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The Spodek Law Group understands how delicate high-profile cases can be, and has a strong track record of getting positive outcomes. Our lawyers service a clientele that is nationwide. With offices in both LA and NYC, and cases all across the country - Spodek Law Group is a top tier law firm.

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The reason is simple: clients want white glove service, and lawyers who can win. Every single client who works with the Spodek Law Group is aware that the attorney they hire could drastically change the outcome of their case. Hiring the Spodek Law Group means you’re taking your future seriously. Our lawyers handle cases nationwide, ranging from NYC to LA. Our philosophy is fair and simple: our nyc criminal lawyers only take on clients who we know will benefit from our services.

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Immigration Charges: Here’s How a Deportation Defense Attorney Can Help You

By Spodek Law Group | October 19, 2023
(Last Updated On: October 19, 2023)


Immigration Charges: Here’s How a Deportation Defense Attorney Can Help You

Dealing with immigration charges can be scary. The thought of being deported and separated from your family is overwhelming. But with the help of an experienced deportation defense attorney, you may be able to fight the charges and stay in the country.

In this article, we’ll walk through the basics of immigration charges, deportation, and removal proceedings. We’ll also discuss how a knowledgeable immigration lawyer can defend your case using strategies like cancellation of removal, asylum, adjustment of status, and more.

Common Immigration Charges That Can Lead to Deportation

There are many different violations of immigration law that can trigger removal proceedings. Some common charges include:

  • Entering the U.S. illegally (without inspection)
  • Overstaying a visa
  • Committing certain crimes (even minor ones)
  • Working without authorization
  • Marriage fraud

Being out of status or breaking the rules of your visa can also lead to immigration charges. For example, if you have a student visa but stop attending school, or get a work visa but work somewhere else, you could face consequences.

How Immigration Court Works

If the Department of Homeland Security believes you violated immigration laws, they can start removal proceedings against you in immigration court. This begins with a “Notice to Appear” citing the charges.

You’ll have to go to immigration court where an immigration judge will decide if you should be deported. The process involves:

  • Master calendar hearing – Initial hearing to plead guilty or not guilty.
  • Individual merits hearing – Where evidence is presented and judge decides your case.
  • Removal order – If found guilty, the judge orders you deported.

Immigration court is an administrative court system run by the Executive Office for Immigration Review. The immigration judge acts like a prosecutor. You must prove you have a right to stay in the U.S. – it’s guilty until proven innocent.

How a Deportation Defense Attorney Can Help

Navigating immigration court without an attorney is extremely difficult. But a skilled deportation defense lawyer understands immigration law and can build the strongest case for you to remain in the country legally.

Here are some of the most common strategies they use:

Cancellation of Removal

Cancellation of removal is a defense that allows some long-term immigrants to stay in the U.S. There are strict eligibility requirements, like being physically present for 10 years and proving your deportation would cause “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship” for a spouse, parent or child who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

A deportation defense attorney can help you prove you meet the requirements and show how being separated from family would cause extreme hardship. They can gather evidence like medical records, school reports, financial documents, and written testimony.

Adjustment of Status

If you have a way to get a green card, your attorney may be able to get your immigration charges dismissed by filing for adjustment of status. This transitions you from a temporary visa to permanent resident.

For example, if you overstayed your student visa but then got married to a U.S. citizen, you may now be eligible for a green card through your spouse. Your lawyer can file the adjustment application and ask the judge to terminate proceedings.


If you fear persecution in your home country based on race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a social group, you may qualify for asylum. An experienced attorney can help you file the asylum application and represent you in court.

They’ll work to prove you meet the criteria and have a “well-founded fear of persecution.” This can halt deportation proceedings.

Prosecutorial Discretion

Your lawyer may be able to persuade immigration officials to exercise prosecutorial discretion and dismiss the case. This involves highlighting positive factors like family ties, steady employment, and community involvement to show you’re not a priority for deportation.

While not guaranteed, discretion can completely stop proceedings if approved by DHS.

Voluntary Departure

If there are no defenses to avoid deportation, your attorney may seek voluntary departure as an alternative. This allows you to leave the country at your own expense within a set timeframe, avoiding the penalties of a formal removal order.

It gives you time to get affairs in order and the chance to return legally in the future.

Appeals and Stays of Removal

If you lose your case, a deportation defense lawyer can appeal the decision and file for an emergency stay of removal. This prevents deportation until the appeal is decided. Appeals highlight things like legal errors in your proceedings.

Choosing the Right Immigration Attorney

Not all immigration lawyers are equally equipped to handle deportation defense cases. Look for an attorney who:

  • Focuses specifically on deportation defense
  • Has experience representing clients in removal proceedings
  • Understands the complexities of immigration law
  • Has a proven record of positive case outcomes
  • Makes you feel comfortable and responds promptly

Avoid attorneys who promise guarantees or make claims about connections for special treatment. No one can guarantee a case outcome.

Be wary of immigration consultants and notarios who may take advantage of you. Make sure you have a licensed attorney representing you.

The Cost of a Deportation Defense Lawyer

Attorney fees vary, but expect to pay at least $5,000-$10,000 for deportation defense. More complex cases cost $15,000 or more. However, some lawyers offer payment plans or reduced rates in certain situations.

It’s a significant investment, but the right legal defense greatly improves your chances of staying in the U.S. That’s often worth the price.

Don’t Go Through It Alone

Facing immigration charges is daunting. But you don’t have to go through it alone. An experienced deportation defense attorney can make all the difference.

They know how to navigate the system and build the strongest case for you to remain in the country legally. It’s well worth consulting with a lawyer to understand all your rights and options. An attorney may be able to get your charges dismissed, grant you relief to stay, or at least allow you to depart voluntarily.

Don’t leave your fate to chance. Work with a knowledgeable deportation defense lawyer to give you and your family the best possible outcome.


Here are some resources with more information on immigration charges and deportation defense:

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