For many people, navigating the legal process with an immigration lawyer can be confusing. The team at the Law Office of Alexander R. Vail has compiled the following questions and provided answers for you to review to help you understand more about immigration cases and our firm.
I practice primarily in immigration law; specifically, my areas of focus are removal defense, family-based immigration, and naturalization.
I also practice criminal defense. I have handled cases ranging from simple misdemeanors to category A felonies (as defined by Nevada law).
I certainly understand the urgency of the situation when a loved one is in custody. Call as soon as possible to see if a same-day appointment can be accommodated.
REMOVAL DEFENSE QUESTIONS
First, my promise to you is to provide an honest assessment of the case. If I think I can help get your loved one out of immigration custody or avoid removal from the United States, I will tell you so. Then, I will describe how I would try to help you.
Second, I promise that if I take your case, you will not find another attorney as diligent and dedicated to your cause as I would be.
If you have an ICE hold, the Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has placed a detainer on you. This is a request that the agency that currently maintains custody over you holds you for an additional 48 hours after you would have otherwise been released from criminal custody. It is during these 48 hours that agents from ICE will go by the jail or detention center where you are held to take you into federal immigration custody.
There is no need for despair, however. Once you are in immigration custody, it may be possible to secure your release on bond. Determining your eligibility for a bond is a circumstance-specific inquiry. Please call us to discuss this in more detail.
Removal proceedings can be quite complicated, and I certainly do not recommend anyone representing themselves in immigration court.
There are two types of hearings in immigration court: master hearings and individual hearings. You are required to be present at these hearings, and the judge will always open the hearings by speaking directly to you to verify your identity and home address.
If I take your case, I will certainly be there with you at all hearings. I can also assure you that you will not find yourself confused as to what is going on in your case. Many clients who have come to me are seeking help because their previous attorneys failed to explain the purpose and outcome of their hearings adequately.
FAMILY-BASED IMMIGRATION QUESTIONS
That depends. The good news is that as long as you are over 21 years old, your mother (or father) qualifies as an “immediate relative” for immigration purposes. Thus, there is no “waiting time” since a visa is “immediately available.” That said, you will have to wait for the processing of the Petition for Alien Relative (Form I-130). This is the form from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that you would need to complete and file with USCIS to get the process started. This process will depend on what the “current processing times” are.
If any of this is confusing to you, you have nothing to lose by scheduling a free consultation with me. I am the managing partner of the Law Office of Alexander R. Vail. I will walk you through the process step by step.
The petitioning process certainly involves long waiting periods. As long as you have the Notice of Action (Form I-797) that reflects your receipt number, you can follow up on the progress of your case. If, however, you lost this paperwork or are otherwise still confused, you may want to consider completing a request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). However, there are often several agencies involved in the immigration process, so you may want to submit such FOIA requests to all relevant agencies.
If you need guidance through this process, please schedule a consultation with me.
Generally, to become a U.S. citizen, you must demonstrate your proficiency in the English language. There is an exemption, though, depending on your age and the length of time you have resided as a lawful permanent resident in the United States. Specifically, if you are 50 years of age or older at the time of filing and have been a legal permanent resident for 20 years, you are exempt from the English language requirement. Or, if you are 55 years of age or older at the time of filing and have been a permanent resident for 15 years, you are exempt from the English language requirement. You do still have to take what is known as the Civics Test. However, you will be able to take this in your native language.
CRIMINAL DEFENSE QUESTIONS
Yes. That first court date is what is known as the “arraignment” or “first appearance.” If the District Attorney’s or City Attorney’s (if the case is in Municipal Court) Office decides to prosecute the case, you will receive a copy of the “Criminal Complaint,” which is a formal charging document, during that first appearance. The judge presiding over your case will then give you time to hire an attorney if that is what you decide to do.
Depending on the jurisdiction where your case is pending, the process after that first appearance might differ. I’d be happy to walk you through this process. Please reach out and schedule a consultation with me.
Generally speaking, a “simple” DUI conviction will not render you either inadmissible or deportable and thus cannot be the basis for a finding of removability. That said, it is still considered an adverse factor that can lead to the denial of any discretionary form of relief, which is just about all forms of relief in the removal context with a few exceptions (e.g., withholding of removal and protection under the Convention Against Torture).
I have handled several DUI cases and will gladly help with yours. Please reach out and schedule a consultation with me to discuss the facts of your case.
If you have additional questions about your circumstances, please request a free consultation with the Law Office of Alexander R. Vail. Our team speaks fluent English and Spanish and would be happy to assist you and provide honest answers to your questions.