When a noncitizen of the United States is charged with a state crime, and our office has been appointed, our attorneys will provide information on the potential immigration consequences. An assessment of the potential immigration consequences depends upon a variety of factors, and requires detailed information about the client’s immigration and criminal history. Through negotiations with the prosecutor, public defenders will attempt to obtain an immigration-neutral plea and sentence.
Additionally, our office assists eligible clients with requests for post-conviction relief to overcome a criminal bar to an immigration benefit, or relief from removal. Many forms of relief are available through our Clean Slate Program. Other relief requires a more complex analysis and is generally not offered without a court appointment.
Courts do not appoint the Public Defender Office solely to provide immigration advice. Thus, our office does not give advice on immigration law to individuals who are not our clients. There are a number of free or low-cost screening and other consultations available in the Fresno area. Spanish speakers may access the list through this link: Central Valley Immigration Integration Collaborative Legal Services Directory Spanish