A Proven Immigration Defense Attorney
How will my arrest affect me? What impact will a criminal charge have on my immigration status? How can I take care of my family?
All of these questions are scary for immigrants who are facing a criminal case. In addition to worrying about the consequences of a criminal case, you may be afraid of your legal status in the United States. Because each case is unique, it is important to talk with an experienced immigration lawyer to know if your status could be affected.
Since 1982, the lawyers at Steven C. Thal, P.A., have been guiding clients through important immigration concerns and assisting in the immigration matters associated with criminal charges. Many of our clients are permanent residents who have been accused of criminal activity, including:
- Drunk driving (DWI or driving while intoxicated)
- Domestic violence/assault
- Use of false documents and other actions associated with illegal immigration
- Use of false Social Security number
- Identity theft
Our law firm often handles immigration cases on referral from criminal defense attorneys. We partner with these attorneys to help advise them on minimizing the immigration consequences their clients face. Using in-depth knowledge of the impact of sentencing on immigration, we tailor the counsel we provide and the legal approach we take to meet a referring lawyer’s needs and goals.
Padilla V. Kentucky
Removal and deportation defense has received a great deal of media attention since the Supreme Court case Padilla v. Kentucky was decided. In Padilla, the United States Supreme Court ruled that immigrants living in this country must be told by their lawyers whether pleading guilty to a crime could lead to deportation.
The Supreme Court said that when lawyers fail to advise their clients that a guilty plea will mean mandatory deportation, they deny those clients the effective assistance of counsel that justice requires. The court held that counsel must inform their clients whether guilty pleas carry with them the risk of deportation.
The Supreme Court ruling could affect tens of thousands of people, and many criminal defense and immigration lawyers consider it a historic decision. For many immigrants, remaining in the United States is more important than any jail sentence. At Steven C. Thal, P.A., we recognize this. Our attorneys work diligently to keep you close to your family and your life in the United States.
In some cases, it is possible for immigration courts to approve an application that would otherwise be denied. Your attorney may be able to prepare a waiver for criminal grounds of inadmissibility, which could be granted for an arrest related to a crime of moral turpitude, violation of controlled substance laws, convictions for more than one offense, drug trafficking, or commission of another serious crime for which you asserted immunity from prosecution.
One example of a waiver is an extreme hardship waiver. This waiver is granted if the consequences of a denying a person the ability to enter the United States would cause extreme hardship for the applicant or their loved ones. To qualify for this waiver, the potential hardship should go beyond the average difficulties associated with deportation and removal. Just a few of the potential reason why someone may be granted an extreme hardship waiver include:
- Separation of a family
- Economic hardship
- Difficulties of readjusting to life in a new country
- Lack of educational opportunities abroad
- Inferior quality of medical services abroad
- Inability to pursue chosen employment
Every factor involved in determining extreme hardship must be weighed cumulatively. The legal tests involved in determining extreme hardship can be subjective and difficult to prove. Because of this difficulty, it is critical for those who are applying for an extreme hardship waiver to have a knowledgeable lawyer on their side who can guide them through the process.
You may also be eligible for a waiver through the U.S. National Interest Waiver program. The National Interest Waiver is a program offered to employers through the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for the betterment or advancement of national interest.
We Can Help When Criminal Law And Immigration Matters Intersect
Our attorneys are fluent in Spanish. Hablamos español.