Padilla Consulting for Criminal Lawyers

If you are a criminal defense attorney and you represent anybody born outside the United States, you may have a duty to provide that client affirmative, competent advice on immigration law. R. William Barner III has a service that will be beneficial to both you and your client.

The U.S. Supreme Court, in Padilla v. Kentucky[1], propagated an entire new body of case law requiring criminal defense attorneys to verse their noncitizen clients in some of the adverse immigration consequences of a criminal conviction. The Padilla Court held that effective assistance of counsel in a criminal case requires affirmative, competent advice regarding immigration consequences.

This can be problematic for attorneys who do not practice immigration law. Immigration Courts are not governed by the State or Federal rules of procedure, nor are they governed by State or local rules of evidence. Therefore, many widely accepted legal principles and rights do not apply in Immigration proceedings.

The American Immigration Lawyers Association publishes a magazine for immigration attorneys called VOICE every other month. Barner has been published in VOICE specifically on how Florida has been handling Padilla issues such as retroactivity and effective assistance of counsel.[2]

Although most people are aware that criminal behavior can result in deportation for a noncitizen, few are aware of many of the other collateral Immigration consequences of a criminal plea, including:

  • Inadmissibility: A noncitizen [even a Legal Permanent Resident] with certain criminal convictions who is not deportable may later be refused readmission to the U.S., or paroled in and placed into removal proceedings, after travelling abroad.
  • Naturalization: A criminal conviction can result in denial of citizenship as naturalization carries with it a “Good Moral Character” requirement. This standard is separate from the standards for deportability and inadmissibility.
  • Revocation of a Visa [Student Visa, Work Visa or otherwise].
  • Revocation of one’s refugee, asylee, or temporary protected status.

Barner will consult with both you and your client regarding potential immigration consequences your client might face as the result of a plea to a criminal offense. In most cases, he will draft a memorandum of law explaining the effects a plea can have on your client’s immigration status. He has advised criminal defense attorneys, bond specialists, and state legislators throughout Florida and the United States on immigration issues through teleconferences, advisory briefs, and legal memoranda.

Barner has counseled individuals from all around the world, including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Bahamas, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, England, France, Germany, Greece, Haiti, Honduras, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Kenya, Mexico, New Zealand, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Syria, Trinidad, Turks and Caicos, Ukraine, Uruguay, Uzbekistan and Venezuela. Representation has included:

  • Filing lawsuits against the Department of Homeland Security [DHS] in Federal Court
  • Filing for immigration benefits with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services [USCIS], including:
    • Temporary Protected Status
    • Adjustment of Status to Legal Permanent Resident [Green Card]
    • Appeals
    • Naturalization
  • Representing people in Removal [deportation] Proceedings, successfully arguing:
    • Cancellations of Removal
    • Waivers for Criminal Convictions
    • Applications for Legal Permanent Resident Cards while in removal
    • Asylum
    • Withholding of Removal
    • Convention Against Torture
    • Bond
    • Supervised Release
    • Voluntary Departure

Always in the know as to breaking changes in immigration law, Barner was a party to a White House briefing with Senior officials from the Obama Administration in advance of the President’s 2014 announcement regarding immigration executive actions.

Because research will depend on your discovery and insight into the facts and nature of the alleged criminal behavior, Barner Legal does pay co-counsel fees in accordance with the rules governing the Florida Bar.

[1] 130 S. Ct. 1473 (2010).

[2] Florida Court Circumvents Padilla v. Kentucky. AILA’s VOICE: An Immigration Law Dialogue, September/October 2011. Page 35.