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Should I Hire an Immigration Attorney Even if I Plan on Pleading Guilty?

Written By The Shapiro Law Group on August 07, 2017

Even if an immigrant plans on entering a guilty plea when charged with a crime, he or she should hire a Chicago immigration attorney. Working with an experienced attorney can help immigrants avoid deportation, conviction, and other consequences of a guilty plea.

Get Help with Finding a Defense

In many cases, immigration lawyers can help a client find a viable defense, even if the client believes that he or she doesn’t have one. An experienced Chicago immigration attorney can investigate a case and review all of the evidence to find options that clients may otherwise overlook.

Negotiate with the Prosecution

Prosecutors may try to convince the defense that their first offer of a plea bargain is the best or only deal available. An attorney can often work with the prosecution to come up with a better compromise. This is particularly possible when evidence in the client’s favor turns up to support his or her position, the lawyer is highly skilled at negotiation, or when law enforcement has violated certain rights that make the arrest unwarranted.

Avoid Conviction Through Diversion Programs

Certain circumstances may allow individuals to avoid a conviction by participating in a diversion program. A knowledgeable attorney can help determine if his or her client is eligible for a diversion program, which could involve providing community service, attending classes, or spending time on probation. On the other hand, the prosecution will likely never inform individuals of when they’re eligible for these programs.

Avoid Serious Consequences

Pleading guilty can result in significant consequences, often entailing much more than a jail sentence. Guilty pleas could lead to losing the right to vote, suffering from higher insurance premiums, and a permanent criminal record. If an immigrant status is on the line, pleading guilty could lead to deportation. A reliable attorney can help clients recognize these and other consequences.

Quash Prosecutors’ Evidence

While it may appear like the prosecution has enough evidence to result in a conviction or deportation, in many cases this evidence may be inadmissible. An attorney can evaluate whether evidence is likely to be admitted and dispute the submission of inadmissible evidence in court.

Hiring a Chicago immigration attorney can bring many benefits that immigrants may not otherwise have during the legal process, often including options that go beyond pleading guilty.