For an immigrant, facing criminal charges is an extremely serious situation. In addition to facing the penalties associated with a criminal conviction, the immigrant may also be at risk of deportation and may have difficulty getting a judge to grant freedom from detention by way of a bond hearing. This is when involving an attorney is extremely important. A hearing for an immigration bond in California may be legally complex and will directly impact your or a loved one’s ability to be released from custody in the face of criminal charges.
A bond is a deposit of money. The amount of the money which you need to deposit for your immigration bond is set by the Department of Homeland Security.
In setting the bond amount, the government sets it at a level high enough to ensure your family member shows up at all his deportation hearings. Once the deposit is made, he is released from custody. When you pay the bond, this is called “posting bond.”
At the end of the case, the money is given back to your family. If your relative does not show up at his hearings, your family’s money is kept by the government.
Immigration bonds concern civil administrative matters, whereas bail bonds concern criminal cases, where someone can be sent to prison. The judge in immigration matters can allow someone to remain legally in the United States or order them removed (deported) to some other country. Even if your loved one was placed in jail for a criminal related matter our law firm can still help.
In determining whether to release an immigration detainee from custody and the amount of an immigration bond, an Immigration Judge usually looks at these factors:
- Whether you pose a “danger to the community”
- Your “flight risk”, i.e., whether you will return to Immigration Court
- Your family ties in the United States
- Your criminal history
- Your employment
- Your financial ability to pay an immigration bond
- Your participation in community organizations
- How you entered the United States and other aspects of your immigration history
- Your eligibility for relief from removal or deportation in Immigration Court
It is essential for non-citizens who are accused of crimes to get an attorney who understands these risks. Criminal defense lawyers who do not understand the effects of criminal convictions on immigration status frequently recommend pleading guilty to charges, thinking that they are getting a “good deal” for their clients. Many clients only find out later that their guilty plea has made them ineligible for admission to the U.S., lost them their green card or taken away their chance for United States citizenship.
Anyone arrested and detained by the Department of Homeland Security has the right to contact an attorney. Immigrants have several important rights after an arrest, and it is important to overcome fear of an unfamiliar situation and ask for legal help. The Law Offices of Bowman & Associates in Sacramento and Folsom offers knowledgeable advice and aggressive representation in immigration bond hearings to protect detained immigrants’ rights. Contact us today for a free consultation. We are here to help…