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If you are having immigration concerns or are the subject of a criminal investigation, you are one of many people who has been affected by recent changes in the law. Under the current presidential administration, the United States Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has increased the number of raids it conducts on a regular basis. ICE is the organization tasked with identifying, apprehending, detaining, and removing criminal aliens in the United States and at the borders.

According to a Homeland Security immigration removal report, ICE removed 240,255 aliens in 2016, which represents a two percent increase from 2015. If you are concerned about ICE or a pending criminal accusation, contact a Birmingham immigration lawyer for more information. A distinguished attorney can help families prepare their immigration case.

Burden of Proof

In the United States, the burden of proof that a prosecutor must satisfy in a criminal case is the standard of beyond a reasonable doubt. These words are often used in movies and television, but few people understand how it works in the criminal justice system. For more information on the burden of proof, families should speak with a Birmingham immigration lawyer.

The prosecution must present evidence to prove that no other logical explanation exists, other than the defendant’s commission of a crime, in order to satisfy the burden of proof. A criminal defendant is considered innocent until proven guilty. However, some would say that the accusation of a crime alone has serious detrimental effects on a person’s life, affecting their reputation and ability to work, and bringing legal costs.

Punishments and Sentences

A majority of criminal cases never make it to trial. Before trial, the prosecutor may offer a reduced charge for a plea of guilty. This benefits both the prosecutor (government) and the criminal defendant because both parties are trading uncertainty for certainty.

If a defendant is at risk of deportation, an alternative sentence may be desirable. If a defendant rejects a plea bargain, the sentence is usually harsher at trial to discourage other defendants from refusing to take a plea.

What is a Pre-Trial Diversion?

Pre-trial diversion is also referred to as deferred prosecution, this sentence provides amnesty to a criminal defendant in exchange for a preset number of requirements that must be fulfilled within a specified time period. These requirements can include anything from paying fines, providing information, or completing a rehabilitation program.

Types of Chargeable Offenses

There are two main types of chargeable offenses. A felony is a crime punishable by death or imprisonment for more than one year. A misdemeanor is a lesser crime that is punishable by a fine or incarceration for no more than one year. There a number of different outcomes to a criminal case, including:

  • Community Service: for lesser offenses, a number of required community service hours must be fulfilled by a certain date
  • Fine: a monetary fee charged to the defendant
  • Restitution: a fee paid to the victim by the defendant to compensate for an injury or loss
  • Incarceration: imprisonment in a correctional institution
  • Not guilty verdict: a defendant can take their chances at trial, and if they the case, the jury has rendered a not guilty verdict
  • Deportation: the expulsion of a person from a country
  • Death penalty: reserved for the most heinous of crimes

Contact a Birmingham Immigration Attorney

If you have been accused of a crime and are facing deportation, call an attorney to learn more about your legal rights. In certain instances, an attorney may be able to help you avoid deportation by applying for asylum, applying for prosecutorial discretion, or filing a motion to suppress. Call to schedule an appointment with a Birmingham immigration lawyer.

Birmingham Immigration Lawyer