Decided April 23, 2019
As a lawyer who specializes in crimmigration (the intersection between criminal law and immigration), it is always frustrating when a deputy district attorney tells me that they cannot consider the immigration consequences of a criminal conviction because it would be unfair to treat people differently. The truth is that NOT considering the immigration consequences of a crime when offering a plea deal is treating people differently. This memo from the Denver District Attorney is a common sense fix to this misconceived logic set out in a thoughtful manner.

Unless these immigration effects are taken into consideration by deputy district attorneys in appropriate circumstances, some defendants will be exposed to direct consequences that were not intended by the prosecutor in light of the facts and significance of the criminal offense and the background and history of the defendant. Consideration of the impact of consequences, particularly in the context of immigration consequences, is consistent with the duty of all prosecutors to pursue justice by prosecuting the guilty, protecting the innocent, and ensuring that the punishment fits the crime.

Hopefully more district attorney offices throughout Colorado and the United States will catch on and take lesson from our Denver’s DA.