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Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal

SCOTUS: PADILLA v. KENTUCKY 555 U. S. ___ (2009)

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The United States Supreme Court has just granted cert. on a case involving the issue of whether as a matter of federal law, counsel has an obligation to advise a defendant that pleading guilty to a certain offense will result in their removal from the United States.

The Court ruled that constitutionally competent counsel must advise that a conviction would subject an individual to automatic deportation finding that:

"It is our responsibility under the Constitution to ensure that no criminal defendant--whether a citizen or not--is left to the "mercies of incompetent counsel." Richardson, 397 U. S., at 771. To satisfy this responsibility, we now hold that counsel must inform her client whether his plea carries a risk of deportation. Our longstanding Sixth Amendment precedents, the seriousness of deportation as a consequence of a criminal plea, and the concomitant impact of deportation on families living lawfully in this country demand no less."

The case has been remanded back to the the Supreme Court of Kentucky.

Score one for the little guy.

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