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Paying the Criminal Bail - Caution for the Non-Citizen

US immigration laws allow for the detention/imprisonment of any person who is not a citizen or permanent resident of the United States and has been arrested on criminal charges if the person is not physically in jail pending criminal charges. A person that has been arrested on criminal charges and pays bail can and often is taken into Immigration custody. The result of Immigration detention is that the person is often unable to answer the criminal charges or defend against the criminal charges before facing deportation. The open criminal charges are a determining factor in whether or not the Immigration agency or Immigration Judge will allow release from Immigration custody. Open criminal charges also have a negative effect on the person's ability to remain in the United States or even to come back into the United States in the future. If you, a family member, or a friend are facing criminal and potential immigration problems you should consider the following steps: 1. Do not pay the criminal bail until after a full consultation on immigration related issues. 2. Hire a good immigration attorney and a good criminal defense attorney. 3. Consider carefully the immigration consequences of a conviction. 4. After consulting with both the immigration and criminal defense attorneys is the time to make decisions regarding paying or posting bail.

Additional resources provided by the author

Other sources where you can look for advice or information include the following websites that help locate an immigration lawyer or explain what the immigrations consequences are of criminal activity:

http://www.defendingimmigrants.org
http://www3.law.columbia.edu/hrlr/jlm/ica-section-i.pdf
http://www.ailalawyer.org

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