04.14.2010 April 2010 Special Immigration Alert for Criminal Defense Counsel
The Brave New World for Criminal Defense Counsel
Padilla v. Kentucky changes the rules for counsel to follow when advising foreign clients whether to plead guilty to a criminal offense

In the landmark March 31, 2010 decision in Padilla v. Kentucky, the Supreme Court ruled that defense counsel must inform the client whether a guilty plea will result in deportation. The Sixth Amendment right to “effective assistance of competent counsel…the seriousness of an immigration consequence of a criminal plea, and concomitant impact of deportation on families living lawfully in this country demand no less.” This sweeping holding settled the long-running debate and split in the circuit courts over whether the Sixth Amendment applied to advice on removal (deportation) which is a civil proceeding arising out of a guilty plea by a non-U.S. citizen and is often classified as merely a “collateral consequence” of criminal proceedings.

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