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Peter J. Thompson

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Personal Attention for Important Legal Matters
  • Immigration Law, Criminal Law, International Law
  • Pennsylvania
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John Rafferty
John Rafferty July 22, 2023
Rating: 10 Lawyer Rating - 10 out of 10
Peter is a smart, passionate, kind, and thoughtful attorney. Whether his clients need him for a large or small matter, Peter will solve the problem presented to him, and will do so excellently.
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Tireless. Focused. Trusted and zealous advocate. Peter aggressively and creatively handles pressing legal matters, as he has for over 24 years. A trial attorney whose sole dedication is representing individuals, he is a recognized specialist is three distinct yet related areas: Immigration, Criminal Law and Trial Advocacy.

A dedicated representative of the people, he also trains other attorneys and judges and future lawyers in these matters. He is an honors graduate of Temple Law Trial Advocacy program, Professor of Law, Author, and NITA faculty member. Even simple criminal and immigration matters are serious, work with someone with time-tested answers.

Practice Areas
Immigration Law
Asylum, Citizenship, Deportation Defense, Family Visas, Green Cards, Immigration Appeals, Investment Visas, Marriage & Fiancé(e) Visas, Student Visas, Visitor Visas, Work Visas
Criminal Law
Criminal Appeals, Drug Crimes, Expungement, Fraud, Gun Crimes, Internet Crimes, Sex Crimes, Theft, Violent Crimes
International Law
Human Rights
Additional Practice Areas
  • Expert services for Lawyers, Immigration Consequences ("Padilla Advice")
  • Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction
Video Conferencing
  • FaceTime
  • Zoom
  • Microsoft Teams
  • WebEx
  • WhatsApp
  • Credit Cards Accepted
  • Rates, Retainers and Additional Information
    Payment plans are available upon request.
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
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3rd Circuit
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5th Circuit
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U.S. Supreme Court
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United States District Court, Eastern & Middle Districts of Pennsylvania
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  • English: Spoken, Written
Professional Experience
Attorney, Founder
Thompson Law Advocates, P.C.
Since 2014; Private Law Firm Dedicated to the Legal Representation of Individuals in Immigration Court, Hearings before USCIS, and Federal Criminal Court Proceedings, and Select Representation in State Court Proceedings, Federal Investigations and Hague Convention Hearings, and providing Immigration Consequences (Padilla) Advice.
National Academy of Continuing Legal Education
- Current
Teach Lawyers Nationally about: Crimmigration Essentials: What Attorneys Need to Know, Creative Client Representation in Times of Change: How Changing Administrations Change Your Immigration Practice, and Nuts and Bolts of Immigration Law for Criminal Defense Attorneys.(https://www.nacle.com)
Panel Member
Criminal Justice Act Panel (CJA) EDPA
- Current
Court Appointed Representation of Indigent Federal Defendants in District (Trial) Court and Circuit (Appellate) Court.
Associate Professor of Law, Immigration Law Clinic Founder
Charlotte School of Law
Director, Defender Immigration Project
Defenders Association of Philadelphia
Unit Devoted to Supporting Non-citizens in State Criminal Court Proceedings.
Adjunct Professor, Political Science Dept.
Villanova University
Teaching Immigration Law, International Law, International Relations
Trial and Appellate Attorney
Defenders Association of Philadelphia
Temple University Beasley School of Law
LL.M. (2004) | Trial Advocacy
First Honors in Trial Advocacy
Temple University Beasley School of Law Logo
Villanova University School of Law
J.D. (1998) | Law
Wyn Llewellyn Award (Excellence in Client Counseling); University Senator (Law School Elected Representative); Externship – U.S. Attorneys Office, Philadelphia
Villanova University School of Law Logo
Widener University
M.Ed. (1994) | Secondary Education & Teaching
Professional Teaching Certification; Graduate Scholarship
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Villanova University
B.A. (1992)
Activities: Honors classes; Peace and Justice Center; University Board of Trustees, Academic Committee
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Lawyer of Distinction
Lawyers of Distinction
Best Immigration Lawyers in Pennsylvania
10 Best Law Firm - Client Satisfaction
American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys
Professional Associations
Philadelphia Bar Association
Activities: Immigration Law Committee
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Federal Bar Association
Activities: Criminal Law Committee, Philadelphia Chapter
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Philadelphia Criminal Law Inn of Court
- Current
Activities: Professional Association of Esteemed Criminal Law Practitioners
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Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (PACDL)
- Current
Activities: Regular presenter of Immigration Consequences seminars.
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American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA)
- Current
Activities: Philadelphia Chapter
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State Bar of Pennsylvania
- Current
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Articles & Publications
LexisNexis Practice Guide: New Jersey Collateral Consequences, 2015, 16, 17, 18 Ed
Matthew Bender
Collateral Consequences for Pennsylvania Adult Defendants by Criminal Statute
Defender Association of Philadelphia
Guide to Representing Non-Citizen Criminal Defendants in Pennsylvania
Defender Association of Philadelphia
Speaking Engagements
Creative Partnerships: Immigration Law, Business, STEM & the Foreign National, Philly Tech Week
Instructor of Trial Skills for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy
Instructor of Immigration 101 for Lawyers at Rutgers Law Institute of Legal Education
Course Instructor on Immigration and Immigration Consequences for the Association of Defense Lawyers
Websites & Blogs
Peter Thompson's Website Profile
Thompson Law Advocates, P.C. Website
Legal Answers
4 Questions Answered
Q. Looking for a Criminal Immigration / Deportation Defense Lawyer from Pennsylvania
A: A lot is at stake, and you are right to be searching for an attorney who is well versed in both state criminal and U.S. immigration law and practice, including deportation defense (EOIR), affirmative applications (USCIS), and U.S. entries (CBP). Your attorney should also have a high level of active experience in both legal areas. As a practitioner who fits this description, your question raises many issues and questions of importance, including: is the commission of the criminal activities (retail theft, 18 Pa. C. S. § 3929, and criminal conspiracy, 18 Pa. C.S. § 903 ) a violation of the terms and conditions of either of your visas (F-1 and H1B)? now that the matter has been expunged, will U.S. Immigration still know of the arrest and court disposition? how and when should the arrest and court disposition be discussed under questioning in future applications for legal status (and has it been, if need be, properly disclosed previously)? what, if any, evidence of the resolved event will be required for production at future interviews/applications for adjustment/legal status, and what, if any, questions will be asked regarding this, and how can we prepare properly for these questions? what will I be asked, if anything, at the POE by CBP Officers, and what is secondary/deferred inspection? As you well know, U.S. Immigration takes a cold hard look at any contact with the criminal justice system, including arrests, and each application and interview is laced with questions regarding exactly your scenario. Being prepared for these questions and situations is very important. To start, your chosen immigration lawyer will want to have an original certified copy of the criminal court disposition, if possible, in their file (acquired from the Clerk of Courts of the Criminal Justice Center (Philly), unless they have already purged their system/files), and will want to speak with your criminal defense attorney to assure themselves of the disposition of your case. Plan on working with a trusted immigration lawyer for the "long haul", as the path from F-1 and H1B to lawful permanent residency has many twists and turns, and you will want to handle this situation carefully as it will be, unfortunately, a repeat issue. ... Read More
Q. Will my 2 misdemeanors present a problem with re entry to USA?
A: You are right to be concerned...international travel with U.S. criminal convictions can be very troublesome. Upon return, Customs and Border Protection (CBP), in evaluating your request for entry as a lawful permanent resident ("green card"), may take issue with your convictions and 2017 removal (deportation) proceedings, and send you to secondary/deferred inspection to look more closely into the events. I highly recommend that you seek several experienced legal opinions before you make your travel plans...among other things, you will want to have the criminal convictions re-evaluated for their consequences, the disposition of your removal proceedings (deportation proceedings) reviewed closely by an immigration attorney well versed in Removal Proceedings (Immigration Court), evaluate your eligibility for a naturalization (citizenship) petition, and if you still plan to travel, be armed with the evidence you may need to present to the CBP upon your entry, and have a plan if things go bad. You will want to travel with confidence - and nothing ruins a trip as much as worrying about re-entry. The time to take these important steps is now before you travel. ... Read More
Q. Hello, Question about visa, green card and crime
A: The answer to your question is complicated - I recommend seeking the in-person advice of a skilled and experienced immigration lawyer as your concern is justified. The lawyer should be able to evaluate your husband's "tourist visa" (VWP entry or B2 visa?), evaluate the seriousness of the foreign offenses as they may prove to be hurdles to adjustment (also, were they disclosed in prior applications?), and work with you to complete your husband's adjustment application, if advisable. Our active law practice focuses on clients with the combination of immigration and criminal law issues, and we know how complicated it can be. The fact that you spotted some potential problems with your husband's case now is a good sign - time to get some professional help who can help guide you. ... Read More
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Contact & Map
Thompson Law Advocates, P.C.
1500 Walnut St
7th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Telephone: (215) 525-9155
Monday: 8 AM - 6 PM
Tuesday: 8 AM - 6 PM
Wednesday: 8 AM - 6 PM
Thursday: 8 AM - 6 PM
Friday: 8 AM - 6 PM
Saturday: Closed (Today)
Sunday: Closed
Notice: Available after hours by appointment.
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