If you’ve been detained by U.S. immigration officers, you’re likely feeling scared and alone. The biggest priority is getting you out of the detention facility and back home to your family. The quickest way to do this is to pay a bond. A bond is a sum of money that allows you to be released from detention with the stipulation that you come back to attend future court proceedings. If you don’t appear for these hearings, the bond will be revoked and the person who paid it will not get their money back. Instead, it will go to the U.S. government.
How a Bond Hearing Works
Since you’re still in custody, immigration officials will transport you to your hearing to request bond. If the detention facility has an onsite immigration court, you’ll physically attend your hearing. However, if the facility has no court, you will use a video program to attend instead or travel to the nearest immigration court by bus.
You won’t wear shackles or handcuffs when you enter the courtroom, but you’ll have to wear federally issued shoes and clothes, and you’ll be monitored closely by guards. These guards will instruct you to sit and make sure that you stay quiet and don’t speak to any friends or family who have chosen to attend. You will only be permitted to speak to your lawyer prior to your hearing.
At the start of your hearing, the judge will review your immigration situation and determine whether you’re entitled to a bond. Even if there’s no legal reason you cannot be given a bond, the judge still has the option to deny it based on your past behavior and how they perceive your character.
In making their decision, an immigration judge will examine evidence to determine if you’re a menace to U.S. safety or at risk of skipping out on future hearings. For example, if you have family ties, rent or own an apartment or home, and have steady employment, you’re considered less likely to flee. You can help prove you won’t run by inviting any close relatives with citizenship or legal residency to attend the hearing and providing letters from your boss or friends and family proving you are tied to your job and the community.
The judge will then ask you about your criminal history, employment, and family ties. Without a lawyer, you would need to answer these questions directly. Reference any family members in the courtroom when asked about your loved ones. This will show the judge that you have U.S. family that care for and support you.
When looking at your criminal history, the judge will consider any arrests or DUI convictions when determining whether or not you’re a danger to the country. If you have a criminal history, ask friends or family members to write letters talking about how you’ve changed since your criminal convictions and about your positive morals. You can also offer proof of completion or participation in any rehabilitation programs.
Hiring an Attorney
Being with your family during this stressful time is important, so why take the risk of defending yourself? Hiring Attorney Mel is the top way to be sure you’re provided the best defense possible to be awarded bond. The better your representation, the better chance you have at returning home to your family. Call Attorney Mel today at 678-250-5449 to request a consultation.