How does an immigration detainer affect my chances of getting out?
What most people want to know is whether someone can get out of jail when they have an immigration detainer, hold or warrant.
The answer is YES. As a former criminal prosecutor and now a criminal and immigration defense lawyer, I can assure you that I have clients that are released from immigration detainers all over the country all the time. Based on my experience, often get out even when you are illegally in this country or have a minor past criminal history. Of course every case is different and only a qualified attorney examining your case can tell you your chances. Of course when you get to immigration, your deportation lawyer will want to argue why you are not a flight risk or a danger to the community and your community ties, etc.. What you cannot have is any drug trafficking offense or any "aggravated felonies" or a prior order of deportation or removal that cannot be re-opened or appealed.
If you want to bail someone out that is in jail on state or federal charges and has an immigration hold or detainer, you should work with a lawyer that knows both immigration and criminal defense.
The jails, many criminal defense lawyers, prosecutors and even judges will erroneously tell you that you cannot pay the bail or bond on the criminal case because of the immigration detainer but they are often wrong.
Certainly you can pay the criminal bail set by the judge and then he will be taken to immigration custody. Most people should pay the criminal bail but you must work with check with a qualified criminal and immigration attorney before you do so. The inmate will not get out right away but will taken to immigration custody after which a deportation lawyer can request an immediate bond hearing and in many cases be granted one, depending on the severity of the crime and the person's past criminal record. If and when immigration bond is granted and paid, the person walks out of jail
free to fight both their criminal and deportation case from the outside and if qualified, at the end of their criminal case, sometimes even apply for a green card. This would have almost impossible in most cases if the criminal bond had never been paid because the conviction rates are much higher and tougher for inmates that are currently incarcerated and awaiting trial than for those that are out of jail on bail or bond awaiting trial.
Be wary of many lawyers both criminal and immigration lawyers that tell you that it cannot be done. They may not know both areas of the law. Criminal and immigration defense law or "crimmigrationlaw" is a very specialized field of law. There are several issues regarding whether the person will be given credit for the criminal case for the time that they are in immigration custody, how to get your bail back, how to prevent a warrant, etc and that is why you should consult with us or with a lawyer familiar with both criminal and immigration law before you do anything else. Disclaimer: This posting is for general informational purposes and is not intended to be nor should it be taken as legal advice which should only come from a personal consultation with a qualified attorney familiar with all facts of the case. Having said that, good luck and keep fighting for his or her freedom!