Criminal Law and Immigration Consequences

Non-citizens of the United States who are accused of domestic violence crimes in Colorado face a maze of difficult choices and collateral issues beyond the criminal courts themselves. If you are a non-citizen charged with a DV crime, it is absolutely critical that you consult with an experienced and knowledgeable attorney, and that you disclose your immigration status to your attorney during your consultation. Some people are understandably fearful of disclosing non-citizenship. However, an attorney’s ethical obligations are to guard the confidentiality of communications from her clients. Even if the consulting client does not ultimately hire the attorney to represent in the criminal case, the attorney will not, indeed cannot, disclose the client’s confidences.


It is especially important that you trust your criminal defense attorney with information about your immigration status, because your attorney needs this information in order to seek the best possible outcome in your criminal case. For almost all non-citizens, the “best possible outcome” will be the one that preserves their ability to stay in the United States (“deportability”), to return to the United States after temporarily leaving the country (“admissibility”), and possibly to apply for United States citizenship through in the future (“naturalization”). These three issues are technically determined separately, but they overlap in almost all domestic violence situations because almost all domestic violence charges, if conviction results, will make a non-citizen deportable, inadmissible, and ineligible for naturalization. This is why it is absolutely essential that a non-citizen cannot admit guilt to any domestic violence crime without first consulting a criminal defense attorney with experience in handling immigration issues.


Although The Law Office of Zachary Malkinson is not a full-service immigration law firm, I do have extensive experience in navigating the criminal justice system on behalf of my non-citizen clients. I have knowledge of what kinds of offenses can avoid deportation and inadmissibility, and what kinds of offenses can save your hopes of future naturalization. I have experience in dealing with the prosecutor to protect your immigration status and aspirations. When I don’t know the answer to an immigration question, I have colleagues who specialize in immigration law and can serve as a confidential resource for my clients in particularly complicated situations.


The immigration consequences that flow from a domestic violence charge are more serious for many people than the direct consequences of the charge itself. If you find yourself dealing with these two very difficult situations, contact me immediately for a free attorney consultation at no charge and no obligation to you.

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