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 and Illinois crimes statute chart covers immigration consequences for Illinois offenses and provides defense attorneys with tools to zealously advocate for non-citizen clients in criminal court.