DC Deportation Process

Most times deportation depends on the type of status you have in the United States. One thing that is universal, however, is that committing a criminal offense, particularly a violent offense or one involving drugs, can disqualify you no matter what types of immigration status you have. If you are charged with a criminal offense or are facing deportation for some other reason below is what you should know regarding what you are likely to face. To learn more call and schedule a consultation with a DC deportation attorney today.

Deportation Proceedings

Deportation proceedings are actually called removal proceedings, but a lot of times we refer to them as deportation proceedings with clients because it’s the more commonly understood phrase. Basically, removal proceedings will be initiated when the government has determined that you are out of lawful status in the United States or that you have violated your lawful status in some way such that you are deportable or “inadmissible” to the U.S. Assuming you’re not an “arriving alien,” which means someone who literally just crossed the border and was caught soon after entry, you will be entitled to defend yourself against the charges of removability or inadmissibility in those court proceedings.

Deportation Hearings

There will almost always be a hearing involved unless you are able to obtain some kind of legal status before your first court date and the judge agrees to terminate proceedings.

Master Calendar Hearing

The first hearing will be called a master calendar hearing, where a number of people will be present and the judge will basically go through several cases in one morning or one afternoon and determine what to do.  At these master calendar hearings, you’ll have to present what your options for relief are and let the judge know how you plan to defend yourself. Sometimes people will just ask for continuances to find an attorney or an attorney can ask for a continuance to prepare for the case. Once you have decided on which course of action you’re going to take, in most cases you’ll request an individual hearing, which is like a trial, and that’s where you’ll present all the evidence in your case and the judge will make a decision.

Terminating the Case By Getting Immigration Status

In some cases, you never reach the reach an individual hearing stage because you may be applying for some status with USCIS independently of your immigration court proceedings and if that application is granted, then the judge will terminate the case before you get to your trial phase or your individual hearing. Sometimes people can even terminate the case before there’s even a master calendar hearing if you’re eligible for some kind of benefit and the Department of Homeland Security attorney agrees that you have a likelihood of prevailing out of court. In these cases, they can save everyone time and money by terminating your case at the onset.

Deportation Hearing Process

The process begins when you receive a notice to appear either in person or in the mail and it will show a time and a date to appear in court. This will be your first master calendar hearing.

The next step will depend on what type of case you have. In some cases, immigration or deportation proceedings may also involve detention. For instance, if you have committed a crime that ICE believes makes you a danger to the community or if you have committed a crime that’s on the list of crimes that are subject to mandatory detention, you may be detained for the duration of the immigration proceedings.

In some cases, you may be initially detained by ICE, but then eligible to apply for a bond either with ICE directly or before the immigration court. So, it can also involve bond hearings as well.

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