If I Was Charged with a Crime as an Immigrant, What Should I Do?
The immigration system is separate from the criminal system, but they are also connected. The fact is that 70% of ICE arrests happen after an immigrant leaves the state prison or jail. Also, a criminal conviction can mean that your immigration status is in jeopardy, and you may be forced to remain in prison or jail while you are waiting to appear before an immigration judge. This is the reason that you must know everything there is to know about these two different systems.
How Does ICE Know When Someone Is an Immigrant?
After an arrest, officials take the person’s fingerprints and place them in a national database. ICE has access to these databases, and they review them for the purpose of identifying anyone in the country illegally. Once ICE determines that someone does not have legal status, they will ask the jail or prison to place a hold on the person for 48 hours. This will give ICE time to pick the person up and place him or her in their custody.
If you were never in ICE’s custody before, they may not have your fingerprints on file. If not, an ICE agent will visit you in prison to find out if you are in the country legally. An immigrant has the right to remain silent during interviews such as these.
How Is My Immigration Case Affected My Criminal Case?
Even if you are convicted of a minor crime, your immigration case could be negatively affected. If you have a Dallas immigration attorney, you must ask him or her about the consequences you will face if you decide to take a plea bargain or go to trial. If you are convicted, you may have to wait in prison for your immigration case to be settled, and you may be subject to deportation. If you are deported, you may lose the right to return to the U.S.
If you are in the country legally, a conviction may place your legal status in jeopardy, and the authorities may prevent you from coming back. A conviction doesn’t automatically open you up to deportation, but it might prevent you from leaving the country or becoming a citizen. Also, you may have to wait in jail or prison for your immigration case to be settled.
How Do I Reduce the Consequences of a Conviction?
Before you sign a plea bargain or go to trial, you are entitled to know how the conviction will affect your immigration status. Your immigration attorney in Dallas will meet with your Dallas immigration crime attorney to find out how your status will be affected.
What If I am Taken from Jail into ICE Custody?
After your transfer to ICE custody, you will be processed at a field office. If your file contains a final deportation order, you will be deported without the ability to see a judge. At this point, you may request asylum if you are afraid to return to your country.
If officials do not find a final deportation order in your file, you will be placed in an immigration detention center while the authorities prepare to return you to your home country. At the detention center, your immigration attorney Dallas TX can request that your immigration judge release you on bond. If you are denied bond, you will have to meet with your immigration attorney Dallas in the detention center. Your Texas immigration lawyers will develop defenses against your deportation.