How to Hire a Lawyer for a Deportation Hearing
Unlike criminal defendants who face felony charges or in some jurisdictions persons who face either felony or misdemeanor charges, a non-US citizen facing deportation is not entitled to representation. You will need a deportation lawyer when facing a charge to be removable as you are up against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and an attorney whose task it is to have you removed and deported back to your country of origin.
You can fight deportation charges but most immigrants are unfamiliar with US immigration laws and lack the education and knowledge of how to fight the allegations levied against them that call for deportation. Even though no jury is present to render a verdict and the immigration judge is supposed to be impartial, you must come up with a valid defense or reason why you should not be deported or that you are eligible for asylum.
Reasons for Deportability
There are numerous undocumented aliens in the US. If you are arrested or otherwise found to have no legal status in the US, the DHS can begin proceedings for your removal. For aliens with legal status such as a green card, if they commit a sex offense or any other serious crime then they face deportation.
How to Find a Deportation Lawyer in Los Angeles
Many immigration lawyers charge reasonable fees for any immigration matter including one where you face a charge to be removable. If you have assets or can borrow funds from relatives or friends to pay for your legal fees, then it is in your best interest to do so.
Selecting an immigration lawyer who has been successful in deportation hearings is essential. Community organizations that advise and counsel immigrants can refer such attorneys to you, usually at very reasonable fees. You can also contact your county bar association for attorneys who practice immigration law.
When you meet with the attorney, bring someone along who can translate for you and who is familiar with the issues in your case. The attorney will have to know why you are being deported and if there any facts or circumstances that can be used in your defense.
In many cases, the attorney will charge a flat fee for representing you. If the lawyer charges an hourly fee, you will have to deposit a certain sum before the attorney will agree to represent you.
Common Defenses in a Deportation Hearing
The most common issues in a deportation involve whether you committed a deportable offense and if you are in this country legally or not. Your immigration lawyer may provide the following defenses at your hearing:
- You have a parent or grandparent who is a US citizen, which makes you a US citizen as well
- The crime you committed is not serious enough or is not one for which you can be deported under US law
- You qualify as a “preference relative” with a visa number or have a relative who is a US citizen
- You can present an application for cancellation of removal based on your record of sound moral character for the years you have been in the US
- You have a well-founded fear of persecution if you are returned to your country of origin and should be granted asylum
- You pose no threat to public safety or are not a burden based on your job, assets and community connections
Facing a charge of removal is not a hopeless situation but you need to find an experienced deportation lawyer who can advise and represent you. Otherwise, your opportunity to legally remain in the US may be in serious jeopardy.