Can You Legally Drive After One Beer?

Posted by admin on October 17th, 2016 under DWI - Driving While Intoxicated  •  No Comments

Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a major offense in every state. In Texas, DWI is punishable with jail time, fees, license suspension, and potentially an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle. Experts say that even one drink can impair a driver. While it’s best not to drink at all before driving, you should learn the legal limits in Texas.

So is one beer enough to convict a driver of DWI? The truth may surprise you.

BAC Levels and Your Driving

Blood alcohol content (BAC) is the measurement law enforcement uses to gauge if a driver is legally impaired. Every state has its own limits for BAC levels in drivers, but most follow the same or similar standards. In Texas, the legal BAC limits are:

  • Drivers 21 years and older: 0.08%
  • Commercial drivers 21 years and older: 0.04%
  • Drivers under 21 years: 0.01% (any BAC level)

Texas is one of only 10 states that allow minors to consume alcohol in certain locations, such as the privacy of one’s home or under the supervision of consenting family members. However, a minor who has consumed any amount of alcohol is liable to receive a DWI charge if he or she gets behind the wheel. Commercial drivers have a lower BAC limit because they have a greater responsibility for roadway safety in larger, more dangerous vehicles.

Police officers measure a driver’s BAC levels using field sobriety testsr and chemical tests. As a licensed driver in Texas, you automatically consent to these tests. Refusal to take a BAC test has penalties of a 180-day license suspension for first-time offenders and a two-year suspension for second and third offenses. If you’re past the legal BAC level, regardless of how many drinks you consumed, the officer can arrest you for DWI.

Alcohol enters the bloodstream, impairing the body and mind. At a 0.08% BAC level, the typical person experiences poor coordination, slowed reaction time, and sedation. Coffee, a cold shower, and energy drinks won’t lower your BAC level. The only way to lower your BAC level is to wait long enough for your body to expel the alcohol. At levels lower than 0.08%, a driver may still experience lowered coordination and reaction times. An officer can still charge a driver with a DWI if the BAC level is below 0.08% in certain circumstances.

How Many Drinks Does It Take?

One 1.5-ounce shot of liquor, one 5-ounce glass of wine, and one 12-ounce beer have the same amount of alcohol. Just one drink could impair a person who weighs less than 100 pounds enough to not be able to drive safely. He or she may not have a BAC of 0.08%, but an officer could still make an arrest based on broken roadway rules, such as reckless driving. In general, it takes about three drinks for a person weighing 120 pounds to be legally intoxicated. However, a number of variables can influence this number, including how much the person eats, gender, body fat percentage, and any prescription medications he or she takes.

There’s no hard and fast rule for how many alcoholic beverages a person can consume before becoming too intoxicated to legally drive. Alcohol affects each person differently, and it’s up to the individual to know when he or she is too impaired to safely operate a motor vehicle. The best way to ensure that you don’t break the law or endanger the lives of others is to not consume any alcohol before driving. Otherwise, make sure you have a designated driver (someone who isn’t drinking) to take you home – or be prepared with the telephone number of a local taxi company.

The 10 Most Absurd Laws in Texas

Posted by admin on October 17th, 2016 under Criminal defense in Texas  •  No Comments

The Lone Star State is famous for more than just its friendly residents and affinity for barbeque. Texas is also home to some of the strangest laws in America. Many have become outdated and absurd for the modern Texan, yet they’re still active and enforceable. If you aren’t careful, you may find yourself convicted for one of these 10 absurd laws you probably didn’t realize existed.

You Can’t Sell Your Eyes

Texas Penal Code Section 48.02 prohibits the purchase and sale of human organs. This includes the eyes, kidney, liver, heart, lungs, skin, and other human organs or tissues. The law does not include hair or blood. If a person intentionally sells his or her organs, it’s a legal offense classified as a Class A misdemeanor. If you were considering selling your eyes to make a quick buck, think again – selling your organs in Texas can result in one year in the county jail and/or fines of up to $4,000.

You Can’t Own the Encyclopedia Britannica

The State of Texas outlawed the entire Encyclopedia Britannica because it has a formula for making beer at home. Lawmakers evidently don’t want Texans to create their own breweries at home. Breaking this provision can lead to fines and jail time – all for owning a book.

You Can’t Take More Than Three Sips (or Swallows) of Beer While Standing

Speaking of beer, there’s an absurd law that’s still active in LeFors, Texas. In LeFors, it’s illegal to take more than three sips (or swallows) of beer while standing. The background of this law is obscure, but likely has something to do with standing while intoxicated.

You Can’t Milk Another Person’s Cow

As tempting as milking someone else’s cow may be, you must refrain from this action in Texas. Older laws in the Texas Penal Code prohibit the milking of someone else’s cow, punishable with a fee not exceeding $10. Current laws still make milking another person’s cow illegal, but now the perpetrator faces theft of personal property charges.

You Must Warn Your Victims 24 Hours in Advance

If you’re planning a criminal activity in Texas, you must warn your victims within 24 hours of the crime. You must explain the nature of your upcoming crime, orally or in writing, giving your victims fair warning. This strange law is a recent addition to Texas’ anticrime provisions in an effort to reduce crime.

You Can’t Eat Your Neighbor’s Garbage Without Permission

One man’s trash is another man’s criminal conviction in Texas. If you eat your neighbor’s garbage without permission, you may face jail time for trespassing and stealing another’s property.

You Can’t Go Barefoot Without a Permit

Texas takes “No shirt, no shoes, no service” a bit further than most states. In certain Texan cities, citizens can’t walk around barefoot without first obtaining a $5 permit to do so. This law deals with city sanitation and appearance. Only when a citizen obtains the barefoot permit is he or she free to go shoeless.

You Can’t Shoot a Buffalo From the Second Floor of a Hotel

At one point in time, it may not have been unusual for buffalo to roam through the streets of town. Nowadays, however, this doesn’t happen often enough for the state to need an ordinance protecting the rights of such buffalo. However, there’s still an active Texas law that prohibits shooting a buffalo from the second floor of a hotel. This law is very specific, apparently allowing the shooting of buffalo from other locations.

You Can’t Feather Dust a Public Building

Texas currently prohibits the dusting of any public building with a feather duster. It’s unclear whether the dusting of a building with another tool is legal… or why the state would need to outlaw such an obscure act.

You Can Legally Marry Someone By Stating It Out Loud

Common law marriage provisions make a marriage legally valid if both parties agree to marry, live as a married couple, and tell others that they have married. If you publicly announce that the person is your husband or wife three times, your marriage is legal in the eyes of Texas. A few caveats: both parties must be at least 18 years old, unmarried, and not related to each other.

What Rights Do I Have When I’ve Been Arrested?

Posted by admin on September 12th, 2016 under Criminal Defense and Constitutional Rights  •  No Comments

Getting arrested is an experience nobody wants. An officer depriving you of your freedom and holding you accountable for a criminal offense is frightening and stressful, especially if you are unaware of your rights as a detainee. When a law enforcement officer places you in handcuffs and takes you into custody, it does not immediately strip you of your rights as an American citizen. Know your rights as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and Texas state statutes.

The Right to Remain Silent

One of the most commonly known rights during an arrest is the right to remain silent. This is the first line of the Miranda rights, or the warnings officers must provide suspects upon arrest. Based on the case Miranda v Arizona, a suspect’s Miranda rights let them know of certain pertinent facts. An officer does not necessarily have to read a suspect’s Miranda rights immediately upon arrest, but the rights must be given at some point before questioning the individual.

The “right to remain silent” refers to a suspect’s right to refuse to give information to the police. This right comes from the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution and protects citizens against self-incrimination. The police cannot legally force you to say anything. If police coerce or force you into speaking or giving evidence related to a crime, they have violated your rights. Your Miranda rights also state that anything you do or say can be used against you in a court of law. Police can use any statements you make upon arrest or during questioning against you in trial.

The Right to an Attorney

You have the right to an attorney after an arrest. When police place you under arrest, you can immediately request an attorney or you can call your existing attorney to be present for questioning. You are legally entitled to have an attorney present during questioning and counsel during a trial. Police cannot deny your request for an attorney and cannot question you without your attorney present at a later time. This right also includes a right to a paid-for attorney by the state if you cannot afford one.

The Right to Know Your Crime

The government cannot hold you in jail for a long period of time without officially charging you with a crime. Depending on the state, this period of time may be 48 to 72 hours. You have the right to know what charges a prosecutor is bringing against you. You also have the right to communicate with someone by telephone soon after you are taken into custody. This phone call does not legally have to happen immediately upon entering the police station, but it must be soon after the police complete the booking procedure.

The Right to Humane Treatment

No matter your alleged crime, you have the right to humane treatment. Unfortunately, police cruelty and brutality happen frequently in our country. While by law police can employ “all reasonable and necessary” force to overcome a resisting suspect, they cannot treat a suspect inhumanely. For instance, if officers physically beat you during questioning or withheld food and water from you, this is a violation of your rights.

The United States legal system grants everyone the right to a fair trial, in which the law considers all people innocent until proven guilty. If law enforcement officials treat you as if you are already convicted of a crime before your trial, it is a violation of your rights. Regardless of how strong the evidence may be against you, as a criminal suspect awaiting trial, you have the right to treatment as an innocent individual.

When Is It Legal to Shoot Someone in Texas?

Posted by admin on July 14th, 2016 under gun laws in Texas  •  No Comments

Many Texans carry guns to protect themselves and ensure their family and friends’ safety. Still, knowing when it’s legal to use deadly force can be confusing. It’s vital to know when it’s legal to shoot someone you think is threatening your family.

What Is the Castle Doctrine?

The castle doctrine is the name given to so-called “hold your ground” laws, which have been passed in states all over the US (starting with Florida in 2005). The Castle Doctrine states that citizens may “stand their ground,” or use deadly force, if they think doing so will protect them from bodily harm. Texas law states that you have no duty to retreat if you feel your safety is being threatened. The places where you may exercise your right to stand your ground, though, vary from state to state.

The Castle Doctrine gets its name from the philosophy that everyone is the King or Queen in his or her own home. In other words, you shouldn’t have to flee your property because of an intruder. The Texas Penal Code designates certain areas under the protection of the Castle Doctrine: your home, vehicle, and workplace.

In your home, Texas law assumes that you’re justified in using force to defend yourself against intruders. You get immunity under this presumption given a certain set of circumstances:

  • An intruder entered unlawfully and with force
  • An individual removes or attempts to remove you from your castle with force

In Texas, a “castle” defines three places: an “occupied habitation,” “occupied vehicle,” and place of employment.

The term “occupied habitation” is perhaps the most important in the Castle Doctrine. According to Texas law, your occupied habitation is limited. The Texas Penal Code defines habitation as:

“…a structure or vehicle adapted for the overnight accommodation of persons; and includes each separately secured or occupied portion of the structure or vehicle; and each structure appurtenant to or connected with the structure or vehicle.”

In other words, this limits the places where you can use deadly force—a sticking point for many who seek to use the Castle Doctrine to protect their families.

Where’s the Confusion?

News headlines all over the Lone Star State point to a lack of consensus about the Castle Doctrine. A woman in Houston shot a man last year whom she thought was attempting to enter her house by force—it turns out it was just her neighbor, a firefighter who had taken a cab home from a bar. In Austin, a man shot a person who had run away from a group home because he feared for his family’s safety.

According to Representative Garnet Coleman D-Houston, cases like these illustrate how the Castle Doctrine goes too far. He’s committed to restricting the law to reduce the number of gun-related injuries. He says current legislation allows citizens to take the law into their own hands.

It’s important to realize that you can’t use force on others for a simple act of trespassing. To shoot in Texas, you must fear for your safety when someone is breaking in or attempting to break in to your home, occupied vehicle, or workplace.

Your “Stand Your Ground” Lawyer in Houston

Legal presumptions for using deadly force in Texas are incredibly strong. If you’ve used deadly force on an intruder in Texas, the law is in your favor. Still, you’ll need an advocate in the courtroom to protect your rights. The Law Office of David Breston is committed to protecting your right to stand your ground. To learn more about our defense services, contact us today.

Open Carry Laws in Texas

Posted by admin on July 14th, 2016 under Uncategorized  •  No Comments

In early 2016, state legislators approved an open carry law in Texas. In June, Governor Greg Abbott signed it into law. There’s been much confusion about what this means for citizens, so we’re breaking down what you need to know about the new statute.

What Is the Open Carry Law?

Texans can now carry their weapons on a shoulder or hip holster. In the past, you needed to conceal your weapon and obtain a concealed carry permit.

To open carry in Texas, you must be at least 21, have a clean psychological and criminal record, complete classroom training, and pass a shooting test. You must also have a concealed carry license. An estimated 925,000 Texans have a concealed carry license and may choose to open carry. That’s around 3% of the population.

Can I Take My Gun Wherever I Want?

There’s a common misconception that this new law essentially makes Texas the Wild West. Gun-free zones are still gun-free zones, so you can’t take your weapon near schools or other designated places. Businesses are still free to make their stores gun-free, but they have to post signs saying so. Dallas and Fort Worth ban guns at the City Council and at local sporting events. Check your local municipal code to see if guns are banned in other public places.

What Makes the Law Controversial?

Opponents of the law think that seeing someone carry a gun on their holster will be emotionally upsetting for some people. They also argue that it may make law enforcement harder, as police may have a tougher time spotting criminals.

An advocacy group, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, stated that 66% of Texans and 75% of police chiefs in Texas were opposed to the measure, but the state legislation passed it anyway. They say that it goes against public opinion in Texas

Supporters of the measure maintain that this is an overreaction, and that Texas is late to the game. It becomes the 45th state to allow open carry. The Lt. Governor of Texas, Dan Patrick, told NBC’s Meet the Press that opposition to the bill was merely anti-gun “propaganda.”

What Do Businesses Think of the Measure?

Businesses are free to ban open carry, and several have taken advantage of that freedom—Whole Foods, HEB, Whataburger, and others have made their businesses gun-free. Others, like Kroger and Home Depot, allow holstered weapons.

Some restaurants are even offering discounts to those who open carry. Websites are compiling lists of area businesses and their plans to opt-out or embrace the new law.

How Is the Government Preparing?

Schools, police departments, and cities are training officers and employees about the new law. School districts, like Dallas, are placing reminders on their websites that they remain gun-free zones. It’s illegal for anyone to bring a gun onto school property, even if they have a concealed carry license. This includes all school-related events, like games and field trips.

Guns must still be concealed on college campuses, which also have the option of opting out of concealed carry on campus. Several private colleges have already done so.

Your Open-Carry Attorney in Houston, TX

Carrying a gun without a license or open carrying where guns aren’t permitted can carry stiff penalties. At the Law Office of David Breston, we believe that a simple lapse in judgment shouldn’t have a lasting effect on your life. We’re here to minimize the effect that a mistake has on your well-being. Let us be your advocate in and out of the courtroom. For more information and to take advantage of our criminal defense services, contact us today.

Is It Hard to Immigrate to the US?

Posted by admin on October 14th, 2015 under Immigration  •  No Comments

Breaking the law to get into the US is never recommended, but immigrants from all walks of life will tell you that getting into the country legally is an expensive and time consuming ordeal. And the initial process does not earn you citizenship.

If anything, getting through immigration legally is much like the game of Monopoly. At any point, you might receive a rejection notice that is the equivalent of saying, “Do not pass go, do not collect $200.” From there, you might have to begin the entire process all over again. You cannot go from being a citizen of another country to becoming a citizen of the US overnight. In fact, the process may take as long as a year or more.

I Have Decided I Want to Move to the US. Now What?

Now that you have made the decision, you will need to determine your eligibility and address any concerns that may prevent you from coming to the country legally. You may decide to apply for a visa and stay in the country from a few months to as many as six years before making the transition, or you can apply for a green card (permanent resident status) while living anywhere.

You can come to the US legally if a family member (including a new spouse) sponsors you, an employer sponsors you, or you are seeking asylum as a refugee. The next step is submitting the relevant applications and paperwork, which could take as many as six months to process. An attorney who specializes in immigration can help you submit the appropriate information and, sometimes, expedite the overall process.

Once your application has been approved, you will need to have a medical exam. You will be asked to do this before your interview. This process may take several weeks to complete with all the attendant paperwork. Then, you will need to go to an interview at the embassy in your home country or in the US. If all goes well, you will be given your approval at the end of the interview. When you enter the US, you will have your green card and permanent resident status.

Overall, How Long Can This Process Take? 

If there are any clerical errors, lost information, or other obstacles, the overall process can take as long as a year. Without legal assistance, the time frame may be longer than normal. The immigration process is complicated and somewhat clunky.

Am I a Citizen After I Undergo This Process?

No, you will not be a citizen until you apply for citizenship here. The green card process only provides you with the status of a legal immigrant. After five years of living in the US without any trouble, you will be eligible to apply for citizenship. If you are married to a citizen, the time frame is shortened to three years. Unless you apply for citizenship, you will not be able to vote, obtain social security or the attendant benefits, or hold a passport.

What Else Do I Need to Know?

Remember, this is just the process of becoming a legal immigrant. You will also need to think about finding a home, moving your belongings, and finding employment. There may be a period of several months when you need to handle affairs at home and in America before you complete the entire process.

Becoming a legal immigrant can be difficult, but it does not have to be. If you are interested in coming to the US legally, the Law Office of David A. Breston can help. Contact us today to learn more about immigrating to the US.

What Happens After Police Issue a Warrant?

Posted by admin on October 9th, 2015 under warrants  •  No Comments

Once a police department has sufficient evidence (probable cause) that a suspect is the most likely candidate for a crime, it will approach a judge to issue an arrest warrant. A warrant for your arrest means a law enforcement officer has the right to take you into custody wherever you are. You could be at work, the doctor’s office, or somewhere else. You do not have to be engaged in illegal activity for an officer to arrest you if he or she has a warrant.

Some people may have no idea a warrant is out for their arrest. The court may not call you to notify you of the warrant, but you can go online to find out if you may have an outstanding warrant. You can also contact the court clerk, who can provide that information.

Types of Warrants

Depending on the severity of the crime, a law enforcement unit may or may not actively pursue you. A bench warrant, for instance, is typically issued for minor crimes such as missing a court date for a traffic violation or for a misdemeanor. Officers will likely not come in pursuit of you for a bench warrant, but they will arrest you if they pull you over or happen to come across you during the normal course of work.

For more serious warrants, a law enforcement officer will deliver the warrant and conduct an arrest as soon as possible. He or she must show you the warrant at the time of arrest. If the warrant is not available, he or she can still arrest you, but must provide the written warrant as quickly as possible. Generally, a law enforcement officer will not enter your personal home uninvited. The officer will knock and identify him or herself. After doing so, the officer is free to use force to enter the premises if you do not answer.

If you learn an arrest warrant or a bench warrant is out for you, you can turn yourself in. You will always be booked after a warrant has been issued, but for minor infractions like missing a court date, you will likely be released soon after.

Contacting an Attorney

If you find out that a warrant has been issued for your arrest, you may want to contact an attorney who specializes in what you have been charged with to help you determine the best approach. You will still have to turn yourself in and be arrested, but with an attorney by your side, you may feel more confident dealing with the process.

Your attorney can represent you in subsequent hearings and meet with you after you have been arrested. You always have a right to an attorney, and consulting with a professional is always advisable. The court system is complex, and there may be issues with your arrest or the evidence that law enforcement has gathered against you. Knowing a warrant is out for your arrest can be frightening. You may feel like you are being hunted, but trying to hide from or ignore the warrant is the worst thing you can do. Whether you are arrested for traffic violations or for a more serious crime, waiting to turn yourself in may only make matters worse.

At the Law Office of David A. Breston, we specialize in criminal law in Texas. If you discover a warrant has been issued for your arrest or you have been arrested on criminal charges, reach out to our office. We will start working on your case as soon as you contact us, and we can help you make informed decisions at every step

What Would Someone Have to Do to Be Deported?

Posted by admin on October 2nd, 2015 under deportation  •  No Comments

Deportation is one of the main fears immigrants have – and rightly so. There are many reasons an individual might be forced out of the US. Criminal activity and misrepresented paperwork are just two that could lead to deportation proceedings. Here are some other reasons why you might be deported:

  • You are here illegally. If the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) finds out you are living here illegally, it has the right to deport you. This can be the result of failing to complete the application process or a consequence of certain types of fraud. The organization also has the right to deport anyone who is not a US citizen, provided it has a sufficient reason for doing so.
  • If you are convicted on a charge of drug trafficking, human trafficking, violent crimes, prostitution, or other serious offenses, you could be deported. Depending on the circumstances, one misdemeanor may not warrant deportation. Numerous and more serious crimes, however, could mean you will have to leave this country for a certain period of time or even permanently.
  • Even if you are not a convicted felon or repeat offender, you can be deported for small citations and misdemeanors if you have a history of bad behavior. In some cases, it may be better to go before an immigration court than criminal court, since an immigration court will allow you to provide character witnesses to prove your overall good behavior.
  • Marriage fraud. Many people wrongfully believe they can use marriage as a means of entry into the US. If ICE finds out that you misled them (e.g., you get a divorce soon after coming here or there are documents that prove fraud), it has the right to deport you.
  • Other types of fraud. If your paperwork is faulty in some way, and the error was intentional, you may be accused of fraudulent activity. This may also be grounds for deportation, depending on the circumstances.
  • Green card or visa expiration. As a legal immigrant or visitor, it is your responsibility to renew your status in this country. If you fail to do so, you are no longer here legally – and the government is free to deport you.
  • You ignore the terms of your status. Some legal immigrants are allowed to stay providing they follow a certain set of conditions. If there are conditions to your status, you must follow them. Failing to do so could lead to deportation.
  • You moved and did not tell the government. Although this rarely happens, if you move and do not notify US Citizenship and Immigration Services, the government reserves the right to deport you. You have 10 days to report your change of address, and you can use an online form to do so.
  • You try to receive welfare or other forms of public assistance. When you apply to come to the US legally, it is with the understanding that your sponsor will support you. The US government has no obligation to provide for you. If you use public assistance programs, that is an indication that you should not have been granted a green card, and you could be deported.

There are other reasons you may be deported, but these are some of the major ones. The good news is that being threatened with deportation does not always mean you will actually be forced to leave the country. You have the right to appeal the decision, but you may need the help of a knowledgeable immigration attorney. If you or someone you know is being threatened with deportation, reach out to the Law Office of David A. Breston.

What Is a Green Card? How Long Does It Take to Get a Green Card?

Posted by admin on September 28th, 2015 under Immigration  •  No Comments

A green card holder is a permanent resident of the United States, but not a citizen. Green card status means someone has been allowed to come into the country, work, and live permanently. Physically, it is a plastic card that tells officials an individual is living and working in the country legally. The card is not actually green, although it once was. The application process is not as rigorous as filing for citizenship, and many immigrants use green cards as an intermediate step as they move from becoming a visitor in the country to becoming a citizen. Here are some of the most common questions you might have about green cards and their answers:

How Long Does It Take to Get a Green Card? 

As with most government affairs, the set time to obtain a green card may vary. Processing time and other factors may expedite or slow down the overall process. However, determining your eligibility prior to applying and/or speaking with an attorney may speed up the process. Following the instructions on the forms precisely is very important and may effect whether your application is approved or rejected.

What Are the Eligibility Requirements? 

You cannot get a green card on a whim because you are tired of your home country. Instead, you have to be sponsored by family, sponsored by an employer, be an investor with the required amount of capital, be seeking asylum as a refugee, or win a diversity lottery that is typically held annually in the US.

Where Do I Go to Obtain and File the Forms? 

All of the forms you need to fill out can be downloaded through the US Citizenship and Immigration Services website. You will need to file Form I-485 to apply for permanent residency, but depending on your eligibility requirements, you may also need to file other forms concurrently. The forms are detailed, and you will need to carefully fill out each section. An attorney may also be helpful during this part of the process to ensure you have filled out every part of the forms required by the agency.

Will It Cost Money? 

Unfortunately, filing for a green card is not always cheap. Filing your application will cost $420. In addition to the initial cost of filing, you will also have other fees that may be associated with your immigration and affidavit of support. Other costs you may want to budget include translation services, medical exams, original document replacements, legal fees, and travel expenses. Some supplemental forms may cost as much as $1,000 to file. Consider budgeting the cost of applying for a green card before filing the initial application to expedite the process.

I Already Have a Green Card. Can I Become a Citizen? 

If you have held your green card actively for five years, or you have been married to a citizen for three years, you may apply for citizenship in the US.

If you have been denied a green card, you can appeal the decision under certain circumstances. To ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible, we highly recommend talking to an outside professional who has experience with the immigration process. The forms and the process can be complex and difficult to understand.

You may have many more questions than the few listed in this article. If you are interested in getting your green card, particularly during this time of national debate regarding immigration, reach out to our team at the Law Office of David A. Breston. We can help you answer further questions regarding your status and move forward with your application or appeals process.

What Happens if I Am Charged With Illegal Reentry After Being Deported?

Posted by admin on September 15th, 2015 under deportation, Deportation defense, Immigration  •  No Comments

Getting caught for a crime in America can be frightening, particularly if you are not familiar with the state and federal laws that will decide your fate. If you have been deported, denied admission to the country, or forcibly removed for any reason and you attempt to reenter the US without proper authorization, you could face fines and imprisonment.

Depending on the circumstances surrounding your previous deportation and detainment after reentry, you may face a number of consequences. In some cases, you may be removed once again. In other cases, fines and two years in prison are the minimum consequences for illegal reentry. If you have been charged with three or more drug misdemeanors, a felony, or crimes against other people, you could spend up to 10 years in prison. After an aggravated felony, if you reenter the country, you could spend 20 years in prison.

What if My Previous Order for Removal Is Reinstated?

Going through removal proceedings may be one of the best outcomes you could face after an illegal reentry. Through the process of the removal proceedings, you may qualify for relief efforts and discover a way to stay in the country legally. The circumstances of your case will largely affect the opportunities that may be available to you at this time.

Do I Have a Right to an Attorney if I Am Charged With Illegal Re-entry?

Even if you are not an American citizen, you have a right to an attorney under our laws. Hiring a private defense attorney may be the best way for you to fight the charges against you and have them dropped or reduced. Immigration cases are highly complex, particularly with the rate of change in legislation. You may have legal remedies available that you are not aware of.

We never recommend trying to fight an illegal reentry case on your own. As a private immigration and deportation defense firm, our team can help you understand your rights as an illegal immigrant in this country and develop a defense strategy that makes sense for your case.

Can I Dispute a Notice for the Reinstatement of an Order for Removal?

If there are factors that have not been considered in your case, you can dispute the findings of the notice. Doing so may improve your chances of proving your entry into the US was lawful, and help you remain in the US without removal. In some cases, extenuating factors may inform the decision to allow you to remain in the US. An immigration officer may not be able to reinstate an order for removal if you are seeking asylum from a dangerous situation, if you have applied for an adjustment of status as a Haitian refugee or a Central American refugee, or if you are eligible for a green card.

Can My Case Be Reopened After I Have Been Ordered Out of the Country Again?

If you did not appear in court for your hearing, your case may be eligible for reopening. Requesting that the case be reopened will give you an opportunity to present your case to the court and explain your situation. You may also be able to seek additional aid to improve your chances of being allowed to stay by doing so.

Finding an Attorney

Dealing with the legal system in America can be scary for citizens. For immigrants fleeing from a bad situation or those who have been mistakenly targeted by an immigration task force, the process can be arduous and overwhelming. If you have been charged with illegal reentry after being deported from the US, you may want to seek the guidance of an experienced legal defense attorney. Reach out to the Law Offices of David A. Breston for more information.