As criminal defense attorneys in Florida, we handle a lot of cases where a person who is not a United States citizen has been arrested on criminal charges. When a person who is not a U.S. citizen has been arrested for a crime, it is crucial that he/she be properly advised as to any immigration or deportation consequences of the various choices to be made in the criminal case. Even a relatively minor misdemeanor criminal charge can have very serious immigration consequences. Florida law provides that the criminal defense lawyer thoroughly advise the defendant of the potential immigration consequences that can happen in a criminal case before the defendant decides to enter a guilty plea, a no contest plea or a not guilty plea and request a trial.
The problem is that most criminal defense lawyers in the Jacksonville, Florida area, where our law firm is located, do not know the immigration laws and are not qualified to provide the necessary and critical immigration advice. The immigration laws in this country are vast and complicated. A criminal defense attorney with a casual understanding of immigration law can be dangerous in offering advice and opinions to people charged with crimes in Florida who are not United States citizens.
A person who has pled guilty or no contest to a charge in Florida may be able to withdraw that plea if the judge agrees that he/she was not properly informed of the immigration consequences, but the defendant will still have a criminal case to deal with and will still need to know what might happen from an immigration standpoint.
Fortunately, at Shorstein & Lasnetski in Jacksonville, Florida, we have attorneys with a wealth of experience in criminal law but also a lawyer who practices immigration law and handles many cases involving people with criminal and immigration issues at the same time.
If you are not a United States citizen and have been arrested for a criminal charge in Florida, it is extremely important that you speak to someone who understand both the criminal and immigration implications of your case. For more information, feel free to contact us for a consultation.