Lessons Learned From Justin Bieber

Posted on 30. Jan, 2014 by in Blog

(Image via NY Daily News)

By: Demetrio Duarte, Jr.

Justin Bieber’s arrest just raised national attention to a very common problem. If you are in the U.S. legally, you can be deported if you are convicted of different crimes. The list is long, but convictions for most felony offenses, many drug offenses, crimes of violence and theft offenses can lead to automatic deportation.

Most people do not have Justin Bieber’s money or access to high-dollar legal representation. Some people sit in jail waiting to get “bonded out” on their criminal case. While that happens, immigration authorities can put a “hold” on the inmate because deportation proceedings are pending. Again, without Justin Bieber’s money and access to legal representation, the accused must sit in jail because they have an “immigration hold” at the jail. Like Justin Bieber, a Canadian citizen, anyone who is arrested in this country is presumed to be innocent.

However, real life pressures often lead to hasty decisions. Not everyone thinks about the legal consequences of their actions. They want to get out of jail and plead guilty because they can get out on probation. WRONG DECISION. In many cases, probation is a conviction for immigration purposes and can lead to automatic deportation. In other cases, a person is out on bond and immigration authorities are just waiting to see how the case is resolved. Making a reasonable decision in criminal court may lead to disaster in immigration court.

All resident aliens should do their best to become citizens as quickly as possible. Once citizenship is obtained, deportation is no longer a threat. If arrested while a resident alien, it is critical to hire competent and experienced attorneys so convictions and deportation can be addressed in the best form possible. In Justin Bieber’s case, the decisions are clear:

1. Get out of jail on bond as quickly as possible;

2. If detained by immigration authorities, fight to be released on an “Immigration Bond.” This is a bond that is separate from the bond Justin Bieber will pay to be released from custody and remain free while his criminal case and immigration case are resolved; and

3. Fight for liberty in every way possible in order to avoid a needless conviction and deportation.

Each step sounds simple, but there are many complicated pitfalls along the way that only an experienced attorney can manage. When it comes to your freedom, it is important to choose wisely and fight until the best solution is found.

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