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Removal Proceedings Hound Immigrant Convicted of Drug Charges

barbed-wire-482608_1280For undocumented immigrants, the consequences of removal proceedings can be harrowing. Several recorded cases of immigrants being deported back to their countries of origin have occurred as a result of a felony that they have committed while on U.S. soil. It is interesting to note that not all deportation cases carry a sense of finality about them. There may be instances when a deportation ruling may be reversed due to extenuating circumstances. A clear example of this case can be seen in Renato DeBartolo’s experience with removal proceedings. DeBartolo immigrated to the United States with the rest of his family when he was only one year old. Unlike the rest of his family members, DeBartolo opted not to apply for U.S. citizenship. DeBartolo ended up marrying an American citizen and sired children who bore U.S. citizenship as well.

DeBartolo has never been to Italy nor does he know how to speak Italian. By all accounts, DeBartolo was raised in an all American milieu for most of his life. DeBartolo’s problems started when he committed a number of serious felonies. DeBartolo resided in Indiana and owned a small construction company there from 2008 to 2010. In 1996, DeBartolo was sentenced to prison for distributing cocaine. As a result of this crime, DeBartolo was sentenced to Prison for 8 years. After 4 years of being incarcerated, DeBartolo was released. During DeBartolo’s first run-in with the law, removal proceedings were not initiated against him.

In 2011, DeBartolo committed another felony. This time, the accused was charged with possessing marijuana. The court found DeBartolo guilty of possessing the drug with intent to distribute. DeBartolo had more than 100 marijuana plants and was growing more than 100 other marijuana plants. DeBartolo pleaded guilty to the charges leveled against him. Given the circumstances, DeBartolo stood to serve a minimum prison sentence of 5 years.

DeBartolo managed to work his way around the prison sentence by opting to assist the government. The accused gave officials vital information regarding other drug dealers who were operating in his area. As a result of his cooperation, the court decided to whittle down his sentence to 25 months in prison. At the time, DeBartolo was not aware of the fact that deportation proceedings were being leveled against him. After he completed his prison sentence, DeBartolo was deported to Italy. DeBartolo managed to file a motion claiming that his legal counsel did not inform him about the possibility of being deported. The judge presiding over his case denied his petition but the Seventh Circuit reversed that decision with the justification that DeBartolo’s assistance and accomplished prison term were enough to exonerate him.

Cases involving removal proceedings require the knowledge of a capable team of lawyers. If you or someone you know needs legal counsel regarding immigration issues, please contact the immigration attorneys at Lyttle Law Firm in Austin, Texas by visiting our website or calling us today at 512-215-5225.