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Blandon Law Immigration

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Controlled Substance Convictions Require 2 Attorneys Working Together

     The immigration consequences of controlled substance offenses can be various and violent: ineligibility to enter the U.S., ineligibility to become a legal permanent resident, inability to become a citizen, deportation and possible mandatory detention. Therefore, for each arrest, a foreign national will want to work closely with both an immigration attorney and a criminal defense attorney.

     A foreign national, even a legal permanent resident who has spent most of her life in the United States, is considered "applying for admission" when she arrives in the United States from abroad. Likewise a foreigner who lives in the U.S. and is applying for adjustment of status is also considered applying for admission. At the moment of admission, it does NOT matter whether the foreigner was CONVICTED of a controlled substance offense. Residency – and permission to enter – can be denied if the foreigner admits the elements of the offense.
     When Immigration is trying to deport a foreigner, a conviction is required. The immigration and criminal defense professionals will try to fashion the plea agreement so that the foreigner is not considered “convicted” under the immigration laws. If the foreigner was already sentenced and convicted (as that term is defined in immigration laws), the criminal defense attorney may work on post-conviction relief, such as trying to vacate the sentence.

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