DiMaria Wins Post Conviction Relief Motion For Permanent Resident with Aggravated Felony Conviction

In this case, Client was a citizen of the Dominican Republic who had a green card since 1992.  Client was married and had four minor United States Citizen children. Client had one arrest in or around 2001 for Endangering the Welfare of a Child for which he received four years of probation.  In 2010, nearly nine years after his arrest, Immigration officers arrested Client and charged him with being deportable from the United States for having committed an Aggravated Felony, Sexual Abuse of a Minor.  Client’s spouse came to our office for a consultation and after speaking with DiMaria, she retained DiMaria to represent Client with regards to his case.    Under immigration laws, a permanent resident is subject to deportation from the United States if the permanent resident is convicted of committing an aggravated felony.  There are several criminal convictions that are considered aggravated felonies for immigration purposes.  In most cases, deportation is automatic for individuals convicted of aggravated felonies. In this case, Client was convicted of an aggravated felony sexual abuse of a minor. Client informed DiMaria that his criminal attorney never told him that he would be deported if he pled guilty to the offense of Endangering the Welfare of a Child and had he been aware of the fact that he would be deported, he would not have pled guilty.  Pursuant to recent case law, DiMaria informed Client that he was eligible to file a Post Conviction Relief Motion with the criminal court in an effort to have the criminal conviction vacated. DiMaria filed motions with the criminal court and after three days of hearings before the criminal court, the judge decided to vacate the plea based on the fact that Client’s criminal attorney never informed him that he would be deported.  Once the plea was vacated, Client entered into a different plea agreement that was not an aggravated felony for immigration purposes.  Because of the new plea that Client entered into, Client was then eligible to be released on bail from immigration custody.  Based on the new plea that he entered into, Client now has a very good chance at keeping his green card.