Consultations for Noncitizen Criminal Defendants and Their Defense Counsel

If you are not a citizen of the United States, you should immediately seek advice from an immigration attorney upon being arrested or charged with a crime. Even some misdemeanor offenses with little or no jail time may result in removal (deportation) proceedings, mandatory detention during those proceedings, loss of permanent resident status, and inadmissibility to return to the U.S. for life. Other crimes do not carry such severe consequences, but may result in denial of naturalization to U.S. citizenship.

Scott Mossman often works with public defenders and criminal defense attorneys to minimize the immigration consequences of a criminal plea. In particular, he regularly advises the nine attorneys at Summit Defense PLC, where Scott is an "of counsel" attorney. His clients often face criminal charges for domestic violence (PC 243(e)(1), 245, PC 273.5, PC 236/237, PC 422), theft or burglary (PC 459, PC 484/487/488, PC 496, PC 490.1), insurance fraud (PC 550), DUI (VC 23152), or various sex offenses (PC 243.4, PC 261.5, PC 288, PC 647(b)).

Scott also maintains a blog,, that analyzes recent judicial opinions on the immigration consequences of criminal convictions.

In Padilla v. Kentucky, 130 S. Ct. 1473 (2010), the Supreme Court recognized the importance of advice on the immigration consequences of a criminal conviction. For more information about Padilla click here.

Scott's services include a thorough review of the defendant's criminal and immigration histories, consultation with the criminal defense attorney if the evaluation occurs before conviction, and a confidential opinion letter that explains his advice and the steps to take to minimize the immigration harm from the disposition of the criminal case.

If the noncitizen defendant is in custody at a local jail with an ICE hold (a detainer under 8 CFR 287.7), Scott can meet with the defendant in-person to take a detailed immigration history and provide advice on potential options. Scott is available for confidential attorney-client visits at the following jails:

  • Alameda County: Santa Rita Jail and Glenn E. Dyer (North County) Detention Facility
  • Contra Costa County: Martinez Detention Facility and West County Detention Facility
  • Hayward Police Department Detention Facility.
  • Marin County Jail
  • San Francisco County: Hall of Justice and San Bruno Complex
  • San Mateo County: Maguire Correctional Facility
  • Santa Clara County: San Jose Main Jail and Elmwood Correctional Complex
  • Other jails and prisons in the San Francisco Bay Area

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