Brief Guide to Representing Noncitizen Criminal Defendants in Illinois
Federal immigration law imposes severe consequences on non-citizens with criminal histories. Even convictions for relatively minor offenses can lead to deportation, including for lawful permanent residents who have lived in the United States for decades. Although non-citizens can also face deportation after being convicted on federal charges, most non-citizens who are deported on criminal grounds are deported because of state criminal convictions. Because of this, defense attorneys must have a basic knowledge of immigration law to advise their non-citizen clients of the immigration consequences of certain criminal convictions. This manual provides Illinois defense attorneys with tools to zealously advocate for non-citizen clients in criminal court.