Deportation Law

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  1. Yes, if Mr. Adams accepts the offer and is faced with deportation, his likelihood of success on an ineffectiveness claim would depend on how easily the average criminal defense attorney could have determined that the crime to which he pled was a deportable offense. This scenario does not state what Mr.

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    Adams is pleading guilty to. Under the immigration statute U.SC 1227(a)(2)(B)(i), states that any alien is deportable for anything related to a controlled substance unless it is for a person’s own use of thirty grams or less of marijuana. Mr. Adams declared that he wanted to understand the immigration consequences in order to decide whether to accept the plea. However, his attorney rejected to explain the immigration consequences himself and directed him over to an immigration clinic located in a law school where a student advises him that his crime has no deportation consequences.

The reason that Mr. Adams would have success on an ineffectiveness claim due to how easily the average criminal defense attorney could have determined if the crime was deportable is because of the ruling in Padilla v. Kentucky. Padilla’s counsel gave the wrong advice about deportation which caused Padilla’s plea to automatically deport him. It was determined in the this case that Padilla’s attorney could have very easily confirmed that Padilla’s plea would automatically make him eligible for deportation by merely scanning the immigration statute on controlled substances. Likewise, in this particular case with Mr. Adams, his attorney could have simply read the same immigration statute and told Mr. Adams that his plea would automatically trigger deportation. The court in Padilla did acknowledge that immigration law is a very complex law and attorneys that are not well versed in it would perhaps not understand. However, they determined that when a law is succinct and straightforward, the responsibility and obligation to give correct advice is clear and when the law is not clear or succinct the attorney, at the bare minimum, tell their client they may face deportation consequences. As a result, Mr. Adams has a good chance of success on an ineffectiveness claim against his attorney. The attorney could have easily read the immigration statute and told Mr. Adams that his plea would trigger deportation and Mr. Adams would have chosen another option rather than accepting the plea. Even if the law was not succinct or straightforward, the attorney still had the obligation to let Mr. Adams know that there were deportation consequences.

  1. Yes, along with question number one, Mr. Adams is guaranteed to succeed on his ineffectiveness claim. Strickland v. Washington, (466 U.S. 668, 1984) states that defendants are permitted to having the effective assistance of competent counsel. The Strickland case posed that to prove ineffectiveness of counsel the defendant must show that 1) performance of counsel was objectively unreasonable and 2) prejudice in the sense that counsels’ errors were serious enough that the defendant would not have pled guilty if given correct advice.

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