Sara E. Coppin is a Northern California-based attorney with years of experience helping non-citizens navigate the complicated landscapes of federal immigration and California criminal law. Sara Coppin earned her B.A. from the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she majored in Women's Studies and Cultural Anthropology, and a J.D. from Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco, California. While at Hastings, Sara focused on criminal defense, and as a California State Bar Certified Law Student, she represented misdemeanor defendants in Placer and Marin Counties. After graduating from Hastings with a focus in public interest law, Sara worked at the Office of the State Public Defender on capital habeas cases, and later as an associate at a busy immigration law firm.
Sara has represented non-citizens in immigration court, the federal district courts, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal, and the California criminal courts. Now a solo practitioner, Sara represents immigrants filing family-based immigration petitions, U-visas, and applications for naturalization. Sara also consults with criminal defense attorneys seeking to obtain immigration-neutral plea bargains for their non-citizen clients. Finally, Sara serves as appointed counsel in the California Court of Appeal, representing indigent clients in the Third, Fifth, and Sixth Appellate Districts.
Recent victories include a unanimous opinion from the California Supreme Court holding that non-citizen defendants who don't receive mandated notification about immigration consequences before they plead guilty should be allowed to vacate their convictions if they can show they would not have pleaded guilty had they had been properly warned. (People v. Martinez-Martinez (2013) 57 Cal.4th 555.)