Criminal Charges and ICE Holds

Our Tampa Immigration and Criminal Defense Attorney can help if an immigrant has a criminal record or has been arrested and charged with a new crime.

New Charges and Arrests:

Undocumented aliens face serious problems like deportation if they are charged and convicted of certain crimes. For green card holders serious consequences may arise when they travel, apply for US citizenship, or file to renew their green cards.

ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) is the agency that replaced the INS. ICE agents sweep county jails looking for inmates who have no documentation or their alleged crime is deportable. ICE will place a hold on their release.

In the greater Tampa Bay area, ICE has been placing holds on immigrants charged with any of the following offenses

  • All Felonies
  • Misdemeanor Charges such as
    • Battery
    • Domestic Violence
    • Drug crimes
  • Traffic Misdmeanors such as
    • Driving While License Suspended
    • Driving Under the Influence
    • No Valid Drivers License
    • Attaching Tag Not Assigned
    • Racing
    • Reckless Driving

An ICE agent will come to the jail to interview to alien. Once the alien posts bond or if their case is resolved with the State of Florida, ICE is forced to take action and decide to let the alien go or transport the alien to a detention center within 48 hours.

If ICE decides that the alien is removable, the suspect is then removed briefly to a local ICE detention center. For arrests in the Tampa area, the alien will be taken initially to 5524 West Cypress Street Tampa, FL, 33607.  If promptly hired, an experienced Tampa Immigration and Criminal Defense Attorney may be able to successfully persuade ICE to release the alien on his or her own recognizance at this point.

Unfortunately, in certain cases, the alien is transported to the Krome Detention Center at 18201 SW 12th St. Miami, Florida 33194. From here, ICE agents will try to convince the suspect to leave the US voluntarily. It is important that if they wish to stay in the US, that they do not agree to this. Instead, they should always ask for a hearing before an Immigration Judge to fight the deportation.

Your Tampa Immigration and Criminal Lawyer can still under certain circumstances motion to bond you out of ICE proceedings. The proceedings will continue but you are no longer incarcerated once your family posts a bond assuring your cooperation with the courts.

Past Convictions

Past convictions can also come back to have negative immigration consequences as well. Every year, thousands of immigrants are placed in removal proceedings because of past criminal convictions. There is no statute of limitations in removal proceedings and therefore many of these proceedings, even for lawful permanent residents, arise from convictions long ago.

Although the immigrant may have received a withhold of adjudication and was not legally convicted for the purposes of the state or federal criminal case, if he or she entered a plea of “no contest,” such a plea equals a conviction for the purposes of their immigration case.

Thankfully, recent case law has held that an immigrant must be fully advised of the immigration consequences of any plea. Usually, in practice, this does not occur fully. Our Tampa Post-conviction Relief attorneys can help you by vacating the previous uncounseled  plea and conviction, and in some cases clear your record. If you are an immigrant with a current charge or a past conviction, we can help you now.

If you or a loved one is an immigrant that has been arrested, charged or convicted of a crime, please call your Tampa Immigration and Criminal Defense Attorneys right now (813) 226-2144.