrant, legal counsel must inform his client of possible removal consequences when pleading.
Unaware of the repercussions, our client pleads guilty to a crime without realizing the immigration repercussions. Soon later, our client received a notice to appear commencing removal proceedings on him. In shock and fear of being deported, our client immediately called us to help with the matter. Upon retaining us as counsel, Attorney Vania Stefanova contacted his criminal defense attorney to assist in withdrawing his guilty plea, often known as the “Padilla” motion. Named after a 2010 landmark immigration case, the Padilla motion allows one to contest his/her conviction on the grounds of not being informed by counsel of potential immigration consequences when entering a guilty plea.
The motion was approved, and our client successfully withdrew the guilty plea to the removable offense. Immigration Attorney Vania Stefanova, who heads our deportation division, discussed possible alternative pleas with client’s criminal defense counsel. Ultimately, the client pled to a different offense, which did not have immigration consequences. Herman Legal Group attorney filed a Motion to Terminate immigration proceedings with the Immigration Court, based on the fact that the ultimate conviction was not for a removable crime. This motion was granted by the Immigration Judge, and our client kept his permanent resident status. A big win!