The Type of Attorney that You’ll Need
Unfortunately, people who are not a U.S. citizens are sometimes represented by lawyers who either don’t fully understand or don’t think out the consequences of a guilty or no contest plea when in a criminal courtroom. Regardless of the fact that the immigrant got good advice and effective representation on a state criminal charge against him or her, the result might be drastic if deportation proceedings are brought in a federal immigration court. That’s why it’s particularly important for people who aren not U.S. citizens to retain the services of an attorney who practices in both criminal law and immigration law. That statement rings resoundingly true now that federal immigration officials have been ordered to increase deportations, especially for those who have been convicted of criminal offenses in this country.
Who can be Deported?
Any person who is in this country who is not a U.S. Citizen can be deported upon conviction or a plea of no contest to certain offenses. It doesn’t matter how many years that the person has lived in the U.S., whether he or she has a dependent child in the U.S. or whether the person is here legally. The bottom line is that if you’re not a U.S. citizen, you can be deported. The types of crimes that a person might be deported for are classified broadly, and they’re not limited to felonies. A person can be deported for a mere misdemeanor conviction.
If U.S. Immigration officials have reason to believe that a person is deportable due to a criminal conviction or plea of no contest, that individual has the right to a removal hearing before a federal immigration judge. Written notice will operate to advise the person of the date, time and location of the hearing, the reason why deportation proceedings have been initiated and their right to have an attorney represent them in the hearing. At the hearing, the immigrant has the right to present any evidence on their own behalf and cross examine any witnesses against him or her.
Rights Before Taking an Appeal
People that have deportation orders taken against them have certain rights before they take an appeal. Those might be a motion to reopen the case and review the deportation order, a motion to reopen the case due to changed circumstances in the movant’s own country or a motion to reopen the case due to new facts or circumstances. If these motions are denied, a person can still exercise his or her right to an appeal, but the affected individual must first request a stay of the deportation order. That stay would be issued either by the judge who issued the deportation order or the Bureau of Immigration Appeals.
If the immigration judge rules against you, and you believe that the law was misapplied or misinterpreted, you have the right to an appeal with the Bureau of Immigration Appeals. Any such appeal must be filed within 30 days of the judge’s order. So long as the appeal was taken on a timely basis, deportation is automatically put off. Should the Bureau of Immigration Appeals rule against you, another appeal can be taken with the federal appellate court for the specific circuit that you’re in. After that, you must ask the U.S. Supreme Court to take your case.
You can contact a Brooklyn criminal deportation lawyer from our offices to arrange for a consultation and case review on any potential deportation issue. He or she will listen to your carefully, answer your questions and advise you of your full range of legal options. Don’t hesitate to contact us on any deportation issue.