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Washington, D.C., Deportation Lawyer

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When a person who is not a citizen of the United States is charged by the Department of Homeland Security with an immigration violation, either having no lawful immigrant or nonimmigrant status or having violated their status, the individual is served with a charging document called a Notice to Appear (NTA). The NTA lists the factual allegations and immigration law charges against the individual. DHS also files the NTA with the Immigration Court that has jurisdiction over the individual. Once the NTA is filed with the Immigration Court, the Court will set a date for the individual to appear for his or her hearing. The individual may or may not be taken into custody and detained.

Basic Immigration Court Hearing Information

There are two types of Immigration Court proceedings. The first type of hearing is called a "master calendar hearing." During the master calendar hearing, the judge will review the respondent's rights and ask the respondent to plead to the allegations and charge(s) contained in the NTA. The judge may allow the respondent more time to find an attorney before moving forward. After taking pleadings, if the judge finds that the respondent is "removable" (deportable) based on the allegations and charge(s) in the NTA, then the judge will ask the respondent whether or not he or she will be applying for "relief" from removal and schedule a subsequent hearing if necessary.

The second type of hearing is called an "individual hearing." If a respondent is challenging whether or not he or she is "removable" or is applying for relief from removal, the immigration judge will schedule an individual hearing where the respondent can discuss the merits of his or her case. The judge may give an oral decision at the conclusion of the individual hearing, or the judge may issue a written decision at a later date depending on the availability of time and the complexity of the case.

The following is a list of the most common forms of relief from removal:

  • Voluntary Departure,
  • Cancellation of Removal,
  • Adjustment of Status,
  • Asylum, Withholding of Removal, or protection under the Convention against Torture, and
  • Deferred Action.

It is important to consult with an experienced attorney as soon as possible after being served with a Notice to Appear, preferable before the first scheduled Master Calendar Hearing.

If You or Your Loved One Is Being Held in Custody by the Immigration Officials

Once an individual is detained, he or she can make a request for a bond hearing or for release under parole. Individuals who are in the United States can request release on bond before the Immigration Judge through written motion or orally at the first court hearing. An Immigration Judge will look to a variety of factors to determine whether someone should be released on bond. These include: family ties; community ties; employment history; length of time in the United States; immigration history; prior arrests, convictions and appearances at hearings; and, financial ability to post bond. If the Judge chooses to grant "bond," he or she will fix an mount ranging between $1,500 to $25,000. Subsequent to release, the respondent must attend all future hearings or they will lose their bond deposit.

If the individual is an arriving alien, he or she can only be released on parole and that request must be made directly to the DHS Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office with jurisdiction over his or her case. DHS has broad authority to grant parole for urgent humanitarian reasons or for significant public benefit.

Individuals with certain criminal convictions are subject to mandatory detention during the entire removal proceedings and up until the time of their removal. It is important to contact an experienced immigration attorney to determine if bond or parole is feasible and to assist the detained individual or his or her family in seeking the detained individual's release.

Immigration Consequences of Criminal Convictions

Criminal convictions constitute have a serious impact on the ability to legally enter or remain in the United States. Criminal convictions can even result in the removal (deportation) of long-time permanent residents (green card holders). In addition, criminal conduct that does not result in a conviction can still cause a person to be inadmissible to or deportable from the United States. It is essential for noncitizens charged with crimes to consult with experienced immigration attorneys as well as criminal defense attorneys to minimize the effects of these charges. Even seemingly minor crimes, "expunged" convictions, and criminal sentences of probation can yield very serious consequences. An immigration attorney working in consultation with a defense attorney can advise them on how the individual's criminal case can impact his or her immigration status.

If a noncitizen has a criminal conviction, an immigration attorney can determine the consequences of the conviction, if any, under the Immigration and Nationality Act. In the event that the government seeks to remove the noncitizen and refers the case to Immigration Court, the attorney can determine if there are any defenses to the charges of removability or deportability and pursue any ground of relief that might be available. Certain grounds of inadmissibility can be "waived" or pardoned by submitting waiver applications in conjunction with visa applications or applications for relief from removal.

It is important that the deportation defense attorney you hire understands strategies that protect your rights in both areas of the law.

Our lawyers represent clients in Washington, D.C., and surrounding communities in Virginia and Maryland. Call us at 202-387-8866 or contact us by e-mail to arrange an initial consultation with an experienced Washington, D.C., deportation attorney. If you hire us for a package of immigration legal services, the initial consultation fee will be credited to your retainer.

Motions to Reopen and Appeals

When faced with an adverse decision by the Immigration Court, for example one denying relief and ordering removal, it is important to quickly determine weather to seek reconsideration or appellate review. Strict timelines governing these procedures.

A motion to reopen asks the Immigration Court or the Board of Immigration Appeals to reopen proceedings after a decision has been made, so that new facts or evidence can be considered. The motion to reopen must state the new facts that will be proven at the reopened hearing should the motion be granted. In a motion to reopen, the individual must show that the new evidence is material to his or her case, that it was unavailable at the time of the original hearing, and that the evidence could not have been discovered or presented at the original hearing. Additionally, the motion to reopen must be supported by documentary evidence. There are time and numerical limitations to when and how many motions to reopen an individual may file. The general rule is that a motion to reopen must be filed within 90 days of an Immigration Judge's order and that an individual is permitted only one motion to reopen. However, in certain situations, a motion to reopen may be considered even if it does not meet the time and numerical limitations.

Appeals from the decision of the Immigration Judge asserting that his or decision was wrong in light of the facts and law, must be made to the Board of Immigration Appeals within thirty days of the decision.

We have extensive experience in Motion and Appellate practice.

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