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Appellate Section - Padilla Monograph

Office of Immigration Litigation Issues Reference Guide to Immigration
Consequences of Crimes in Response to Supreme Court Decision in Padilla v. Kentucky.

In view of the Supreme Court’s decision in Padilla v. Kentucky, 130 S. Ct. 1473 (2010), the Office of Immigration Litigation (“OIL”) has prepared a comprehensive overview of the provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act that are relevant to criminal aliens. The overview is intended to assist interested parties in understanding the potential immigration consequences of a plea to criminal charges. Padilla held that the Sixth Amendment requires defense counsel to advise a noncitizen client of the risk of deportation arising from a guilty plea. The Court concluded that defense counsel’s failure to so advise, or defense counsel’s misadvice regarding the immigration consequences of the plea, may constitute ineffective assistance of counsel under Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668 (1984), which may be a basis for withdrawing a guilty plea and vacating a conviction.

The Court’s holding in Padilla requires defense counsel to have a basic understanding of immigration law – an area in which they “may not be well versed” – in order to effectively advise their clients. Padilla, 130 S. Ct. at 1483. The decision is also of obvious importance, however, to federal and state prosecutors and judges, among other interested parties. This guide – to which many OIL attorneys have contributed – presents a brief, cogent, and clear introduction that identifies and summarizes the relevant statutes.

REVISED Padilla v. Kentucky Reference Guide 11-8-10

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Any views or opinions expressed by the authors in this document do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of Justice. The Department of Justice makes no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the contents and expressly disclaims liability for errors and omissions. The document is not intended to, does not, and may not be relied upon to create any rights, substantive or procedural, privileges or benefits enforceable at law by any party in any matter, administrative, civil or criminal. Likewise, the document cannot be construed to place any limitations on the lawful enforcement or litigative prerogatives of the United States Government.
Updated April 28, 2021