If you are ever faced with the prospect of being questioned by the Department of Homeland Security or ICE, you know how unnerving such an event can be. Just the idea of being questioned brings up worries about being removed from the country. Deportation lawyers play a vital role in any situation that may involve you being removed from the country. Not only can they help you to understand the situation at hand, but can also address the charges to give you the best chances of remaining in the country. Most importantly, a deportation lawyer can help protect your rights during any questioning so that you are not exploited or otherwise mistreated during this already stressful time.
What Types of Crimes Could Result in Removal Proceedings?
The authorities may initiate deportation proceedings if you are involved in criminal activity that can be considered:
- An Aggravated Felony that you were involved in after you entered the country
- A Moral Turpitude concern that you were involved in within five years of your admission into the country and has the potential of carrying one year or more in jail. It is critical to understand that you do not have to be punished by a year or more in jail, the crime must simply have the potential of such a sentence
- Related to foreign, federal or state laws involving controlled substances
- Related to the possession, unlawful sale or purchase, or use of a firearm or other destructive device
- Involving espionage, treason, sabotage or sedition
- Related to threatening the President or other official in line for the Presidency through the mail
- Related to child abuse, neglect, or abandonment, or stalking or domestic violence
Any of these situations can lead to extensive questioning by the Department of Homeland Security or immigration enforcement. This can be a very aggressive situation, but it is critical that you remember you have rights in these situations. Your deportation attorney will advise you that during these questioning sessions you have the right to refuse to answer questions and instead contact your immigration attorney for immediate representation. Regardless of whether you exert your right to silence or not, you are under no obligation to answer any of the following questions:
- Your home address
- When you were born or in what country
- Where your parents or grandparents were born
- Your place of residence prior to living in this country
- Your method of coming to this country
- Your ethnicity, nationality, heritage or ancestry
- Where you received your passport or when
- Your Social Security number or even if you have been issued such an identification number
- Whether you possess a green card or if any of your family members have such a card
- At what place in the immigration process you or any member of your family are currently in
It is important that you know your rights and stand up for them regardless of the type of situation you find yourself in with law enforcement or immigration enforcement agents. Your immigration lawyer can help you protect yourself and address any criminal situation to give you the best chances of getting through such situations without deportation.