|The last twenty years have seen a very drastic increase in the severity of the immigration consequences of criminal convictions, and, in some circumstances, for criminal conduct, even if it did not result in an arrest or conviction. For this reason, it is more important than ever that the criminal defense of a noncitizen focus not just on minimizing time in custody, but equally on avoiding the deportation that the noncitizen may face upon completion of their sentence. In California, criminal defense attorneys are required to inform their noncitizen clients of the actual immigration consequences involved in the particular defense strategy, such as a plea agreement. However, it is not uncommon to find that the client has not in fact received that critical information. Far too often the immigration consequences have not been taken into account because the attorney does not see their job as including a defense of the client from the severe immigration consequences. That being said, there are many criminal defense attorneys who are skilled at providing a defense that attempts to mitigate the possibility of deportation at the same time as reducing the possible time spent in custody. For clients who have a history that includes criminal conduct it is important to determine the exact immigration consequences of that activity prior to traveling or filing an application with USCIS. Either is these actions can bring the existence of the criminal conduct to the attention of USCIS, and this can result in very drastic consequences.