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Casanova Law Criminal Defense and Immigration Blog

Representation in deportation defense is lacking

With the number of people here in Florida and throughout the country who find themselves detained by the federal government regarding immigration issues, it would make sense that they be given access to legal assistance. However, despite the need for a deportation defense, this does not happen. It is up to the individuals to seek out the help they need even though many of them are minor children separated from their parents.

Reports indicate that a judge in at least one immigration court is giving advice to those who appear before her. In one example, a teenager originally stated that he was willing to go back to his country of origin, but upon further inquiry this did not turn out to be the case. The judge denied his request to be deported after finding out that the boy's father had talked to him and told him it was okay to go home even though the teen still feared for his life.

Marriage can be a tricky prospect as an immigrant

The federal government may not believe that your relationship is real if you are an immigrant wed to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident whether you live in Florida or elsewhere in the country. This cynicism comes from years of discovering that some of these couples only married in order for the immigrant spouse to receive a green card. Unfortunately, it will be up to the couple to prove that the marriage is real when immigration officials come knocking, accusing them of marriage fraud.

In 2006, Homeland Security Investigations started the Document and Benefit Fraud Task Forces. The aim is to identify individuals and organizations that use marriage as a fraudulent way to gain admittance to the country and remain here. They look for immigrants who convince U.S. citizens that the marriage is real and "mail order" marriages in which one or both parties believe the marriage is not real. In other cases, they look for U.S. citizens who either receive money in exchange for the marriage or are doing a favor for a friend.

Driving without a license in Florida can cause major legal issues

There is a popular saying that driving is a privilege, not a right. However, for many people, driving is a necessity of life. Maybe they have small children they need to drop off at school. Perhaps they work somewhere that buses don't run or work hours when bus service or other public transportation isn't available. Regardless of the reason why, many people require vehicle transportation for part of their daily life.

For some people, this can lead to the questionable decision to get behind the wheel without a license. Whether you have never had a license or have had your license suspended or revoked, driving could be a big mistake. There are potentially criminal consequences for driving in Florida without a valid license to operate a motor vehicle.

A DUI could mean an immediate termination from work

If Florida residents work in certain industries or occupations, their behavior off the clock may significantly impact their employment. For instance, a DUI could lead to a suspension or even an immediate termination. This makes challenging such a charge crucial.

For example, an off-duty police officer in one Florida city was involved in a single-car accident just before 2 a.m. on a recent Friday. When an officer arrived at the scene, impairment was suspected due to the strong smell of alcohol coming from the driver of the vehicle. Field sobriety tests were performed that she allegedly failed, and the officer on scene arrested her.

Failing to obey a traffic signal or sign is a big deal

In order to regulate the flow of traffic at intersections, all states, including Florida, utilize a system of safety measures. Failing to obey a traffic signal or sign could result in a traffic citation. For instance, if a driver fails to stop at a stop sign or red traffic light, a serious or deadly crash could occur. Under these circumstances, most people would opt for the traffic ticket over causing injuries or death to another person.

The laws of each state may vary slightly, but in general, a vehicle must come to a complete stop at a red light or stop sign. Without coming to a full and complete stop and obey a traffic device, a driver may not correctly assess the traffic situation and make a mistake that could cost lives. Drivers know this, so they make every effort to obey these laws in order to avoid a catastrophe.

Children are forced to attend deportation hearings alone

Without a doubt, the state of immigration in this country has led to a great deal of fear and anxiety for non-U.S. citizens. At this point, it does not seem to matter whether an individual is in the country legally. People here in Florida and elsewhere who felt they were "safe" from deportation could find themselves appearing in court.

One group of people who many believe should never end up in immigration court is children, especially if they are forced to be there alone since they are not with their parents. Unfortunately, this happens more often than anyone would like. Separating a parent's immigration case from a child's may have benefits on paper, but what it does to children in reality often does not work as well as intended.

Man charged with DUI says dog responsible for bad driving

How many Florida parents and teachers have heard the excuse that the "dog ate my homework" from a child or student? That may be expected, but what is not expected is a driver blaming a dog for his erratic driving. One man used this excuse when police pulled him over on suspicion of DUI.

According to police, they followed a vehicle moving below the posted speed limit and drifting. Once pulled over, the driver reportedly smelled of alcohol. Officers claimed that a bottle of alcohol was clearly visible in the passenger seat of the vehicle. The man supposedly leaned on the trunk of his vehicle to maintain balance while talking to police.

What do the federal drug classifications mean?

By virtue of the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA), all controlled substances fall under specific categories based on the federal government's opinion about how dangerous they are. Although many people may disagree with these drug classifications, it's important to understand how a federal court uses these categories because they will determine the severity of punishments in the event of a conviction.

Here is a short definition of the most severe federal drug classifications, Schedules I, II and III.

Seeking naturalization in today's immigration climate

It would be difficult for anyone in Florida to be unaware of the fact that not being from this country puts you in danger of having to leave it. It does not seem to matter whether you are a permanent resident or not, happily married to a U.S. citizen or not, or just on the verge of being eligible for naturalization or not. If you are nearing your time to apply for citizenship, it may be worthwhile to seek experienced support to help you through the process.

The application alone requires a substantial amount of detail about your life. Missing even one piece of information could cause a delay or denial. If you are unsure how to answer a particular question, guessing could do more harm than good. You may be better off consulting with an attorney to be sure that you understand the questions and provide the best answers and associated evidence possible.

Why might you need a South Florida deportation defense attorney?

It may be difficult to find anyone here in Boca Raton who is not aware of the fact that immigration law in this country is currently in an upheaval. It seems as though agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement receive new orders and find new ways every day to take people into custody who may not have entered the country legally or whose legal ability to remain here expired or is otherwise in jeopardy. When fighting for the right to remain here, it may help to have a South Florida deportation defense attorney as an advocate. 

It does not appear to matter whether you have a valid green card or obtain fraudulent documentation. No one is safe. An arrest may be enough to begin the deportation process. It may feel as though a conviction may not be necessary in order for ICE agents to take any non-U.S. citizen into custody.

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