Immigration Issues and Criminal Convictions. A Washington Criminal Defense Lawyer | Attorney’s Prospective.
United States is a country founded on immigration and this truth is reflected in our irrationality around immigration: even in 2014, issues surrounding criminal law and detention pending the outcome of a case are in a constant state of flux. As criminal defense lawyers, our viewpoint is simple: we represent the best interests of our clients.
ICE. Immigration and Custom Enforcement.
Every person whose citizenship is at issue should know about Immigration and Custom Enforcement’s detainer actions for those accused of a crime. These are commonly called ICE HOLDS. If you or a family member is taken to jail and processed, you will have your fingerprints taken and identification checked. This information goes into a national database that Immigration and Custom Enforcement constantly reviews. If information is given to any local law enforcement agency or fingerprints lead to the belief that an arrested person is in the United States illegally, Immigration and Custom Enforcement will issue an ICE Hold if the arrested person is of interest. You can see that the Immigration Detainer Form that ICE focuses on felonies and certain misdemeanors.
As of 2014, this detention process is in a state of flux and 17 counties are not honoring all Ice Holds for low level offenders. Speak with our criminal defense attorneys for the latest pieces of data on the process.
Washington State Criminal Convictions.
Deportation or problems with one’s immigration status is an enormous topic that does not lend itself to a quick written summary. In general, any conviction of a crime that fits the federal definition of an aggravated felony will cause immigration problems. Aggravated felonies, despite their name, can include low level crimes like gross misdemeanors in Washington though problems associated with this inequity were largely solved when Washington dropped the sentencing maximums of gross misdemeanors to 364 days instead of 365.
Wikipedia, probably because it is subject to constant peer review, has great information on how aggravated felonies work and what qualifies as one. It is a great starting point to understanding the issues at play though should not be considered a substitute for consultation with a lawyer. In order to assure the best results, our office consults with experienced immigration law lawyers for up to date information on this changing area of law as part of our representation to assure any action we take does not prejudice our client’s life.
Needless to say, our office has handled a wide variety of serious criminal cases that involved clients at various stages of immigration. We have always made sure our advice and counsel reflects the latest case law and that is why we maintain in contact with privately retained attorneys and lawyers within the Northwest Immigration Law Project who always know the latest news and procedures. Our office knows that knowing all the consequences of a criminal conviction is a necessary part of being properly represented and we have properly represented hundreds of immigrant clients over the course of our careers.
The criminal defense lawyers | attorneys in our office have handled a wide variety of complicated cases in the criminal and administrative arenas over the course of our lengthy legal careers. We are a unique blend of courtroom experience, knowledge, skills and temperament. Our lawyers know cases are rarely as simple as the police reports or accusations claim and our clients hire us because they want staunch, uncompromising and effective counsel who takes the time to fight vigorously for the right result. Whether acting in our role as counsel, advocate, negotiator or litigator, we have years of experience working and fighting to resolve cases with our clients’ best interests in mind.