Far too often, individuals accused of a crime are arrested and when attempting to post a bond to be released, they are informed that the Department of Homeland Security or ICE has issued a hold on them prohibiting them from posting bond. This is an issue that our firm sees on a daily basis and receives numerous calls from family members in Houston, Dallas, and the Brazos Valley area.
The first thing the accused or their family must do is to contact a criminal defense attorney. While the criminal case is pending, the individual is likely not to be released from jail or transferred to an immigration facility until their case is resolved.
If that criminal attorney does not handle immigration cases on a regular basis, it is imperative that the accused or their family then contact an immigration attorney. The criminal attorney may not be fully aware of immigration consequences as a result of a plea so often times, the immigration attorney will consult with the criminal attorney in order to avoid potential pitfalls. When contact either of them, it is important to ask them about their qualifications and ask how they can help you. Often, the outcome of the immigration bond will be dependent on the outcome of the criminal case.
Once the detained is transferred to an immigration detention facility, the issue of their immigration bond as well as their immigration case will be presented in front of the immigration judge. When determining whether to grant the detained an immigration bond, the judge is permitted to look at a variety of factors including: the severity of the offense, criminal history, safety of the victim, community safety, and the strength of any potential immigration relief. The immigration judge does not have an obligation to grant an immigration bond often times enjoy extensive discretion.
In order to have the best chance at success in front of the immigration judge, it is important to obtain an attorney that is not only knowledgeable in immigration proceedings, but also one that can present the detained's particular set of facts in the best light in front of the judge. For example, the detained may have a family that they provide for and this may be their first offense. Just bringing that to the attention of the judge will usually not be sufficient. The court will often require persuasion based on applicable law, recent administrative decisions, and equities that not every immigration attorney can argue.
If you or a loved one find yourself in this situation, contact our office for a free consultation and see how we can help you.