Because I practice law in south Florida, which has a very culturally-diverse population, I have represented many clients who are in the United States legally but who are not U.S. citizens. When representing such clients, it is very important to advise them of the fact that they may be deported back to their home country if they are ultimately found guilty of the crime with which they are charged.
In such situations, it is best to either get the client’s case dismissed or else to win at trial. However, evidence of guilt is sometimes so strong that neither of these two options is available. When that is the case, the next-best option is to get the client into a pretrial diversion program which ultimately results in charges being dropped by the prosecutor if the client successfully completes the program.
But even in this latter situation, it is vital that the client not enter any sort of plea, whether it be a plea of guilty or no contest, because such a plea may still make the client eligible for deportation even though his case is ultimately dropped by the prosecutor.
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