In short, yes. Experienced representation in any legal matter can significantly change the outcome, but it is critical for immigration cases. These matters can be extremely overwhelming—involving complex rules, mountains of paper, and lengthy delays. An experienced immigration attorney from Tucker, Nong & Associates can evaluate your unique circumstances, cut through the red tape, and provide reliable representation so that your dream of remaining in the United States becomes a reality.
How Removal Proceedings Begin
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) initiates removal proceedings by serving the respondent with a Notice To Appear (NTA) in court and filing charging documents with the immigration court. If you have received an NTA, the immigration court likely has already begun removal proceedings against you.
A removal proceeding is an administrative process conducted in immigration court that determines a person's removability under U.S. law. If this has happened to you, the right lawyer can evaluate the merits of your case and determine if you are eligible for relief from removal.
Understanding Immigration Court Procedures
When the immigration court receives charging documents in a case, the court schedules an initial hearing before a judge. At this hearing, the judge will explain the respondent's rights and the alleged immigration law violations. The court then gives the respondent an opportunity to obtain legal representation or plead guilty to the removal charges.
In most cases, it is not in the respondent's best interest to plead guilty at this stage. Instead, the respondent can mount a case for protection or relief from removal and possibly remain in the country by obtaining representation.
Developing a Legal Defense
There are six common forms of protection and relief from removal.
- Convention against torture
- Cancellation of removal
- Withholding of removal
- Adjustment of status
Though each defense has specific requirements, some common themes include escape from religious or social persecution, continuous residency for a certain length of time, and the respondent's demonstration of good moral character and lack of certain felony convictions. Each form of protection requires the respondent to present arguments and evidence to back up their application for relief. At Tucker, Nong & Associates, we routinely appear before the U.S. Immigration Court and are well versed in developing the defensive strategies needed to support relief applications of all kinds.
Get Representation Wherever You Are
Immigration is a matter of federal law. This means that immigration rules uniformly apply throughout the United States and do not vary from state to state like some other legal areas. Because of this, Tucker, Nong & Associates can help with your immigration case in any state in the United States. However, if your case involves appearances in immigration court, you may want to retain a seasoned immigration attorney who can easily make appearances in your area.
Appeals of Removal Hearings in Absentia
If you have received an NTA and fail to appear in court, an immigration judge can conduct a removal hearing without you being present. During this hearing in absentia, the DHS must prove by clear, unequivocal, and convincing evidence that:
- You are removable,
- The DHS served you with an NTA, and
- The immigration court served you with notice of the hearing.
If DHS meets this burden, then an immigration judge can order your removal from the U.S. in your absence.
This ruling isn’t without recourse. Within 180 days, you may file a motion to reopen the removal order. However, your motion must show that your failure to appear was due to exceptional circumstances or lack of proper notice. The experienced attorneys at Tucker, Nong & Associates have the expertise you need to fight back against hearings in absentia and prevent your removal through no fault of your own.
Are You In Need Of An Immigration Attorney In Virgina, Maryland or Washington D.C.?
If you find yourself facing immigration issues you need to speak with an experienced immigration lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Vienna, Virgnia office directly at 703.991.7978 or our Rockville, Maryland office at 301.637.5392 to schedule your free case consultation.