Immigration Basics for Criminal Defense and Family Law Attorneys

Immigration Basics for Criminal Defense and Family Law Attorneys


1.0 WV MCLE Credits

Digital Coursebook Included


  • Professor Alison Peck, Co-Director, WVU Immigration Law Clinic

Course Information

I. Criminal or family court proceedings involving non-citizens may overlap with
immigration proceedings in ways that counsel should understand.
a. Noncitizens (even green card holders) convicted of crimes may later face
immigration consequences such as removal or denial of citizenship. In Padilla v.
Kentucky, 559 U.S. 336 (2010), the Supreme Court held that it is ineffective
assistance for a defense attorney to fail to inform a non-citizen of the immigration
consequences of a plea.
b. Noncitizen minors may come to family court before or while already in removal
proceedings in immigration court. A finding of Special Immigrant Juvenile Status
by a family court can be a basis for obtaining a visa and green card and a defense
to removal.
c. The goal of this webinar is to assist attorneys who practice in criminal courts or
family courts in providing more effective assistance to noncitizen clients. More
effective assistance may include:

i. Providing direct representation on certain immigration or immigration-
related matters;

ii. Obtaining an opinion from immigration counsel regarding the impacts of
decisions in criminal or family court on immigration status; and/or
iii. Knowing when to refer a matter or related matters to immigration counsel.