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Court Discusses Immigration Implications Regarding Sentencing

The people of the state of New York are the plaintiffs in this case being heard in the Supreme Court of Suffolk County. The defendant in the case is J.C.. The defendant has moved to have his conviction for the Class E felony of Rape in the third degree vacated. The basis for his argument for this motion is that he lacked effective assistance of counsel.

Case Background

A New York Sex Crimes Lawyer said the defendant, J.C., illegally entered the United States with his father in the year 1991 when he was just sixteen years old. Mr. C. never attempted to become a citizen of the United States while he was living here and before he was prosecuted on the charges of rape in the third degree. He was not eligible for any type of program or amnesty after his illegal entry into the country.

The defendant entered a guilty plea on the 17th of June, 1999 for the charges of a class E Felony of Rape in the third degree. This guilty plea satisfied the indictment that included charges of endangering the welfare of a child as well as the rape charge.

A New York Sex Crimes Lawyer said the prosecution had a strong case against the defendant as he was found in the company of a fourteen year old girl. It was apparent that they had just gotten out of the shower at the time. He admitted his guilt to the felony in front of the County Court Judge Lefkowitz.

Mr. C. states during testimony at this hearing that he only pleaded guilty to the charges to avoid a potential sentence of four years in state prison, in addition to the fact that he actually was guilty. A Nassau County Sex Crimes Lawyer also states that the would not have pleaded guilty to the charge if he knew that he would be subject to deportation based on a plea of a crime of immorality. He states that his attorney never told him about the possibility of deportation as a consequence of his guilty plea.

Case Discussion and Decision

The attorney for Mr. C. during his case was A.S., who is an experienced criminal defense attorney in the area. A.S. states that he doe not remember the case based on the amount of time that has passed. He states that it was not his practice to inform defendants of immigration consequences of their pleas because prior to September 11, 2001, it was not customary for an illegal alien to be deported when they were serving a sentence in local jail.

The court does not feel that the testimony of the defendant can be credited regarding the discussion of immigration. It is difficult to believe that the defendant did not bring up the possibility of immigration with his lawyer if this truly was a concern. A Queens Sex Crimes Lawyer said that even if the testimony given by the defendant could be credited, the court would still deny the motion as he has not shown that he has been prejudice by the plea as a conviction after a trial would have been likely to result in immediate deportation. It seems that rather than being prejudice by his plea he actually benefited from it.

The court is denying the motion by the defendant’s instant application based on the reasons above.

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