This manual isan adaptation of a publication prepared mainly for use by lawyersrepresenting noncitizen defendants accused of crimes in New York State (
Representing Noncitizen Criminal Defendants in New York State
), but revised and supplemented toaddress issues faced by lawyers representing noncitizen defendants in states across thecountry. The manual is intended to assist lawyers in complying with their professionaland ethical duty to investigate and advise noncitizen clients not only of the potentialpenal law consequences of a criminal case, but also the potential immigrationconsequences and possible ways to avoid negative immigration consequences. For, asthe American Bar Association recognizes in its Standards for Criminal Justice, “it maywell be that many clients’ greatest potential difficulty, and greatest priority, will be theimmigration consequences of conviction.” (See Chapter 1, section 1.4).While designed primarily for defense lawyers representing noncitizens in criminalproceedings, this manual is also intended to be useful for other lawyers or advocatesrepresenting or counseling noncitizens on issues involving the interplay between federalimmigration law and state criminal law. This includes immigration lawyers who areconsulted by criminal lawyers or by noncitizen defendants in criminal proceedings, orwho represent noncitizens with criminal records in immigration removal proceedings.This also includes other immigrant advocates who counsel or represent noncitizens withcriminal records affirmatively seeking U.S. citizenship, lawful permanent resident status,asylum, or other legal status in the United States.This manual is also intended to be useful for the immigrant himself or herself whois facing the various potential immigration consequences of a criminal case, and who isseeking a better understanding of his or her legal situation and possible strategies to avoidany potential adverse immigration consequences.Finally, for a listing of some of the arguments that may be raised by a convictednoncitizen in later removal proceedings in order to avoid any potential negativeimmigration consequences, the reader should refer to Appendix K
Removal DefenseChecklist in Criminal Charge Cases
. This resource may be useful not only forimmigration lawyers who represent noncitizens in immigration removal proceedings, butalso for the criminal lawyer who may choose to represent some of his or her noncitizenclients in such proceedings, or for the immigrant who must defend himself or herself inthese later immigration proceedings without the benefit of counsel.This is a rapidly changing area of law. Updates on subsequent law and practicedevelopments in this area of law can be found atwww.defendingimmigrants.organd alsoon the individualwebsites of the Defending Immigrants Partnership partner organizations(see below WHERE TO GET HELP).