Can a Restraining Order Affect Immigration Status?
In the state of Florida, a restraining order is a legal tool designed to protect individuals from domestic violence or harassment. These official court orders restrict the actions of one person against another. Restraining orders can have significant implications for individuals involved, particularly their immigration status.
Can restraining orders affect the rights of immigrants to live and work in the U.S.? In this blog, we’ll review the primary types of restraining orders in Florida and provide 4 key steps for immigrants facing restraining orders.
Types of Restraining Orders in Florida
A restraining order, also known as an injunction for protection, is a court order to prevent one individual from contacting or approaching another. In Florida, there are various types of restraining orders, each serving a distinct purpose:
- Domestic Violence Injunctions: These are issued when the petitioner alleges domestic violence or fear of imminent harm from a family or household member.
- Dating Violence Injunctions: Similar to domestic violence injunctions, dating violence injunctions are sought when the petitioner alleges violence or fear of harm in a dating relationship.
- Repeat Violence Injunctions: These injunctions are filed when the petitioner claims at least two incidents of violence or stalking committed by the respondent.
- Sexual Violence Injunctions: These injunctions are specifically for victims of sexual violence who are not related to the perpetrator.
- Stalking Injunctions: These injunctions are sought when the petitioner alleges a credible threat of stalking.
Legal Consequences: Restraining Orders & Immigration
When it comes to immigration disputes, both the petitioner and the respondent in a restraining order case can be impacted. For petitioning noncitizens, obtaining a restraining order can provide a sense of safety and protection. However, this isn’t the case for alleged offenders.
For respondents who are immigrants, the consequences can be more severe. It’s essential to understand that having a restraining order filed against you can impact your ability to live and work in the U.S., especially for those seeking or possessing visas or green cards.
Furthermore, the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) holds that individuals found to have engaged in domestic violence or other specified offenses may be subject to deportation or may be deemed inadmissible, making it difficult or impossible for them to obtain lawful residency in the United States.
4 Steps for Immigrants Facing Restraining Orders
If you’re an immigrant facing a restraining order, securing strong representation from an experienced immigration attorney is nonnegotiable to avoid life-altering repercussions in court, including deportation.
Consider these 4 steps for noncitizens to protect their rights and maintain legal status in the United States when facing a restraining order:
- Secure representation from a trusted attorney – Seeking legal guidance from a qualified immigration lawyer is imperative to obtain a favorable outcome in any criminal or immigration case. Your attorney can assess the uniqueness of your situation to determine the most effective legal strategy to employ on your behalf and review the legal options available to you throughout the legal proceedings.
- Collect relevant evidence – Collecting sufficient evidence is of paramount importance when preparing for court. Your lawyer can help you gather and present compelling evidence to fortify your claims as much as possible, such as witness statements, digital correspondence, or police reports.
- Appear in court – Failing to conduct yourself properly during the legal proceedings can result in serious consequences. It’s imperative to work closely with your attorney to ensure that important deadlines are met and required paperwork is completed correctly and on time. It’s crucial to adhere to all conditions or restrictions imposed by the court, as violating a restraining order can lead to severe legal penalties and further complicate your immigration status.
- Maintain good moral character – While facing a restraining order, it is vital to conduct yourself in a manner that will positively reflect the court and establish yourself as a contributing law-abiding member of U.S. society.
Aggressively Defending the Accused in Florida
Our seasoned advocates at Hubbs Law, P.A. have a rich and diverse background in various areas of U.S. law, including immigration law and federal criminal defense. Our wealth of legal knowledge and experience representing the accused in Florida makes us well-equipped to assist noncitizens in Miami and beyond. Whether you require an aggressive defense in criminal court or assistance with removal orders, our firm is here to demand the justice you deserve.
Facing criminal charges in Florida? Our fierce Miami attorneys can fight to restore your freedom. Call (305) 570-4802 to schedule a consultation.