If you have been placed into removal proceedings or scheduled for a court hearing with an immigration judge, please reach out to an attorney as quickly as possible. Every hearing in front of an immigration judge, even your first hearing, can result in you being deported. So it is extremely important to hire a knowledgeable attorney who is experienced with the immigration court system. Here at Dunham & Jones, our attorneys are highly experienced with immigration court, and know exactly what to do in order to achieve the best possible outcome for your Removal Defense case. Further, most will qualify for a work permit, Employment Authorization Document, while in deportation proceedings.
What happens to my immigration case if I am arrested?
If you have been arrested and charged with a crime at any point during the immigration process, you need to be aware of the consequences. Anyone applying for citizenship in the United States must show good moral character. This doesn’t just mean that you can prove you are not a serious criminal, it means that you must affirmatively show that your character measures up to the standards of average citizens of the community in which you reside during the applicable period.
The USCIS determination of whether you meet the good moral character requirements typically includes a review of your record, application and oral testimony. This includes the disclosures on your application. If you are applying for immigrant status you must disclose all arrests. There are questions on the application regarding arrest records, crimes for which you were not arrested, as well as citations. It is important to be honest and answer these questions correctly. Lying on, misremembering or failing to disclose the truth on your application can cause you even more issues. Remember that during this process your fingerprints will be taken so, if you have an arrest record it is very likely it will come up that way as well.
What if I am convicted or plead guilty?
In most cases federal law requires that you be convicted of or pled guilty to a crime to be deported or denied immigration status. That is why it is extremely important that you hire a qualified and experienced criminal defense attorney who understands the gravity of your situation and how the impact of a guilty plea could change your life. A criminal conviction as it relates to your immigration case means a “formal judgement of guilt entered by the court”. There is a many nuance to what constitutes a conviction such as pre-trial diversion programs and deferral of adjudication. Our criminal defense attorneys can work side by side with our immigration attorneys to make sure that your situation is handled correctly.
What if I was charged with a felony?
There are certain offenses that, if found guilty, permanently bar you from establishing good moral character for naturalization. Crimes such as murder, drug trafficking, crimes of violence, fraud, smuggling and others. If you have been charged with a serious felony you need to hire an experienced law firm to help with both your criminal case as well as your immigration to make sure that you are not permanently harmed by a conviction.
Can I be deported if I am arrested?
Any person in the United States that is not a citizen of the United States can be deported. This includes green card holders, those here on visas and those who are undocumented. An arrest and especially a criminal conviction can end in deportation. This is why if you have been arrested and you are an immigrant here in the U.S. you need to hire a law firm that has both immigration and criminal defense attorneys to help with your case. Almost 70% of ICE arrests happen after the person is released from jail. If you have been arrested you need to speak with our experienced attorneys today at 800-528-4044.
What is an ICE hold?
When you are arrested the arresting officer takes your fingerprints and enters them into a national database. ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) accesses the database to identify non-U.S. citizens who they believe are here illegally or who’s immigration status should be terminated due to their criminal charge. If ICE identifies you they will ask the jail to hold you in custody for 48 hours so that they can take you into custody. These holds are also known as ICE detainers. There are other ways ICE officers can identify you, even if your fingerprints are not in the system. They may interview you in person or over the phone to determine if you have legal status.
Dunham & Jones has you covered
The Supreme Court of the United States has said that non-citizens have the right to know the immigration consequences of a criminal conviction before signing a plea deal or even going to trial. Dunham & Jones is uniquely qualified to help you with your situation. We are one of the largest criminal defense firms in the United States and our highly qualified immigration lawyers work side-by-side with our criminal defense attorneys to make sure that every aspect of your criminal and immigration cases are handled swiftly and correctly. Make sure you know your rights in both cases and contact us today at 800-528-4044 so we can help you.
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