Padilla & the Immigration
Consequences  of
Criminal Convictions

A permanent resident (green card holder) for over 40 years, the complaintant in Padilla v. Kentucky was placed in deportation proceedings following a guilty plea in a criminal case. Prior to the plea, he wasn't informed of the specific knowable immigraiton consequences of his guilty plea. In a landmark decision, the Supreme Court decided the failure to provide this advice violated the U.S. Constitution's Sixth Amendment right to effective assistance of counsel. Mr. Padilla, as a result, was allowed to withdraw his guilty plea.

Padilla v. Commonwealth of Kentucky, 559 U.S. 356 (2010)

All non-citizens should speak to an immigration attorney before pleading guilty to ANY criminal charge. 


Can I ask for my plea to be withdrawn if I received a stay of adjudication?

Stays of adjudication present a special challenge for non-citizens in Minnesota. Although the state does not treat these resolutions as convictions, immigration law does treat them as convictions. However, because they are not convictions under Minnesota Law, the Court of Appeals has held that, in general, post-conviction relief in the form of a motion to withdraw plea is not available. See Lunzer v. State, 874 N.W.2d 819 (Minn. Ct. App. 2016).  

Is a conviction as a petty offense in Minnesota a conviction for immigration purposes?

Until very recently it was believed that a petty offense, not considered to be a crime by the State of Minnesota and not punishable by jail, would not be viewed as a criminal conviction for immigration purposes. Based on very recent decisions by our local immigration court and USCIS office, this may no longer be the case. Any non-citizen who has been convicted of any crime in Minnesota should speak to an immigration attorney before applying for relief of any kind.