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The immigration court system generally handles removal proceedings and asylum claims, among a few other duties. That means that most immigrants who appear in immigration court in Los Angeles are at risk of removal from the country.
Understanding immigration laws and immigration court procedures can be challenging. That’s especially true if you’re not working with an experienced immigration court lawyer in LA.
If you’ve received a Notice to Appear in immigration court, it’s important to remember that you have the right to hire legal representation. At Best Immigration Lawyer in Los Angeles, our immigration attorneys tirelessly advocate for your right to remain in the U.S. as long as possible.
You don’t have to face deportation alone. We’re here to help. Contact us today and let us help protect your legal rights.The Immigration Court Process
While every LA immigration court case has different facts, the process is generally the same. Immigrants going to immigration court can expect the following to occur:
- Taken Into Custody by ICE: Most Immigration court cases start with an arrest by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency.
- Bond: Depending on your circumstances, the immigration judge may offer conditional release pending payment of a bond. However, a bond is not available for all cases.
- Notice to Appear: If you’re in the U.S. lawfully or have been in the country continuously for the previous two years, you’re entitled to an immigration hearing. All others are subject to expedited removal.
- Master Calendar Hearing: The first appearance in immigration court typically involves submitting documents, reviewing charges, and setting a date for the Merits Hearing.
- Individual Merits Hearing: The merits hearing typically takes about 3-4 hours to complete (sometimes across multiple days). During this time, the immigrant and their LA immigration attorney will argue their right to remain in the U.S.
- The Decision: In many cases, the immigration judge will give an oral decision at the conclusion of the hearing. However, in some cases, the judge might need longer to reach a decision so the decision gets mailed to the immigrant and his or her attorney.
Convincing an immigration judge that you have a right to remain in the U.S. can be a challenge. Working with an experienced immigration court attorney in Los Angeles gives you the best chance of receiving a favorable decision in your deportation case.What Can I Expect at Immigration Court in Los Angeles?
There are three immigration courts in Los Angeles. If you are released on bond prior to your hearing, it’s essential to set your navigation to the correct courthouse.
Missing an immigration court hearing can lead to automatic deportation. Furthermore, while it’s advisable to hire an immigration court lawyer in LA, you must still physically attend the deportation hearing.
If you receive an unfavorable immigration decision, you can potentially appeal the decision. It’s important to note that most requests for appeals must be made within 30 days of the initial decision.How Can I Check My LA Immigration Court Date?
If you’ve retained the services of an LA immigration lawyer, they will keep you informed of all important dates regarding your hearing. However, you can stay up to date on the details of your immigration case status by calling EOIR’s automated phone system.How Long Will It Take for an Immigration Court Judge to Decide My Case?
Generally, most decisions made in Los Angeles immigration courts are immediate. However, there are exceptions. If a judge requires more time to render a decision, they will do so in writing. If you have an immigration lawyer, that decision will be mailed to them. Although the time it takes for a judge to make a decision is very quick, the process of getting to a hearing where the judge decides your case can be very lengthy.Should I Hire a Los Angeles Immigration Lawyer?
Absolutely. Appearing by yourself in immigration court can be disastrous. The immigration laws are complex. No matter how much sympathy an immigration judge may have for you, he or she is required to apply the law as written. Thus, having a good lawyer by your side advocating on your behalf can make the difference between success and failure.
An immigration court lawyer can help you do the following:
- Argue against false or incorrect charges
- Prove your claim to U.S. citizenship
- Present a solid Asylum claim
- Advocate for cancellation of removal or prosecutorial discretion
- Appeal your case if you receive an unfavorable decision
An immigration attorney can also help ensure that you understand your legal rights, options to remain in the country, and potential outcomes. If you’re currently facing deportation in Los Angeles, it’s recommended that you consult with an LA immigration court lawyer as soon as possible.