January 19, 2010 By Wallin & Klarich

Anytime a Defendant in a California pleads guilty to a misdemeanor or a felony, that defendant must be advised “on the record” that the consequences of the guilty plea could result in deportation, exclusion from admission to the United States, or denial of naturalization pursuant to the laws of the United States. Unfortunately, when some defendants agree to a plea bargain, their attorneys don’t adequately warn them of these potentially dire consequences which can lead to significant problems down the road. Many times, attorneys will simply tell their clients just to initial and sign important plea bargain and advisement of rights forms.

Our law firm is seeing more and more cases where clients come into our offices and explain that they or a loved one is in danger of being deported or can’t gain citizenship due to a guilty plea in a criminal case. More often than not, these people explain that they had no idea that what was happening to them or their loved ones was possible because either the court or the attorney handling the case didn’t tell them.

When this situation comes about, it is necessary to contact a competent, aggressive law firm immediately to get involved and determine if there is any legal way to rectify the situation to avoid the dire immigration consequences. It is necessary to access the entire file from the criminal case and any relevant transcripts to determine if in fact the defendant was adequately warned of all of the potential immigration consequences. It has been our experience that in many cases, defendants are not properly warned and that could lead to the filing of a “motion to vacate judgment”, which basically goes back in time and wipes the guilty plea away as if it never happened and reopens the criminal case. At that point it might be possible to renegotiate with the District Attorney and work out a plea bargain that won’t have adverse immigration consequences.

If you or a loved one is facing immigration consequences from a guilty plea in a criminal case, don’t hesitate to contact the Law Offices of Wallin & Klarich for a consultation. Wallin & Klarich has been in the business of helping people with their criminal matters in Southern California for over 30 years and we would like to help you with yours! Contact the experienced criminal defense Los Angeles attorneys at Wallin & Klarich today at 1-888-280-6839 or www.wklaw.com for a consultation of your case.

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