| Read Time: 2 minutes | Domestic Violence

When Domestic Abuse Victims are too Afraid to Speak Up

If you ask the typical Orlando-area police officer what scenario they fear most while on-duty, their answer probably will not be “taking down a drug dealer” or responding to a mass shooting. Instead, the officer may tell you their greatest fear is responding to a domestic violence call. And with good reason: According to the FBI, 136 police officers lost their lives between 1988 and 2016 while handling domestic violence matters. This makes domestic violence the single largest category of firearm-related fatalities for law enforcement nationwide. Victims Face Credibility Catch-22 Of course, domestic violence is even more devastating to its victims. And in many cases, victims never bother to contact the police in the first place. A recent report published by USA Today sheds some light on the reasons why. The report cited a 2015 survey by the National Domestic Violence Hotline where about 25 percent of respondents said that while they previously reported acts of domestic violence, they would not contact the police again, mostly out of fear they would not be believed. And more comprehensive statistics gathered by the U.S. Department of Justice suggest more than half of “non-fatal domestic violence” incidents are never reported to police at all. Many domestic violence victims feel they are in a Catch-22 situation. If they call the police right away, they are afraid that officers will not believe their story. But if they later change their mind and contact law enforcement, their delay in seeking assistance may be used as proof their allegations lack credibility. And for many domestic abuse victims–especially in Florida–there is a secondary fear that going to the police might place them at risk for arrest or even deportation. There are approximately 110,000 unauthorized immigrants living in the Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford metropolitan area, according to a 2017 report from the Pew Research Center. Given the recent focus at the federal level on “cracking down” on undocumented immigrants, many domestic violence victims who might be subject to such a crackdown are understandably reluctant to step forward for fear of losing their jobs, home, and families. Domestic Violence & Deportation It should be noted that despite the political fervor surrounding undocumented immigrants, it is still not okay to commit acts of domestic violence against anyone based on their legal residency status. As U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services itself has made clear, “Under all circumstances, domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse are illegal in the United States,” and every victim–regardless of immigration status–is protected from such acts under law. But on the flip side, if you are a non-citizen convicted of domestic violence–even if you have a visa or green card–you are subject to deportation at any time following said conviction. This means that if you have been falsely accused of domestic violence, it is critical to defend yourself in court. If you need advice or assistance from a qualified Orlando domestic violence attorney, contact Moses & Rooth, Attorneys at Law, today at (407) 377-0150.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Criminal Defense

Crimes that Result in Deportation

For many, the United States is a country that represents freedom and opportunity. This is especially so for those who are from developing countries trying to make a better life for themselves and their families. Though your intentions may be good, in Florida, you can potentially get involved in situations that are considered crimes. Though these crimes vary, when you are an immigrant and commit certain crimes, you have more to lose than those born in the United States. For those unfortunate instances, it is important to seek legal advice. If you or a loved one face potential deportation due to a crime, it is invaluable to contact an experienced Florida criminal law attorney to help you with your case. What Crimes Can Lead to Deportation? The truth of the matter is, all immigrants, including those who have been issued green cards, can be deported if they are found to have violated the laws of the United States. It is unfortunate, but when you commit a crime as an immigrant your punishment may be harsher than when a citizen of the United States commits a crime. Even for misdemeanor charges or instances when you do not have to serve jail time, you could face deportation if you are convicted of a crime. In the case of drugs, you can be deported for almost any form of drug conviction under federal law.   Crimes that can result in deportation include: Aggravated felonies; Firearms conviction; Crimes of domestic violence; Crimes of moral turpitude. Though firearm convictions and domestic violence convictions are more straightforward, aggravated felonies and crimes of moral turpitude are not. According to 8 U.S.C. Section 1101(a)(43), aggravated felonies are the most serious crimes in immigration law and include, but are not limited to: Murder, Drug trafficking, Money laundering over $10,000; Crimes of violence where the sentence is at least one year imprisonment; Rape or sexual abuse. Crimes pertaining to moral turpitude include, but are not limited to: Fraud; Larceny; and Intent to harm persons or property. Lastly, it is important to note that a formal guilty verdict is not the only disposition that may result in deportation, you can also plea nolo contender and receive some form of punishment such as probation or house arrest, as well as deferred adjudication that can lead to deportation. Need Legal Advice? When you have committed a crime, you face several consequences that can result in fines, imprisonment, probation, as well as suspension of licenses. However, when you are an immigrant and commit a crime, the consequences are a lot stricter and oftentimes can lead to you being deported. Though you may feel like there are no other options, seeking legal advice and representation can change your view. If you or a loved one face potential deportation due to the committing of a crime, contact Moses & Rooth Attorneys at Law at (407) 377-0150 for a free consultation. As former prosecutors, we will not miss details when defending you. Contact our office today!  

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Immigration

Immigration Concerns in Florida: What if You Have Been Charged With a Crime?

Florida has one of the most diverse populations in the country; there are people from all over the world that travel to and live here. For individuals that immigrated to the United States from a different country lawfully and either hold visas or have become permanent residents, staying here is of paramount concern. The commitment and ultimate conviction of certain crimes may strip someone otherwise lawfully able to be in the United States their right to do so. If you are an immigrant that has been charged with a crime in Florida, you have rights to protect yourself from deportation. Commission of Crimes on a Visa or With Similar Status The commission of any crime committed by anyone can lead to serious consequences. These same actions by “non-Americans”, even a legitimate visa or green card holder, may lead to immigration and deportation consequences. This is especially true with crimes that are deemed to be indicative of moral turpitude. “Crimes of moral turpitude,” or crimes that are believed by society to be particular offensive to moral principles, are particularly troublesome for non-residents. These types of crimes include domestic violence, violent crimes, drug/DUI offenses, fraud and sex crimes. The commission of these crimes has a substantial likelihood of jeopardizing even a permanent resident’s green card status and may lead to deportation. With consequences this severe, it is important for immigrants to be especially careful when it comes to following the law. According to a recent Washington Post article regarding immigration and crime, immigrants, overall (including both illegal and legal), commit fewer crimes than native-born United States citizens. Many people erroneously believe that immigrants are more likely to violate the law, but in reality, they are, as a group, more compliant. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) keeps statistics regarding the number of deportations that are crime-related as well as the number of crimes that are committed by documented or undocumented foreign individuals. Regardless of your stance on immigration, the numbers make it clear that immigrants make up a relatively small portion of our population, our prison population, and overall crime statistics. Even though immigrants as a class may be less likely to violate the law, a conviction will be especially damaging to an individual wishing to stay in the United States. ICE deported over 150,000 individuals in 2014 who were convicted criminals and thousands of illegal immigrants are currently being held in our state and federal jails. The process of deportation can be slow, but almost certain when certain crimes are at issue. Orlando, Florida Immigration Defense Attorneys If you are lawfully residing in the United States and have been charged with a crime, we understand that staying in America is your highest priority. Our experienced immigration defense lawyers at Moses & Rooth are former prosecutors that understand the intricacies of the justice system from both sides of the table. Using this knowledge, we will work with law enforcement agencies to minimize the potential effects a conviction may have on your resident status and do everything to protect your legal rights. Do not let a criminal conviction ruin your chances of staying in America; contract our Orlando law office as soon as you are charged to minimize the impact of your mistakes on your future.

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