Practice Area Descriptions



Michael P. Gianelli, Esq., is a proven Denver deportation lawyer. He has defended noncitizens in removal proceedings in United States Immigration Court in Aurora and Denver. Having an attorney in immigration court will drastically increase your chances of avoiding deportation.

There are a number of defenses to deportation, including, but not limited to, the following:

Cancellation of Removal: Cancellation is available for both lawful permanent residents (LPRs or green card holders) and individuals without lawful status in the United States. The elements of cancellation of removal depend on an individuals immigration status.
For example, a green card holder in removal proceedings must at a minimum prove: (1) seven years of continuous residence after admission to the United States; (2) five years as a lawful permanent resident; and (3) that s/he has not been convicted of an aggravated felony. On the other hand, a non-green card holder must demonstrate: (1) ten years of continuous physical presence in the United States; (2) good moral character during that period of time; (3) no disqualifying criminal offenses; and (4) exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to a United States citizen or LPR spouse, parent or child.

In addition, a different form of cancellation of removal under the Violence Against Women Act exists for individuals that can demonstrate: (1) three years of continuous physical presence; (2) that s/he is a victim of battery or extreme cruelty; and (3) extreme hardship hardship to the applicant or a U.S. citizen or LPR spouse, parent or child.

Adjustment of Status: Adjustment is an application to the immigration court for a green card based upon a qualifying family or employment relationship. In many instances, waivers of applicable inadmissibility grounds must be submitted to the judge in order to successfully complete adjustment of status in immigration court.

Asylum: To qualify for asylum, an applicant must show at a minimum past persecution or a well-founded fear of future persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group. Many individuals are referred to immigration court after they affirmatively apply for asylum with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service. If that occurs, an applicant gets another opportunity to seek asylum before an immigration judge.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals: President Obama’s 2012 summer executive action provided long awaited relief for so called Dreamers, children who came to the U.S. that meet certain eligibility requirements. Generally, to get Deferred Action, it must be established that the noncitizen:

Was under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;

Came to the United States before reaching his or her 16th birthday;
Has continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;

Was physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or his or her lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012;
Is currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States;


Has not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and does not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
It is important to note that this relief is available in immigration court to prevent deportation. Someone who gets Deferred Action can also get work authorization, and use that document to get a driver’s license and “come out of the shadows.”

Additional Considerations: In addition to seeking relief from deportation, an important step in a removal proceedings may include making a bond application to the immigration judge. Michael Gianelli has successfully applied for bond reductions and defeated charges that an individual is subject to mandatory detention.

Furthermore, Michael P. Gianelli, Esq., can help clients get Employment Authorization Documents (work permits) while removal proceedings are pending.

Finally, some noncitizens in removal proceedings may be entitled to Prosecutorial Discretion even if they are not eligible for statutory relief. Michael Gianelli can present your case to the Department of Homeland Security in a way that increases your chances of receiving a favorable discretionary decision.


Criminal activity often has significant immigration consequences for noncitizens. Even minor criminal matters, such as municipal offenses or minor drug charges, can result in mandatory immigration detention, deportation, inadmissibility, or prevent naturalization.

Michael P. Gianelli, Esq., is experienced in this increasingly important immigration field known as “criminal-alien law.”

If you are a noncitizen facing criminal charges, or a criminal defense attorney with a noncitizen client, it is critical that you consult with an experienced deportation lawyer regarding the immigration consequences of the criminal case. All too often, what is a great deal in criminal court (e.g. deferred judgement) has devastating immigration consequences.

Furthermore, if you are a noncitizen with prior criminal justice contacts (e.g. arrest), it is imperative that you consult with an immigration attorney before submitting any paperwork to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service. A failure to do so may result in the the commencement of removal proceedings against you.


Years ago, family-based immigration was a simple process. Times have changed. Today, the complexities of family-based immigration are best dealt with by a professional. Immigration practitioners must address issues such as conditional residence, termination of conditions, eligibility for adjustment of status, employment authorization applications, widow petitions, criminal bars, unlawful presence, grandfathering under INA section 245(i), binding affidavits of support, adjusted age determinations to preserve child status, to name just a few.

Michael P. Gianelli, Esq., is experienced in obtaining green cards for noncitizens, and offers affordable services to help you through this now complicated process.


Effective March 4, 2013, certain immediate relatives of U.S. citizens (spouses, parents of adult U.S. citizens, and minor children) who are physically present in the United States may request a provisional waiver of their unlawful presence. This is an important new rule because if you entered the U.S. illegally, you previously needed to request this waiver abroad, which often resulted in a lengthy separation from your family in the U.S. Now those people who were reluctant to apply for a green card because of the uncertainty can apply for the waiver while remaining in the U.S.


Naturalization is the process by which an individual obtains United States citizenship. Citizenship may be obtained by operation of law (automatically) or by applying with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service. Michael Gianelli can help you navigate the naturalization process and help you understand any applicable risks associated with applying for citizenship.

United States citizenship benefits include:

  • Citizens have the full rights and protections under the United States Constitution, and cannot be removed or deported from the United States;
  • U.S. citizens may sponsor immediate relatives (spouses, parents, unmarried minor children) for a green card without a long wait for visa availability.;
  • Ability to vote and fully participate in the electoral process, including being elected for public office;
  • Freely travel to and from the United States without fears of immigration consequences;
  • Eligibility for otherwise restricted government jobs;
  • Eligibility for public benefits from which non-citizens may be excluded; etc.


A criminal defense attorney has a duty to advise a noncitizen client of the immigration consequences of a guilty plea. If you plead guilty to a criminal charge without knowing that it harmed your immigration status, Michael Gianelli can help you get that conviction vacated if the right circumstances exist.


Michael Gianelli will exhaust all available options to resolve your family law issues, and will listen to you and provide you with the compassionate support you need during this stressful time in your life. Each family is unique and every individual has different needs and interests. That is why Mr. Gianelli tailors his representation to the personal concerns of each client.


If a marriage is irretrievably broken, a couple may need to get a divorce, or seek a dissolution of marriage, as it is referred to in Colorado courts. Unlike in New York, where Mr. Gianelli also handled divorce cases, a party need not prove specific fault or blame to get divorced in Colorado. The major issues that must be resolved in a dissolution of marriage include the following:

  • Property Division, or Equitable Distribution, C.R.S. 14-10-113;
  • Maintenance or Spousal Support;
  • Child Custody or Parental Responsibilities;
  • Child Support; and
  • Temporary Orders during the pending divorce, etc.

Equitable Distribution need not be equal. The circumstances of the parties marriage will impact every dissolution case. Property division in Colorado can be complicated, especially when a long term marriage is involved. For example, the division of marital property can involve family businesses, real estate and the marital home, retirement plans, investments, insurance, and other assets and liabilities. Mr. Gianelli will thoroughly examine all marital assets and advocate on your behalf to safeguard your interests.

The Law Office of Michael P. Gianelli, LLC, handles all family law matters, including:

  • Prenuptial agreements;
  • Postnuptial agreements;
  • Separation agreements;
  • Legal separation;
  • Divorce, Dissolution of Marriage;
  • Division of marital property;
  • Equitable Distribution;
  • Child custody and Parental Responsibilities;
  • Child support;
  • Maintenance;
  • Temporary maintenance; and
  • Post-judgment modifications.


The Law Office of Michael P. Gianelli, LLC, represents individuals accused of criminal conduct in Colorado state and local courts both at the trial and appellate levels. We are committed to preserving our clients’ constitutional rights, and achieving the best possible result in each case.

If you have been charged with a criminal offense or are under investigation for a crime, Mr. Gianelli can provide you with affordable, hands-on representation. After a confidential and complimentary meeting with you, Mr. Gianelli will review the facts of your case and research the applicable criminal and procedural laws to determine what defenses best fit your case and best interests.

Mr. Gianelli will take the time to listen to you and learn your situation, and will communicate with you on a regular basis. By doing so, we can aggressively represent your interests to achieve the unique result that fits your life.

In addition, if you are a non-citizen charged with a criminal offense, it is critical that you hire a criminal defense attorney that knows what consequences the charge will have on your immigration status. Mr. Gianelli will work with you and the district or city attorney in order to preserve your immigration options.

Call us for a free in-person and confidential consultation. Mr. Gianelli is here to help protect your rights and interests.


Negligence is the theory of law that most personal injury lawsuits are based upon. If you are injured due to the fault of another person’s careless conduct, you may bring a personal injury negligence claim to recover compensation. Negligence claims are based upon another’s act (or omission) that was not reasonable under the circumstances that resulted in an injury. Negligence claims may be due to injury in an auto accident, an injury at another’s home, injury at a store, injury at school, ski accident, animal attack, defective products, light rail injury, RTD injury, bus accident, etc.

If you are injured due to another person’s negligence, you should act quickly and contact a personal injury attorney in Denver. It is important to act quickly because there are time deadlines, known as statutes of limitations, that can prevent you from bringing a personal injury action. If you are too late in bringing your negligence claim, you will not be able to recover any compensation for your injury.


If you are injured at another’s premises, such as at their house, on their land, or business, you may have a negligence claim. An owner or controller of a premises owes a duty of care to keep their property safe. Examples of premises liability include slip and falls at stores, negligent security, negligent building maintenance, etc.

If you were injured by an unsafe condition, Mr. Gianelli can help you evaluate whether you have a claim and bring suit on your behalf if you do. The Law Office of Michael P. Gianelli, LLC, will give you a complimentary consultation and handles all personal injury cases on a contingency basis, which means that there is no legal fee unless we win an award for you.


If you are injured on property that is owned or maintained by the government, it is critical that you act quickly to explore your claim because a formal Notice of Claim must be sent to the government within 180 days. If you fail to do this, you will not be able to recover damages from the government, even if it was negligent.

The Law Office of Michael P. Gianelli, LLC, handles all types of negligence actions, including:

  • Car accidents;
  • Pedestrian accidents;
  • Bus accidents;
  • Light Rail accidents;
  • Child accidents and injuries at school;
  • Professional negligence or malpractice;
  • Wrongful death;
  • Ski accidents; and
  • Recreational accidents, etc.


Appellate advocacy requires a different set of skills than those needed to succeed at the trial court level. If you lose your case before the initial judge, you can appeal to a higher court. An appellate attorney must peruse the record, identify legal issues and spot the trial court’s reversible errors. After an extensive review of the record, an appellate attorney must craft a persuasive brief clearly setting forth a client’s strongest arguments. In addition, successful oral argument before a panel of appellate judges requires meticulous preparation. Michael Gianelli has proven that he possesses the right tools for successful appellate litigation, and is prepared to handle either criminal or civil appeals in state, federal or administrative (e.g. Board of Immigration Appeals) courts.

What We Offer

AImmigration Law
High quality immigration services to immigrants, refugees, permanent and temporary residents.

BCivil and Criminal Appellate Litigation
Representing clients in all phases of civil and criminal appellate litigation.

CCriminal Defense
Get an experienced Denver criminal defense lawyer on your side.

DGeneral Civil Litigation
Compensation for when you have been wronged.

EFamily Law
Representing clients through all phases of divorce and family-law related issues.