U.S. Supreme Court Decision in Padilla v. Kentucky: Immigration Consequences of Criminal Plea Bargains are not merely collateral


On March 31, 2010, after decades of hundreds of thousands of immigrants being deported because of ineffective criminal lawyers, the Supreme Court issued a landmark decision to put criminal defense attorneys on notice:  No longer can they blindly and ineffectively compel clients to accept any deal offered by the prosecutor. 

In Padilla v. Kentucky, the Supreme Court held that the Sixth Amendment requires criminal defense counsel to advise clients of the immigration (removal & deportation) consequences of criminal convictions, and failure to do so constitutes ineffective assistance of counsel.

This case changes the landscape. Finally!!!  For all of us immigration attorneys and thousands of immigrants who have seen countless immigrants get deported because the supermajority of the criminal bar was ineffective, this is such a welcome relief.

Now many can seek to reopen their cases if they were deported because their criminal attorney failed them.  Further, from this point on foreign national clients who are facing criminal charges can compel criminal defense attorneys to earn their fee and diligently and zealously represent them.

I know it's a long case, but this one is well worth the read.

"The proper measure of attorney performance remains simply reasonableness under prevailing professional norms."

"It is our responsibility under the Constitution to ensure that no criminal defendant - whether a citizen or not - is left to the "mercies of incompetent counsel."

Ricky Malik
Attorney At Law