Understanding how a criminal conviction can have incidental consequences in other areas of law
To explore some of those areas, MyTrafficMan.net’s Ziad I Youssef launches a three-part series on the intersection of Criminal Law and other areas of law, such as immigration, landlord-tenant and even bankruptcy.
Criminal Law + Immigration Law
Immigration lawyer Gabriel Harrison says many criminal convictions carry severe immigration consequences, including permanent loss of one’s status, and removal from the United States. “That means it’s essential to understand the nature of your conviction, as well as the correlating effect that conviction will have on your immigration status,” Harrison explains.
“It’s also important to know that these consequences will vary based on a person’s status,” he adds. “For example, an identical conviction in Washington State may affect a lawful permanent resident differently than an undocumented alien. Likewise, the length of one’s sentence, and the language of a plea deal, can determine how the conviction will translate in the immigration context. As such, it’s very important for criminal defense attorneys to identify their client’s particular immigration status, and to develop a strategy accordingly. This is a complicated process best performed by knowledgeable attorneys, and it works best when criminal defense attorneys work directly with an immigration attorney to address the specific needs of one’s case.”
Criminal Law + Bankruptcy Law
Emily Mowrey, of limitlesslaw.com, points out that in Bankruptcy Law, citations for driving under the influence or other criminal citations often come with a variety of other legal challenges. “Unpaid tickets can lead to suspension of a driver’s license, which then makes it more difficult for a client to get to work and earn funds to pay off their fines,” Mowrey says.
Unfortunately, traffic and criminal fines are not eligible to be discharged under a Chapter 7 bankruptcy but an experienced attorney can help design a Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan that allows clients to pay their fines at an affordable rate based on their income, while wiping out other debts like credit card and medical bills and getting back their license so they can keep their job, Mowrey says.
Even after working through legal problems with thousands of community members, Youssef still sees new scenarios where a criminal conviction or even an arrest can interfere with a person’s life and career plans.
“So, after more than 14 years as a Criminal Defense Attorney, I appreciate the value of being connected to a network of top-caliber lawyers for input on other elements of the law,” he says. “These considerations can have a huge impact on a case, so having the proper resources to understand the connection between Criminal Defense and other law is a valuable strategy consideration in your criminal charge.”
Learn more at www.mytrafficman.net
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