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Houston Criminal Defense Attorney - Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Art. 2.25

Houston Criminal Defense Attorney - Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Art. 2.25

The intersection between immigration and the criminal justice system is a topic of ongoing debate and concern. In an effort to address the issue, Texas implemented Art. 2.25, which outlines the requirement for judges to report certain individuals to the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service (USCIS) if they meet specific criteria. This blog post aims to shed light on the provisions and implications of Art. 2.25 of the Texas law, focusing on the reporting of convicted criminal aliens to the federal government.

Art. 2.25: Reporting Certain Aliens to Federal Government

According to Art. 2.25 of the Texas law, it is mandatory for a judge to report a person to the USCIS if they meet two criteria: (1) they have been convicted of a crime in the judge's court, or they have been placed on deferred adjudication for a felony, and (2) they are classified as an illegal criminal alien as defined by Section 493.015(a) of the Government Code.

The purpose of this reporting requirement is to notify federal immigration authorities of individuals who have been involved in criminal activity and are residing unlawfully in the country. By reporting such individuals, the state aims to facilitate cooperation between state and federal agencies in addressing the issue of criminal aliens.

Section 493.015(a) of the Government Code defines an illegal criminal alien as a person who is not a citizen or national of the United States, has been convicted of a crime, and is unlawfully present in the country.

It is important to give advice to individuals charged with a crime about potential immigration consequences. The Supreme Court case that established the requirement to notify individuals of their potential deportation is called Padilla v. Kentucky. This case was decided by the Supreme Court of the United States in 2010.

In Padilla v. Kentucky, the Court addressed the issue of whether defense attorneys have a duty to inform their noncitizen clients of the immigration consequences of pleading guilty to criminal charges. The case involved Jose Padilla, a lawful permanent resident of the United States who faced deportation as a result of a guilty plea to drug distribution charges. Padilla claimed that his defense attorney failed to advise him that his guilty plea would result in his automatic deportation.

The Supreme Court held that the Sixth Amendment's guarantee of effective assistance of counsel requires defense attorneys to inform their noncitizen clients about the potential immigration consequences of a guilty plea. The Court emphasized that deportation is a severe consequence that may be a "virtual certainty" for noncitizen defendants convicted of certain crimes. Therefore, attorneys must provide accurate advice regarding the risk of deportation to allow their clients to make informed decisions about how to proceed with their cases.

The ruling in Padilla v. Kentucky established that failure to provide such advice could constitute ineffective assistance of counsel, thereby violating the defendant's constitutional rights. As a result, individuals facing criminal charges, particularly noncitizens, are entitled to be notified about the immigration consequences of their potential guilty plea.

Art. 2.25. REPORTING CERTAIN ALIENS TO FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. A judge shall report to the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service a person who has been convicted in the judge's court of a crime or has been placed on deferred adjudication for a felony and is an illegal criminal alien as defined by Section 493.015(a), Government Code. Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 85, Sec. 2, eff. May 16, 1995.

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