Ana M. Mencini & Associates, P.C. Has Been Acquired by Unzueta Law Group, P.C.

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115 West Main Street, Bensenville, IL 60106

Case Stories


Client was charged with his 3rd DUI when he was found passed out in his car from drinking. The client was going through a very stressful period in his life with his grandfather passing away and his father being very sick.

We presented a full mitigation packet to the prosecutor and were able to convince them that another conviction for DUI would put our client out of work and hinder his ability to provide for his family and take care of his sick relatives.

After a lengthy negotiation process the prosecutor agreed to reduce the DUI charge to Reckless Driving and recommend that the client not spend one day in jail.


Client was charged with Delivery of a Controlled Substance and Possession with Intent to Deliver in an amount over 900 grams. The client was facing a mandatory prison term between 15 and 60 years.

Through careful negotiations with the prosecutor and the submittal of numerous mitigating factors we were able to secure a plea agreement that allowed the client to plead guilty to a Possession of a Controlled Substance charge and avoid going to prison.


Our client was charged with DUI and was facing a one-year suspension of his driving privileges. After a careful review of the police reports it was discovered that the police officers did not follow proper procedures during the arrest of our client. When the information was pointed out to the prosecutors, they agreed to rescind the Statutory Summary Suspension and immediately reinstate our client’s driving privileges.


Our client was charged with speeding and no insurance. He did not have insurance on the day he was ticketed but got it two weeks later. Even though he did not have insurance on the day of his arrest we were able to convince the prosecutor to dismiss the no insurance ticket and our client plead guilty to speeding and received court supervision and a minimal fine.

By having the no insurance charge dismissed the client did not have to secure costly SR-22 insurance in order to legally drive.


Our client was hired by a major drug dealer to transport a truckload of cocaine from California to Illinois. When he was stopped by the Illinois State Police, they found multiple kilos of cocaine and arrested him and charged him with Possession of a Controlled Substance with the Intent to Deliver, a charge that carried a sentence of a minimum of 15 years in the penitentiary. Our client was being held on a 10-million-dollar bond.

We conducted a bond hearing and presented substantial evidence that our client was a very small cog in the drug trafficking wheel and was simply trying to support his family by accepting a small fee to drive a truck. The judge agreed with us and reduced the bond a significant amount allowing our client to be released pending the trial of his case, so that he could continue to work and support his family.


Our client was charged with several counts of Domestic Battery to his girlfriend after he was drinking and got into a physical confrontation with her. Our client had never been in trouble before but admitted that he had a drinking problem. We were able to present evidence of our client’s battle with alcohol and got him into a treatment program that would help him get on a better path.

When presented with all of the facts and circumstances of our client’s background and the positive things he had accomplished the prosecutor agreed with us that our client’s behavior was an isolated incident and unlikely to occur again. The prosecutor agreed to allow our client into the Second Chance Program so that he would avoid a conviction on his case. When he successfully completed the terms of the program all of the charges against our client were dismissed.

Asylum Granted in FGM Case

We were contacted by a woman from Mali who had been searching for an immigration attorney who could handle her very sensitive and private case. In her home country of Mali as a child she had been the victim of Female Genital Mutilation (“FGM”) and because as an adult she had advocated for the end of the practice of FGM in her country, she was gang raped in retaliation.

Our Client fled to the United States but was so traumatized and suffering from PTSD that she was unable to retain counsel and file her asylum claim within a year of her entry, which is a requirement of asylum law.

Fortunately, our firm handles complex asylum cases and I was able to reassure our Client that there are exceptions to every rule and I was confident that we could not only overcome her failure to file within one year of entry but that we would prevail on her asylum claim.

It took over three years to get our Client’s case to trial but it was worth the time—our Client was granted asylum and the government did not appeal. Today our Client is a U.S. citizen!

There are exceptions to every rule, and because at Unzueta Law Group, P.C. we handle complex immigration cases, we know the rules and the exceptions to the rules and we are able to advocate vigorously for our clients.

Removal Proceedings Dismissed Because Client was not Removable

An attorney friend called our office a few years ago to tell us about her friend, who, upon returning from Mexico, where he had been on a family vacation, was detained at the airport. Her friend was a legal permanent resident of the United States and had been since he was a teenager. Unfortunately, about 20 years ago, he had been arrested twice for possession of a firearm. These 20-year-old offenses resulted in him being placed in removal (deportation) proceedings.

We took the case and assured her friend that we were confident that we could win his case. He was a textbook example of a client for whom we could win a cancellation of removal trial. He was a long-time resident of the United States, and other than his two 20-year-old convictions, he had never otherwise been in trouble, he had a number of U.S. citizen children, he was a business owner and well respected in the community, and he had strong ties to the United States.

As it happens in Immigration Court, the case dragged on through many years of cancelled dates and rescheduling between judges. Finally, we had a final trial date on the horizon. To prepare for trial, we reviewed the client’s case thoroughly and discovered that in the past three months, a new case had been decided in the 7th Circuit, which held that the statute under which the client was convicted was overbroad, and therefore, the client was no longer subject to being removed from the United States.

We prepared an argument for the Judge and presented it at court. The judge agreed with us but allowed District Counsel (the government attorney) time to respond. When we returned to court, the government put forward some arguments but ultimately, the judge agreed with us and dismissed the case.

We advised our client to immediately file for naturalization, which he did. After some rescheduling due to COVID-19, he was sworn in as a U.S. citizen late in the summer.

Although immigration law is very dynamic, at Unzueta Law Group, P.C., we monitor changes in the law on a daily basis to afford our clients the most effective and up to date representation possible.

The Potential Pitfalls of a Fiancée Visa

The fiancée visa can be a wonderful way for couples who fall in love overseas and want to marry in the United States to do so, but the fiancée visa can be a trap for those unfamiliar with the rigid rules involved.

We received a call from a potential client who was originally from India. He was in removal proceedings (deportation proceedings) and was desperate for someone to help him. He had come to the United States on a fiancée visa. He had married his future wife, and they began living together. However, very quickly, the relationship fell apart. Never having lived together before, the couple found themselves to be incompatible, and they separated quite quickly. At that point, the client had a good job, and his immediate and extended family were in the United States. He immediately called an attorney who advised him to have his mother apply for his green card, which she did, and the client became a legal permanent resident.

Shortly thereafter, the client met and married again, and the couple soon had a daughter. Unfortunately, when the daughter was a toddler, the client’s second wife was diagnosed with severe mental illness, and she returned to India to live with her parents because she could not care for her daughter here in the U.S. Our client became a single father who was also responsible for caring for his now ill mother.

In order to finalize his immigration status, the client filed for naturalization. It came as a complete surprise to him (and his previous attorney!) that not only could he not naturalize, he was not entitled to keep his green card because there is a rule stating that if you come into the U.S. on a fiancée visa, you can only get your green card through that fiancée. The U.S. government had made a mistake in giving him a green card! Now they wanted it back.

We ended up going to trial, and after showing the judge that our client had a spotless record in the U.S., was singlehandedly supporting his U.S. citizen daughter and his ill mother, the judge grated our request for cancellation of removal and the Client was given his green card—for real this time!

Won Cancellation of Removal for a Client from Mexico

We hear from many clients that they heard on the radio that if they have been in the U.S. for ten years, they can get a green card. As with many things, this is both true and not true. It is only true in the case where someone is in removal proceedings, and it can be raised as a defense—a person have been here for ten years, they have no criminal record, and they have a qualifying family member who has an extreme hardship preventing them from leaving the U.S. These grants of cancellations are numerically limited every year, so even in “good” cases, they are hard to win. However, we did.

Our client called to tell us that he had been placed in removal proceedings after a minor traffic incident. He had three kids—all born in the U.S.—and a wife who was suffering from multiple sclerosis. Our client had more than one traffic incident; he actually had quite a few. However, the care he provided for his wife and kids was extraordinary, and that is exactly what we proved to the judge.

After trial, our case was held until an available cancellation number was available, and then our client was granted his legal permanent residence. It was a wonderful help to the family to have his case resolved and his future in the U.S. secure.

It is a good thing that we won. Only a few years later, his wife passed away, and he is now taking care of his three kids on his own. Having a secure future in the U.S. helps him and his family in these tough times. We are glad we were a part of it.

Won 212(c) Relief

We received a call from a man who was facing removal (deportation) proceedings. He was scared. He was in his early 60s and was born in Italy, but he had been in the United States since he was 6 months old. He did not even speak Italian, and he had fought for the U.S. in Vietnam. Upon returning from a cruise, he was placed in removal proceedings due to a very old arrest from the early 1980s. He was scared.

After thoroughly reviewing his case, we discovered that at trial we could use an old form of relief called 212(c) relief. It was phased out years ago, but certain convictions still qualify for this defense. We were confident that we would win at trial.

On the day of trial, nearly 25 of our client's friends and family arrived at court. We had even more outside. After hearing the testimony, the judge granted our Client 212(c) relief. A cheer went up in the courtroom!

We quickly advised our client to naturalize, which he did, and he is now a U.S. citizen living happily with his wife. He might even go on another cruise someday!

Won Cancellation of Removal for Client from India

We received a call from a woman who was quite upset—and with good reason. She was supposed to be married on Saturday, and her husband to be was being detained by ICE. He had gone to O’Hare Airport to pick up a package his father had sent him, which was his wedding suit. At the airport, he encountered immigration officials who had asked to see his ID, and it was quickly discovered that he had overstayed his student visa and was no longer attending school.

We assured the woman that we could help, but it would take time, as do most immigration cases. She was a U.S. citizen, so we advised that the couple marry so that she could file a petition for her husband, which she did.

Many times, we can ask that simple case such as this one be dismissed and then adjudicated outside of court. Unfortunately, District Counsel did not want the case to be dismissed, so we went to trial. At trial, we showed that the couple was living together as a married couple and that the husband had never been arrested or done anything else that would prevent him from becoming a legal permanent resident, which he did when we won his case!

The Elusive U Visa

The U Visa is the visa developed to assist those who are the victims of a qualifying crime and help the police or other law enforcement in prosecuting the crime. This is a great help to law enforcement to ensure that crime victims are not scared to come forward. Unfortunately, these visas are numerically limited, and the wait list is long—many years in fact. We do win them.

A man called our office looking for help with his U Visa. He had been an H-1B employee in the U.S. when his employer began a campaign of harassment against him because he reported the employer for H-1B employment violations. The man had helped the Department of Labor to punish the employer for taking advantage of their H-1B workers. The retaliation my client faced was so bad that he actually had a stroke as a result of the abuse he faced. Now it was our job to get him a U Visa, which we did based on the extreme harassment he suffered. After obtaining the U Visa, our client remained in that status for three years, and then we applied for and won his green card. Having status in the U.S. allowed our client to get a better job and to get better healthcare to treat the lingering effects of his stroke. It has not been an easy path for him, but having a green card has made it a lot easier.

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