The judge never told me that pleading guilty could affect my immigration status!

I get contacted a lot by immigrants who pleaded guilty to minor crimes but then are surprised by the immigration consequences. For example,

I went to court in Georgia. I am a permanent resident. I plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of shoplifting and judge let me do it under a first offender plea. She asked me if I was a US citizen and I told her no. I was reading that you can ask for charge to be taken off if the judge never advised you that by pleading guilty and not being a US citizen can affect your immigration status. Cases that went in front of me the judge told them that for the ones that were not citizens and plead guilty.

This person decided to take care of her very minor shoplifting plea without a lawyer, and now is at risk of losing her green card and being deported.

Even worse, she cannot have her plea set aside under Padilla, and there is limited Georgia law in her favor.

The best thing to do in this situation is to hire a lawyer ASAP to try and have the plea set aside. There are strict time limits to when a plea can be withdrawn as a matter of right, and after that it largely depends on the grace of the prosecutor and the judge.