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What should I do if a friend or family member is taken by immigration?

The first 24 hours after someone is taken into immigration custody is a pivotal time to take action. During this time the individual is processed by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) officers and, assuming they are kept in custody, will be transferred to a detention facility. What is most troubling about this process is that individuals are often transferred to facilities far from their homes and families. Quite often they will not even have the opportunity to notify anyone about their situation until days, and sometimes weeks, after they have been moved. There are, however, steps that can be taken to help keep a detained individual close to home.

The first thing you should do if ICE detains a friend or loved one is to contact the Deportation Officer who is handling that person’s case. Opening up a dialogue with the Deportation Officer can be a vital step in keeping your friend or loved one close to home, where they can most effectively fight their case.

Cohen Forman Barone, LLP can help you with the entire process – from putting in motion steps that can keep your loved one close to home, to fighting the charge.Contact us for a consultation today.

Published in Immigration Related Questions

What should I do if I am not a U.S. citizen and I’m arrested on a criminal charge?

Being named as a defendant in a criminal prosecution is a serious matter no matter who it is. But the potential consequences for a non-citizen, even a green card holder, are especially devastating. A conviction for an even minor non- criminal offense can have severe consequences for a non-citizen, including deportation from the United States.

The first thing you should do if arrested on a criminal charge is consult with an attorney who is familiar with the immigration laws of the United States and how those laws can impact the consequences of a person’s criminal arrest

If you are in this situation, contact us. Our expertise in both criminal and immigration law gives us an advantage when fighting for you. We can fight your criminal case while also protecting your immigration status.

Published in Immigration Related Questions

What should I do if myself, a friend, or family member who has been arrested on a criminal charge has an immigration detainer?

When a non-citizen is arrested on a criminal case it is possible that immigration authorities will issue an immigration detainer. An immigration detainer orders that the local jail that is holding the individual in criminal custody keeps them detained for 48 hours after their release, so that immigration can transfer that person into immigration custody. Immigration cannot take someone who is held in criminal custody until either bail is posted in the criminal case, or, if the person is serving a sentence, the sentence is complete.

If a friend or loved one is held in on bail in criminal custody and has an immigration detainer DO NOT post bail until you have a lawyer who has experience with the immigration system look into the reasons behind the detainer. Once bail is posted on the criminal case, immigration authorities will take that person into their own custody and if the person is not eligible to be released they could be transferred to an immigration detention facility anywhere in the country.

Contact us for a consultation.

Published in Immigration Related Questions

How can I get a green card?

There are a number of ways to get a green card, the two most common being through a family member or job. A common misconception, however, is that any family member or employer can sponsor you for a green card. You must prove to immigration authorities that you have a qualifying relationship with either a family member or job that is eligible to sponsor your for a green card.

While applying through a family member or job is the most common way to apply for a green card, it is not the only way. There are many other programs available, each having their own set of eligibility requirements.

Determining whether you meet the eligibility requirements for a specific green card program is only half the battle. Other factors that can affect your ability to obtain one include whether you have a criminal history, how you entered the U.S., (assuming you are applying for one while living in the U.S.) and your financial means.

For more information, visit our green card page and contact us for a consultation.

Published in Immigration Related Questions

How can I get a work visa?

The Immigration and Nationality Act provides a number of work-related visas. Each visa is designed for a specific purpose and each visa program has its own specific eligibility requirements. Furthermore, some visas are exclusive to only those from certain areas of the world.

Whether you are eligible for a particular work visa depends, among other things, on your prior work history, education and particular skill set. Because the procedures and documentation required to secure a visa can be complicated and burdensome, the assistance of an experienced immigration attorney can help simplify the process and provide a better chance of visa approval.

For more information, visit our work visa page and contact us for a consultation.

Published in Immigration Related Questions

What should I do if a friend or family member is arrested?

The first thing you should do if a friend or family member is arrested by the police or other government officials is contact an experienced attorney as quickly as possible. If possible, attempt to find out from the arresting officers what precinct or jail the person is being transported to so you can communicate that information to the attorney. Contacting an attorney immediately is especially crucial in New York State because the constitutional right to counsel is broader than under the federal constitution as well as that of most other states.

It is also important to be fully prepared for the person’s arraignment, as that is when a judge will determine whether to release the person from custody or hold them on bail or other conditions.

At Cohen Forman Barone, LLP our attorneys are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and are be prepared to guide arrestees and their friends and families through each step of the criminal justice system. Contact us today.

Published in Criminal Related Questions

What are my rights after I get arrested?

If arrested, despite the fact that police or other government officials are lawfully depriving you of your freedoms, they cannot deprive you of certain fundamental rights. Some of these rights include: the right to remain silent, the right to an attorney, and the right to a prompt and legally sufficient statement of the criminal charges you are facing. If arrested, it is crucial to assert your right to counsel as quickly as possible in order to preserve your constitutional rights. At Cohen Forman Barone, LLP we focus on protecting and communicating the rights of our clients from the moment of arrest all the way through disposition of the criminal case and beyond.

Published in Criminal Related Questions

What should I do if police officers or federal agents come to my home and ask to come inside?

In most cases, unless law enforcement officials have a search warrant for your home, you are under no direct legal obligation to allow them to enter. The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects individuals against unreasonable searches of their property by law enforcement officials, and under New York Law, individuals are afforded even greater protection from police intrusion into the home. If law enforcement officials ask to enter your home without a warrant, prior to letting them in, contact an experienced attorney.

At Cohen Forman Barone, LLP we understand the methods and tactics used by law enforcement in attempting to gain information and evidence from individuals in their homes as well as the rights that protect individuals from such government intrusion. Contact us.

Published in Criminal Related Questions

What should I do if I am asked to go to the precinct for questioning?

You are under no legal obligation to go with a police officer to the precinct or station house for interrogation, unless police officers have a warrant for your arrest, are arresting you based upon probable cause, or there are other exceptional circumstances. If police officers ask you to come in for questioning, the first thing to do is call an attorney to discuss the pros and cons of submitting to police questioning.

At Cohen Forman Barone, LLP, we understand the power the government exerts over individuals when it subjects them to interrogation, as well the various strategies they use in extracting statements. Often, seemingly harmless questions from police interrogators can elicit statements, which, later turn out to be incriminating. Contact us.

Published in Criminal Related Questions

How do I appeal a criminal conviction?

If you believe you were wrongly convicted of a crime, you may, depending on the circumstances of the conviction have a right to appeal.

Appeals must state the error that was made in the lower court proceeding. If the error is clear, significant or egregious enough, an appellate court may chose to reverse your conviction on the basis of the error. If an appellate court does reverse your conviction, there are many possible outcomes including the granting of a new trial or proceeding, or protection from subsequent prosecution for the same act by the double jeopardy clause of the United States Constitution.

Contact us for a consultation today and our experienced attorneys will help you determine if you have grounds for an appeal. We can help!

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