Shaffer & Engle Personal attention. Compassionate response. Fast Results.
Shaffer & Engle Personal attention. Compassionate response. Fast Results.

Deportable Offenses and the Attorney's Role in Light of Padilla v. Kentucky

National Association of Distinguished Counsel | Nation's Top One Percent 2017 | NADC
Partner With A Trusted Legal Ally, Call:
717-827-4074

A noncitizen convicted of violating a Pennsylvania state criminal statute is subject to a variety of harsh immigration penalties including deportation from the United States.

By Attorney Elisabeth K.H. Pasqualini, Federal Defense Attorney, Harrisburg, PA

A noncitizen convicted of violating a Pennsylvania state criminal statute is subject to a variety of harsh immigration penalties including deportation from the United States. Multiple variables determine whether a state criminal offense will trigger immigration deportation proceedings. A parallel concern is the impact that a state criminal offense may have on routine offenses prosecuted in federal courts: illegal re-entries in violation of 8 U.S.C. Section 1326. The United States Supreme Court has made it constitutionally impermissible for a criminal defense attorney to recommend the entry of a guilty plea in the absence of a basic, working knowledge of how that guilty plea will affect the noncitizen's immigration status.  This requirement for attorneys was made clear by the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Padilla v. Kentucky.

The Federal statute refers to certain crimes as "deportation-proceeding-invoking offenses" (DPIO's).  8 U.S.C. Section 1227(a)(2).  These crimes are as follows:

  • Crimes of moral turpitude- Usually requires a second conviction to be deported; 
  • Aggravated felony; 
  • High speed flight;
  • Failure to register as a sex offender;
  • Controlled substances- Other than a single offense involving possession for one's own use of 30 grams or less of marijuana, is deportable;
  • Drug abusers and addicts Any alien who is, or at any time after admission has been, a drug abuser or addict is deportable.
  • Certain firearm offenses
  • Miscellaneous crimes
    • Crimes relating to espionage
    • sabotage
    • treason and sedition
    • a violation of any provision of the Military Selective Service Act
    • Trading With the Enemy Act 
  • Crimes of domestic violence, stalking, or violation of protection order, crimes against children and child abuse 
    • Violators of protection orders 
  • Trafficking
  • Failure to register and falsification of documents 
  • Falsely claiming citizenship
  • Unlawful voters

As one can imagine, if you are a non-citizen and you've been charged or are being investigated for an offense in PA or by Federal Authorities that would require deportation proceedings, it is vitally important that you consult experienced Federal defense counsel.  You may contact Shaffer & Engle Law Offices, LLC toll free or email us today to discuss your case.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information