Immigration Consequences of Pretrial Diversion and Intervention Agreements

Post-Conviction Relief
Publication Date

Immigration law has its own definition of what constitutes a criminal conviction. The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) and other courts have held that certain types of pretrial diversion and intervention agreements that result in dismissal under state law can still constitute a conviction for immigration purposes. Practitioners must pay close attention to the structure of such agreements, and the variety of available diversion programs, when evaluating a client’s criminal history and advising about the potential immigration consequences of criminal offenses and dispositions. This advisory discusses when such diversion agreements and programs will constitute a conviction for immigration purposes, strategies to avoid triggering an immigration conviction, and tips for advocating for “immigration-safe” agreements.