The trouble with Bond and poorly drafted NTAs

The NTAs (Notices to Appear) they draft in Tampa here are usually not so good, and the failure of the office to draft good NTAs can cause real world problems. Take my recent client, who was convicted of assault and battery and sentenced to probation (no jail time). ICE arrested him and the NTA charged him as an aggravated felon because they said his crime of violence was punished by a sentence of more than one year in jail.

The wrong charge on the NTA affected my client greatly as he was held in KROME with dangerous criminal aliens — murderers, rapists, drug dealers — rather than with the aliens he should have been held with.

The wrong charge did not hurt my client for too long, and I got him qualified for bond Friday morning, with the assistance of the wise ACC Michael Mansfield. The aggravated felony charge (which normally forbids bond) was ignored by Mr. Mansfield and a reasonable bond was set. I had the bond paperwork in my hand at 8:15 a.m. My client should get out that day from KROME easily right? Right?

Not so easy. Although the IJ ordered bond at 8:15 a.m., the Deportation Officer in Miami in charge of my client’s case did not have the paperwork for the bond until close to 2 p.m. My client’s father, who was at Tampa CIS waiting to provide the bond, had to just sit and wait from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. until they finally let him post bond. I have to acknowledge the great work by Tampa ICE making sure that my client got released the same day from KROME, as generally bond provided that late does not ensure a same day release.

My client was free at 8:45 p.m. His father was there waiting to pick him up. Now we will go to Orlando to return my client to his lawful permanent resident status.

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