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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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Immigration Offenses: How an Immigration Lawyer Can Help Avoid Deportation

By Spodek Law Group | October 19, 2023
(Last Updated On: October 20, 2023)

Last Updated on: 20th October 2023, 09:05 am

Immigration Offenses: How an Immigration Lawyer Can Help Avoid Deportation

Getting caught violating immigration laws can lead to serious consequences like deportation. But an experienced immigration lawyer can often help you avoid deportation and stay in the country legally. This article explains common immigration violations, penalties, and defenses that a good immigration attorney may use to help keep you here.

Common Immigration Offenses

Some of the most common immigration violations that can lead to deportation include:

  • Entering the U.S. illegally without inspection. This includes sneaking across the border or arriving by boat without going through customs.
  • Overstaying a visa. If you stay past the expiration date of your tourist, student, or other temporary visa you can face deportation.
  • Working without authorization. It’s illegal to work in the U.S. without a permit or green card allowing employment.
  • Criminal convictions. Many crimes make immigrants deportable, including DUIs, drug offenses, domestic violence, and others.
  • Marriage fraud. Marrying just to get a green card is considered immigration fraud and can get you deported.

Committing any of these violations of immigration law can start removal proceedings where the government tries to deport you. But an experienced immigration attorney can often help you fight deportation and stay in the country.

Penalties for Immigration Violations

If your immigration offense is discovered, you may face various penalties beyond just deportation. These can include:

  • Detention – Being held in custody while awaiting a hearing.
  • Fines – Civil fines up to $500 per day of violation.
  • Jail time – Some immigration crimes carry criminal penalties like illegal re-entry after deportation.
  • Bars on re-entry – Getting deported can bar you from legally returning for 5-20 years.

But in many cases an attorney can help you avoid detention, minimize fines, and eliminate jail time and bars on re-entry. The key is taking action quickly once you know you’re under investigation.

How an Immigration Lawyer Can Help

If you’re facing immigration penalties, an experienced immigration attorney can be your best asset. Here are some of the ways a lawyer can help:

  • Fighting deportation completely in some cases where you have strong ties here.
  • Helping you get bail and avoid detention while your case is pending.
  • Preparing waiver applications to overcome grounds of inadmissibility.
  • Presenting evidence of hardship if you’re deported.
  • Securing prosecutorial discretion to have charges dropped.
  • Negotiating plea bargains to avoid jail time for crimes.
  • Applying for relief like asylum or cancellation of removal.

A lawyer knows every defense possible under the law to help you stay. Without expert legal help, most immigrants face deportation even for minor offenses. But with an attorney on your side, you have a fighting chance to avoid removal.

Common Defenses Against Deportation

There are many complex defenses an immigration lawyer may use to help you fight deportation. Some examples include:

Cancellation of Removal

This defense applies if you’ve lived in the U.S. continuously for 10 years and have close family members who are citizens or permanent residents. It allows the judge to cancel your removal based on the hardship your deportation would cause.

Adjustment of Status

If you’re eligible to get a green card through a family member or employer, your lawyer can file to adjust your status to a permanent resident. This can waive deportation for illegal entry or overstaying a visa.


If you fear persecution in your home country based on race, religion, nationality, politics, etc., you may qualify for asylum. This will halt deportation to that dangerous place.

Withholding of Removal

Similar to asylum, this defense allows you to remain if you’re more likely than not to be persecuted in your home country. It’s harder to qualify than asylum but still prevents removal.

VAWA Protection

For victims of domestic abuse by a U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse, VAWA allows you to self-petition for a green card without the abuser’s knowledge or consent.

Prosecutorial Discretion

If you have very compelling ties in the U.S., DHS may agree to administratively close your case. This removes the immediate threat of deportation.

An experienced immigration lawyer will know what defenses you may qualify for to remain in the country legally. Don’t assume deportation is inevitable – fight your removal with legal help.

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