In 2010, the United States Supreme Court held that the Sixth Amendment requires criminal defense attorneys to advise non-citizen defendants of the immigration consequences of a criminal conviction. Padilla v. Kentucky, 559 U.S. 356 (2010). Failure to accurately and fully advise a non-citizen client about immigration consequences of their plea disposition can result in a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel. The Regional Immigration Assistance Center was established to provide assigned counsel with access to free expert immigration assistance to ensure compliance with Padilla v. Kentucky.
The Regional Immigration Assistance Center provides individualized case assistance for assigned counsel and public defender offices in the Lower Hudson Valley. In detailed written advisals, we provide criminal and family defense attorneys with expert legal advice regarding the immigration consequences of their client's charges and potential dispositions, as well as recommendations on how to mitigate any such consequences. The RIAC also assists attorneys representing non-citizens on appeals and other forms of post-conviction relief.
Our office also provides trainings, workshops, and CLE lectures on issues pertaining to representation of non-citizens in the criminal legal system. Please contact us if your organization would like us to host a lecture, training, or workshop.
If you are a public defender, legal aid attorney, or assigned counsel on a criminal or family court case for a non-citizen client, please fill out our Intake Form. We will contact you promptly to confirm receipt of your request and will provide you with a written advisal as soon as possible.