Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Defense Attorneys Are Ineffective When They Fail to Advise Clients of Clear Immigration Consequences of A Plea

As detailed at New York Criminal Law and Procedure the United States Supreme Court in a decision authored by Justice Stevens held that as a matter of federal constitutional law, attorneys have a professional duty to advise their clients of immigration consequences, at least when those consequences are clear. Even when federal law is not so clear, an attorney still has a duty to advise the client that deportation "may" result from a guilty plea. This, of course, is a very different holding and standard than the New York Court of Appeals had set forth in People v Ford (86 NY2d 397) in which the Court held that while it is ineffective assistance to affirmatively give bad advice on the immigration consequences, attorneys need not say anything.

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