It is a lot easier to plea down or dismiss criminal charges while a case is still open than it is to modify or vacate an actual conviction. So if you are an alien who has been arrested or charged with a crime that may be deportable, do not delay in calling a criminal defense attorney to try and save your resident status. However, as we discuss below, post-conviction relief may still be possible in some cases-and for many immigrants and non-citizens, it is their only hope to stay on U.S. soil.
- If you are an alien who is currently incarcerated in Nevada for a deportable criminal conviction, we can explore filing a writ of habeas corpus. Writs of habeas corpus challenge the legality of keeping you in custody, usually by pointing out a big error made in your plea or at trial:
- One such error frequently committed during trial is ineffective assistance of counsel. If we can show that your original attorney did not adequately advise you about the immigration consequences of pleading to a deportable offense, then the judge might allow you to withdraw the guilty plea.
- If your conviction was in federal court, then we can explore filing a motion to vacate under 28 U.S.C. 2255 by arguing either ineffective assistance of counsel, that your sentence was unconstitutional, that your confession was coerced, or several other constitutional grounds.
- We also may be able to file an appeal to reduce sentence. If we can convince the judge to reduce your jail sentence to under a year, then chances are your conviction will no longer be considered an aggravated felony (a deportable crime), which, depending on your case, may take you out of immigration court completely.
To learn more about deportable crimes (for legal aliens), read our short article on Nevada Crimes that Lead to Deportation.
To learn more about inadmissible crimes (for undocumented/illegal aliens), read our short article on Nevada Crimes that are Inadmissible.
To learn more about crimes involving moral turpitude, read our short article on Crimes involving Moral Turpitude in Nevada.
Let us help you stay here...
Immigrants and non-citizens who have criminal convictions on their records should call our Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys at 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673) for help. We will research whether we can modify your conviction or vacate it completely, thereby keeping you on U.S. soil.
Go back to our Criminal Defense of Immigrants in Nevada main page.