Immigration Law

Helping With Immigration Problems

If you are a noncitizen convicted of a crime, you could be deported or denied citizenship. This can be devastating to your friends and family. At the Law Office of Robert F. Landheer, we try to find a solution that avoids immigration problems.

immigration law

Removing Past Criminal Convictions

A past criminal conviction or guilty/no contest plea can result in deportation. You may be able to withdraw your guilty plea if you did not know you could be deported. This can happen when there is no translator at the sentencing hearing or you receive bad advice from your attorney.

If you are a noncitizen who has been charged with a crime in Santa Barbara, you have two goals:

  • Avoid an ICE hold if you are incarcerated.
  • Remain in the country and seek adjustment of your status.

We can help you reach both goals.

California Moves To Protect Undocumented Population

On October 5, 2017, California Governor Jerry Brown signed the California Values Act, making California a "sanctuary state" beginning January 1, 2018.
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What crimes adversely affect my immigration status?

You can be deported if you are convicted of certain crimes:

  1. A crime involving a controlled substance
    • Even simple possession can affect your status. Other controlled substance crimes may have even more negative effects.
  2. A crime of moral turpitude
    • Many actions may constitute “moral turpitude." Basically, any offense involving fraud or dishonesty is a crime of moral turpitude. Sale of a controlled substance and forgery are in this group.
  3. An aggravated felony
    • Kidnapping and robbery are considered aggravated felonies in California.
  4. A crime of violence
    • Domestic violence offenses, such as assault and false imprisonment (e.g., locking someone in a closet), are in this category.

Our legal team will work with your immigration attorney. We will ensure that your criminal case is resolved in the most favorable light and with the fewest potential immigration consequences.

Getting documented

Obtaining proper immigration documentation can be complicated. An immigration attorney can help:

  • Start an application for citizenship.
  • Ensure your application is not returned for errors.
  • Represent you before the judge or hearing officer.

Reliable Immigration Advocates

Our firm includes reliable staff and attorneys. We can help you preserve the dream of becoming a citizen.
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Robert Landheer is a criminal law specialist with experience in immigration law.



immigration attorney



Russell Brown is a criminal defense attorney and native of Santa Barbara.




immigration law deportation green card asylum


Laura Ronchietto is an immigration consultant and advocate for immigrant rights.


If you are present in the United States you may apply for asylum. You must establish that you are a refugee facing persecution based on:

  • Race.
  • Religion.
  • Nationality.
  • Social membership.
  • Political opinion.

The credible testimony of a refugee may be enough to obtain asylum.

National Immigration Law Center