Reopening old cases
“Mark Lefcourt reopened and won two of my earlier DWLS charges. Not only did that get rid of my H.T.O. status and my 5 year suspension, it stopped the State Attorney’s office from being allowed to file the new charges as a felony”.
REOPEN CASES/ POST CONVICTION RELIEF
If you feel you were wrongly convicted or that your attorney didn’t do his or her due diligence, talk to The Criminal Defense Center PA about reopening your case.
From cleaning up records to improving your chances of finding a job to petitioning for a reduced sentence or overturning a sentence, I’ll work hard to defend your rights, to protect your interests, and to change your life.
“JUST BECAUSE YOU’VE LOST AN OLD CASE DOES NOT MEAN THAT THE MATTER IS OVER.”
REASONS YOU SHOULD CONSIDER ATTEMPTING TO REOPEN YOUR CLOSED CASE
- Fear of losing your job
- Fear of Deportation
- Driver’s License Suspensions
- The ability to Seal or Expunge your record
- Methods for reopening cases
- Mug shots on the Internet
Can you really open an old case? YES
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is an American immigration policy started by the Obama Administration in June 2012 that allows certain undocumented immigrants to United States to enter the country is minors to receive a renewable two-year period ofdeferred action from deportation in eligibility for a work permit. To be eligible, immigrants must have entered the United States before their 16th birthday and before June 2007, currently being school, high school graduate or be honorably discharged from the military, the under age 31 as of June 15, 2015, and have not been convicted of a felony, significant mean misdemeanor or otherwise pose a threat to national security.
If you were considering reopening your case to take advantage of DACA, you should understand what a felony is and what are the significant misdemeanors that may prohibit your ability apply under DACA.
I. Immigration Consequences/Deportability;
II. Habitualized Driver’s License;
Why would anyone want to reopen an old criminal case?
Criminal Law & Immigration:
The Immigration and Nationality Act specifically discuss both the crimes and conduct which make aliens deportable and/or inadmissible. Being deportable under INA 237 or inadmissible under INA 212 leads to the same results of subject to removal as provided by INA Section 240.
Many individuals do not realize the consequences of their convictions even though it probably was explained to a lesser extent in their plea colloquy, until after the individual file forms I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Bureau of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The form I-485 allows for an Immigration Visa to be immediately available at the time of the application subject to the individual being admissible to U.S. for permanent residence. The form I-485 will be denied as the result of certain criminal court proceedings because the individual is found to be inadmissible for permanent residence as described in Section 212(a)(2) and 8 U.S.C. Section 1182(a)(2).
With respect to Immigration both in practice and as defined in Section INA 101 a(48A) and 8 U.S. Code § 1101 a(48A) a conviction a defined as nay form or finding of guilt whether or not adjudication was withheld. There are no exceptions even for a Suspended Entry of Sentence.
REOPENING CLOSED CASES FOR IMMIGRATION PURPOSES
At the Criminal Defense Center, P.A. we are often approached by individuals who need our “Time-machine” to correct a problem from their past either to become nationalized or to avoid deportation. Post-Conviction Relief work can be complicated, subject to interpretation in other words in several different depending on public opinion. Listed below are the important factors that must be investigated when attempting to reopen a closed case:
- Was the case closed within the past 2 years?
- The reason for needing to reopen the case, did that reason come to light within the past 2 years?
- Is the case that needs to be reopened a Felony or Misdemeanor?
- Is there more than one case that needs to be reopened?
- Is the case a violent crime?
- How long has the person been with the United States? Are they otherwise a productive member of society?
- Has new evidence come to light that had not been turned over or otherwise could not be found when the case was closed?
- Was there an Attorney handling the original case?
- Did the Attorney work the case well enough to determine that due process was satisfied or did they simply take the money and plea the case out?
- Did the original Attorney take the time to explain all the consequences of the plea to the Defendant; including, but not limited to: the Immigration Consequences, he likelihood of winning at trial, the minimum and maximum penalties, and otherwise take the time to interview all witnesses that may have exculpated the Defendant?
A State Attorney may be sympathetic that an otherwise Law Abiding Citizen who made a mistake in his or her youth is being deported. However, imagine how the system would shut down if every single person who was deportable needed to reopen a prior criminal case. Please call us at 305-567-1011 to discuss your case(s). Be prepared to answer the questions listed above in order that we may be even more helpful.
HABITUAL TRAFFIC OFFENDERS:
Tons of thousands of people are driving around Florida on a suspended Driver’s License. The active knowingly driving on a suspended License is in and of itself a crime. Any individual found guilty of knowingly driving on a Suspended Driver’s License three (3) times within a 5-year period will become HABITUALIZED (they will lose their Driver’s License for 5 years).
Conceivably an individual can be an excellent driver, have a single infraction and due to negligence/irresponsibility wind up with criminal charges and/or a 5-year revocation of their Driver’s License. The Criminal Defense Center, P.A. has met with so many people that specifically told them that there was nothing they could do except perhaps wait one year, without any driving, and then apply for a Hardship License. They are shocked to hear that there are options to get their Driving Privileges reinstated reasonably quickly. The process, while seemingly simple and orderly can be somewhat nightmarish but works like this:
- An in-depth analysis by a qualified Attorney for a complete driving record of a potential client.
- Making a determination as to which cases are causing the defendant’s license to be habitualized.
- Taking those cases and deciphering who was there judge? Who is now the Judge in that division? Who is the court reporter in that division? Who is the State Attorney assigned to that division? Is the court file in the computer or is it a paper file?
- Has it been destroyed? What paperwork is part of the file i.e. Was there a waiver of rights? Was there a Plea in Absentia?
- Meeting with the Court Reporter(s)
- Transcribe all court conversation from the date the case was being heard
- Ensuring that there was a proper plea colloquy, ensuring that the individual was warned of the consequences of taking such a plea; including, but not limited to:
the 5-year revocation of his/her Driving Privilege, whether or not there was an Attorney assisting the Defendant, whether or not the Attorney was ensured that a low threshold of due process was reached (defendants are not guaranteed perfect trials or representation… only legally sufficient).
While the process is lengthy and sometimes tedious, we have been extremely successful in restoring the driving privileges of many. As you can imagine this is not an inexpensive task but the ability to legally drive an otherwise provide for your family… priceless.
This topic is pretty much self-explanatory. Many people past catches up to them while their life is progressing. Jobs that may become available to individuals but for their criminal records happen often.
Additionally, professions including doctors, lawyers, pilots, nurses, stock-brokers, etc. have certain certifications, State or otherwise that allow them to practice in their field. Post-Conviction relief is needed for those individuals to keep/get prospective jobs and/or get their registration/certification. Please call us at 305-567-1011 if you would ever like to use our TIME-MACHINE. While we can’t go back in time, we can attempt the next best thing and challenge the old criminal cases that are causing disruption to your life’s goals.