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Recent Victories for Trupiano Law in Criminal Defense of Aliens to Avoid Adverse Immigration Consequences

Salt Lake area law firm, practicing in immigration and criminaljuvenile defense

If you are looking for a criminal defense and/or immigration defense lawyer for yourself or a loved one, you want positive results. We agree in that objective and aggressively pursue the best possible results for our clients. Below is a list, which is not all inclusive, of representative cases involving clients who were charged with criminal offense and who had to be careful due to immigration.

Criminal Defense of Non-United States Citizens (aliens) with immigration issues

Trupiano Law Obtains Full Dismissals

K. E. – Case No. 071404214, Fourth Judicial District, Utah County
Ms. E, an international student from Kenya, Africa, was charged with:

  • Identity Fraud, 2d Felony, and
  • Theft, 2d Felony

All charges were crimes involving moral turpitude under the Immigration and Naturalization Act which would make Ms. S. deportable and inadmissible under INA § 212(a)(2)(A)(i)(I)[1] or INA § 237(a)(2)(A)(i)(I)[2]. Trupiano Law obtained full dismissal of all charges where Trupiano Law filed a motion to dismiss with memorandum of law and exhibits in addition to subpoenaing complainant’s records. The case was subsequently dismissed by request of prosecutor Chad E. Grunander who confirmed it was based on grounds raised in Trupiano Law’s motion to dismiss. This prevented Ms. E from being subject to deportation or inadmissibility as a result of any of these criminal convictions.

[1] 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(2)(A)(i)(I).

[2] 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(A)(i)(I).

R. S. – Case No 081700416, Second Judicial District, Davis County
Mr. S, a native and citizen of South Africa, who was in the United States on a student F-1 visa, was charged with

  • Theft, a Class A misdemeanor, in violation of Utah Code Ann. § 76-6-404.

Trupiano Law obtained a full dismissal of this case where Mr. S, a citizen of South Africa, was wrongfully charged with theft, a class A misdemeanor. Successful prosecution of the theft charges could have made Mr. S inadmissible under INA 212(a)(2)(i)(I) where it would be deemed a crime involving moral turpitude. This would have prevented Mr. S from adjusting his status to a lawful permanent resident through his United States citizen wife.

K. E. – Case No. 081400019, Fourth Judicial District, Utah County
Ms. E, an international student from Kenya, Africa, was charged again with a second matter involving:

  • two counts of Identity Fraud, 3d Felony, and
  • one count of Theft, 2d Felony.

All charges would have likely been deemed crimes involving moral turpitude under the Immigration and Naturalization Act which would make Ms. S. deportable and inadmissible (unable to reenter the United States or adjust her status to a legal permanent resident). Trupiano Law obtained full dismissal of all charges where it filed a successful motion to dismiss with memorandum of law and exhibits in addition to subpoenaing complainant’s records. The case was subsequently dismissed by request of prosecutor Chad E. Grunander who confirmed it was based on grounds raised in Trupiano Law’s motion to dismiss.

Trupiano Law Obtains Successful Outcome to Avoid Adverse Immigration Consequences for Aliens Charged with Criminal Offenses

R. O. – Case No. 081100704, First Judicial District, Cache County, and Immigration Court, Salt Lake City, Utah
Synopsis: Trupiano Law successfully obtained the withdrawal of Mr. O’s pleas of guilty to aggravated assault and simple assault so that he was able to be released on immigration bond and pursue cancellation of removal before an immigration judge.

Mr. O, a native and citizen of Mexico, was charged with:

  • One count of aggravated assault, a third degree felony, in violation of Utah Code Ann. § 76-5-103,
  • Two counts of simple assault, class B misdemeanor, in violation of Utah Code Ann. § 76-5-102,
  • One count of criminal mischief – intentional damage, class B misdemeanor, in violation of Utah Code Ann. § 76-6-106(2)(C)-(D).
  • One count of driving on a denied driver’s license, class C misdemeanor, in violation of Utah Code Ann. § 53-3-227.

Within only a few days after he was charged, based on advice of an attorney who had merely looked at the police report and knew nothing of Mr. O’s facts or immigration status, Mr. O pled guilty to aggravated domestic violence assault and one count of simple assault. That is, Mr. O pled guilty without understanding whether he had a good defense or what the criminal and immigration consequences of such a guilty plea was. Trupiano Law was hired and quickly moved to withdraw the guilty pleas as unknowingly entered. Ultimately, the court granted the motion to withdraw the guilty pleas.

Within a few days of being in custody for the domestic violence case, before Trupiano Law was hired, Mr. O had been placed in immigration removal proceedings (this used to be called “deportation proceedings and is now called “removal proceedings”) because ICE[3] found him at

the Cache County jail and deemed him to be in the United States illegally. (He had entered without inspection.) Trupiano Law argued before the immigration judge that the guilty pleas (before they were withdrawn) did not make him subject to mandatory detention under INA § 236(c):

The definition of “conviction” is where the following elements are present: (1) a judge or jury has found the alien guilty, or the person entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere or has admitted sufficient facts to warrant a finding of guilt; and (2) the judge has ordered some form of punishment, penalty or restraint on the person’s liberty to be imposed. See INA § 101(a) (48) (A); 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a) (48) (A). The federal definition of a conviction is the “formal judgment of guilty” which occurs at the time of sentencing, not jury adjudication or entry of guilty plea. See Fed.R.Cri.P. 32(d) (1). Thus, Respondent does not currently have any convictions.

The immigration judge agreed that the guilty pleas were not yet “convictions” and thus Mr. O was not subject to mandatory detention. However, if Trupiano Law had allowed Mr. O to be sentenced as is, this could have made problems for him with his immigration case. As it was, withdrawal of the pleas enabled him to be released on an immigration bond and to pursue cancellation of removal. See INA § 240A (b); 8 U.S.C. § 1229b (b).[4] Having a conviction for aggravated assault could have interfered with his ability to prove good moral character in immigration court.

[3] “ICE” refers to “Immigration and Customs Enforcement,” the law enforcement arm of for immigration law of the Department of Homeland Security.

Y. S. – Case No. 081401198, Fourth Judicial District, Utah County
Ms. S, a native and citizen of Russia here on as a student with an F-1 visa, was charged with

  • Theft of Services, 3d Felony, in violation of Utah Code Ann. § 76-6-409, and
  • Identity Fraud, 3d Felony, in violation of Utah Code Ann. § 76-6-1102.

Trupiano Law obtained an extremely favorable plea deal and sentencing to ensure the case did not make Ms. S deportable or inadmissible so that she could continue her F-1 student status at Brigham Young University.

Trupiano Law was careful in the criminal representation of Ms. S’s case in consideration of Ms. S.’s status in the United States as an international student from Russia. The original charges of Theft of Services, 3d Felony, and Identity Fraud, 3d Felony, would have made Ms. S. deportable. Both are crimes involving moral turpitude under the Immigration and Naturalization Act which would make Ms. S. deportable if she pled to them. Trupiano Law obtained a plea deal for one Class A misdemeanor of unlawful possession of another’s ID documents with favorable sentencing of no jail, no probation, and credit for community service served. Judge Claudia Laycock closed the case the same day of sentencing based on Trupiano Law’s motion Defendant’s Memorandum of Law regarding the Court’s Sentencing Authority and Defendant’s Motion for Sentencing Consideration and Request for Leniency with attached exhibits. Trupiano Law prepared a legal argument that this conviction for one Class A misdemeanor of unlawful possession of another’s ID documents is not a crime involving moral turpitude and thus would

not make an alien inadmissible under INA § 212(a)(2)(A)(i)(I) or INA § 237(a)(2)(A)(i)(I). The sentencing was a back-up to enable this conviction to qualify as a petty crime exception under INA § 212(a)(2)(A)(ii)(II) so that it would not make Ms. S. deportable or ruin her changes to ever come back to the United States or adjust to a legal permanent resident in the future.

[4] Pursuant to the Act, a respondent must prove that he or she: 1) has good moral character; 2) has resided continuously in the United States for a minimum of ten years; 3) has no restrictive convictions; and 4) has qualifying relatives (United States children and/or spouse) who would suffer extreme and unusual hardship if the respondent were to be deported. See INA § 240A(b)(1); 8 U.S.C. §1229b(b)(1).

A. N. – Case No. 091500211, Third Judicial District Court, Summit County
Ms. N was charged with

  • Theft, a third degree felony, in violation of Utah Code Ann. § 76-6-404.

Ms. N is a native and citizen of Canada. She needs to be able to enter the United States often and cannot afford to be rendered deportable or inadmissible. After conducting a thorough defense investigation, Trupiano Law was able to obtain a plea negotiation that reduced Ms. N’s charge to an offense that fell under the petty crime exception under INA § 212(a)(2)(A)(ii)(II).

S. S. – Case No. 081401199, Fourth Judicial District, Utah County
Ms. S, a native and citizen of Mexico here as a student on an F-1 visa, was charged with

  • Theft of Services, 3d Felony, in violation of Utah Code Ann. § 76-6-409, and
  • Identity Fraud, 3d Felony, in violation of Utah Code Ann. § 76-6-1102.

Trupiano Law obtained an extremely favorable plea deal and sentencing to ensure the case did not make Ms. S deportable or inadmissible so that she could continue her F-1 student status at Brigham Young University.

The original charges of Theft of Services, 3d Felony, and Identity Fraud, 3d Felony, would have made Ms. S deportable. Both are crimes involving moral turpitude under the Immigration and Naturalization Act which would make Ms. S deportable if she pled to them. Trupiano Law obtained a plea deal for one Class A misdemeanor of unlawful possession of another’s ID documents with favorable sentencing of no jail, no probation, and credit for community service served. Judge Claudia Laycock closed the case the same day of sentencing based on Trupiano Law’s motion Defendant’s Memorandum of Law regarding the Court’s Sentencing Authority and Defendant’s Motion for Sentencing Consideration and Request for Leniency with attached exhibits. Trupiano Law prepared a legal argument that this conviction for one Class A misdemeanor of unlawful possession of another’s ID documents is not a crime involving moral turpitude and thus would not make an alien inadmissible under INA § 212(a)(2)(A)(i)(I) [8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(2)(A)(i)(I)] or INA § 237(a)(2)(A)(i)(I) [8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(A)(i)(I)]. The sentencing was a back-up to enable this conviction to qualify as a petty crime exception under INA § 212(a)(2)(A)(ii)(II) so that it would not make Ms. S. deportable or ruin her changes to ever come back to the United States or adjust to a legal permanent resident in the future. Thus, Trupiano Law obtained an extremely favorable plea deal and sentencing to ensure the case did not make Ms. S deportable or inadmissible so that she could continue her F-1 student status at Brigham Young University.