1910 Pacific Ave, Ste 8065, Dallas, TX 75201, US

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Beyond immigration

Beyond immigration

Beyond immigrationBeyond immigration

Deportation Defense & Immigration Representation

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Deportation/Removal Defense

Facing deportation proceedings in Immigration Court can be a scary process, but The Law Office of John M. Bray, PLLC has the skills you need to find out. We have represented immigrants facing deportation in Immigration Courts located all over the United States, including in Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Phoenix, San Francisco, and before the Board of Immigration Appeals. Often, our attorneys are able to help our clients avoid deportation—and ultimately get a green card—by applying for Cancellation of Removal, Adjustment of Status, Deferred Action, DACA, visas for victims of certain crimes. Additionally, we are usually able to apply for a temporary work permit while the deportation case is pending in Immigration Court. Furthermore, we are accustomed to handling extremely complex immigration cases involving arrests, criminal convictions, and previous deportations. Many times, we accept—and win—tough immigration cases that other immigration attorneys are just not equipped to handle. If you want to fight your deportation cases, call us today. 

Adjustment of Status (Permanent Residency)

Did‎ you know that if you marry a United States citizen, you do NOT automatically get your green card? While you may be eligible to apply for permanent residency, there are multiple ways to do this. If you are married to an American citizen and if the last time you came to the United States was on a visa, then you may obtain a green card by applying for an Adjustment of Status. However, if you have ever come to the United States without a visa or travel documents, then you likely must use Consular Processing instead, which might require you to wait outside the U.S. for months or even years. While we cannot make the U.S. government process your immigration case faster, we do know how to prevent you from having to wait outside the United States, separated from your family and the life you have worked hard to build in this country. Call us today to set up a consultation to find out if you can apply for a permanent residency. 

Asylum & Withholding of Removal

Individuals who have suffered or are likely to suffer persecution in their home country due to race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion may be eligible for asylum or withholding of removal in the United States. Their spouses and children may also be included in applications for asylum and one year after being granted asylum, asylees may apply for permanent resident status, which backdates to the date he or she wins the asylum case. There are basically two ways to request asylum in the United States. 


The first way is by entering the U.S. with a visa, such as a tourist visa or a student visa, and then filing an asylum application with U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) by submitting a Form I-589. It has been our recent experience that USCIS will send you receipt notice and a fingerprint or "biometrics" notice a few weeks after you file your asylum application. Then, a few weeks after that, you will receive an interview notice from USCIS, indicating when and where you must appear for your asylum interview. If you live in Texas or much of the American Southwest, then your interview location will likely be at the USCIS Asylum Office in Houston, Texas, and we have attended many asylum interviews there. At the interview, an asylum officer will ask you certain key questions about your asylum claim, such as why you are afraid of returning to your home country, who would harm you, whether you have ever been harmed in the past, and whether you might be harmed in the future.


The second way to request asylum is by filing a Form I-589 application in the immigration court after you  have been issued what is called a "Notice to Appear" or Form I-862. If you are requesting asylum in the immigration court, then it is the Immigration Judge who will ultimately decided your case, although there will also be an ICE attorney present who will ask you questions about your fear of returning to your home country. If the Immigration Judge cannot grant your request for asylum, then he or she can still consider a related form of relief called "withholding of removal." Typically, this happens when the person requesting did not file the I-589 asylum within one year of arriving in the United States or where the person has committed a certain kind of serious criminal offense. The difference between asylum and withholding of removal mainly has to do with something called the standard of proof--in asylum cases, you generally only have to prove that there is at least a 10% chance you will be harmed, whereas in withholding of removal cases, you have to prove there is at least a 50% chance you will be harmed. If you cannot win either asylum or withholding of removal, there is a third type of relief related to asylum for which you might qualify, called protection under the U.N. Convention Against Torture (CAT). To win a CAT claim, you must prove that there is at least a 50% chance you will be tortured if forced to return to your home country, and this torture would be carried out by a government official or with the acquiescence of a government official. 


Perhaps the most important that for an asylum-seeker to keep in mind is to tell the truth in a logical, consistent manner. Very often, the thing that prevents people from winning their cases is the existence of a small factual inconsistency in the case. That is why it is so important to hire a competent attorney who can help you prepare for your immigration hearing or USCIS interview. Indeed, although it is possible to prepare your own asylum application, it is definitely not advisable to do so, even if you are fluent in English. Being unfamiliar with U.S. asylum law can have fatal consequences, as the consequence for losing your asylum case in immigration court will almost certainly mean being deported to the country where you fear persecution, although it is certainly possible to appeal a negative decision.


Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS)

The news media has highly publicized the fact that tens of thousands of children have fled to the United States from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala and other countries in recent years. Fortunately, many of these children qualify for a visa, even if they entered the United States without a visa. Under the SIJS program, children under the age of 21 who are living in the United States may be able to apply for a visa if they have been abused, abandoned, or neglected by at least one of their parents, and have obtained and order from a local court stating these findings. Special Immigrant Juvenile Visa holders may then apply for a "green card" and become U.S. lawful permanent residents. If you or your child is interested in applying for this special visa for children, please call us now to find out if you might qualify these immigration benefits. 

Naturalization & Derivative Citizenship

If‎ you have been living in the United States as a permanent resident for at least five years—or three years if you have are married to a United States citizen, you may qualify to apply for United States citizenship. At The Law Office of John M. Bray, PLLC, we are eager to represent immigrants hoping to achieve the ultimate American dream of becoming a citizen. Additionally, we have often encountered clients with certain family ties to the United States who do not realize that, under the doctrine of derivative citizenship, they are already American citizens! Immigration law is very complicated, which is exactly why you need an attorney who can guide you through the legal maze of naturalization and citizenship law. Call us now to set up a consultation. 

Visas and Consular Services

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Family-Based Visas

 If you are trying to bring your family member to the United States, you will undoubtedly encounter numerous obstacles along the way. What family members you can bring to the United States depends on your relationship to them and your age. A United States citizen who is over the age of 21 can file an immigrant petition for his or her parents, and the parent can immigrate to the United States as an Immediate Relative. But if the situation is slightly different, for example, if the parent filing a petition for his unmarried son or daughter who is over the age of 21, then the son or daughter will fall into the F1 Preference Category and may have to wait as long as 20 years. If you want to avoid a long-term separation from your family members, call us now to set up a consultation so we can determine the safest, fastest way to bring your family to the U.S. 

Employment-Based & Business Visas

In today's increasingly competitive business environment, businesses often must hire foreign employees on a temporary and permanent basis in order to compete globally. Numerous business visas are available to businesses seeking to temporarily hire foreign workers, including H-1B visas for specialty occupations, L-1 visas for intracompany transferees, O visas for individuals of extraordinary ability, and E visas for traders and investors who come to the United States under an international treaty of friendship, commerce, and navigation (FCN treaties). As you may realize by now, the options—and potential strategies—are seemingly endless. Call us now to set up a consultation so we can help you explore strategies to hire foreign workers, all while minimizing risk, maximizing investment, and ensuring compliance with federal immigration and labor law.   

Visas for Victims of Crime

Did you know that if you have been a victim of crime, you may qualify for immigration status? The U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Service, or USCIS, processes visas for victims of certain serious crimes. These visas include U Visas for victims of crime who provide information to the police or the prosecution, T visas for victims of trafficking, and immigrant VAWA visas and green card for victims of domestic violence. If you have been a victim of crime, call now to set up a consultation.  

Waiver Applications

Frequently, whenever a person has been deported or denied entry to the United States, it may seem next to impossible to apply for a new visa to return to the United States. Whether you wish to travel to the business temporarily for tourism or business purposes, or permanently in order to reunite with your family already living here, you will likely need a waiver of inadmissibility, often referred to informally as a "pardon." There are many kinds of visa waivers available, including waivers for having received an order of deportation or removal, waivers for unlawful presence, and there are even waivers for having committed certain criminal offenses. The key to getting your waiver approved has to do with knowing what kind of visa you will be applying for at the consulate. For example, if you are applying for a waiver for having lived in the United States without permission for more than a year, then it may be best to apply for the waiver before leaving the United States in order to avoid a lengthy separation from your family. However, if you only intend to travel to the United States temporarily, then you can generally apply for a waiver under Section 212(d)(3) of the Immigration and Nationality Act at the time of applying for your visa, whether it is for a B-2 tourist visa, H-1B professional worker visa, or E-2 short-term investor visa.

Criminal Defense

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Domestic Violence (Assault Family Violence)

At The Law Office of John M. Bray, PLLC, we know that are two sides to every story. That's why if you've been arrested for Domestic Violence, we listen to your side of the story, we thoroughly investigate the evidence, and we strive to achieve a result in your domestic violence case that minimizes the impact this will have on you and your family.

Driving While Intoxicated

Whether you have been arrested by the police in Dallas, Plano, Garland, or Richardson, let us help you with your DWI case. While your case is pending, we can prevent your DWI from putting your life on hold, such as by petitioning the court to give you an Occupational Driver's License. We have the experience you can count on to resolve your DWI case quickly and with the results that you deserve and for a price you can afford. 

Possession of Drugs

Did you know that even if you have been arrested for possession of drugs, including marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, or prescription drugs, you might still be able to avoid a criminal conviction, prison time, and even probation? Our office has successfully avoided drug convictions for clients in the past, and we can help you get your drug case dismissed. If you hire us on your state or federal criminal case, we will thoroughly investigate your case, we will research the law, we will file pretrial motions, and we will even take your case to a jury trial if necessary. If you are facing drug charges, call us today. 

Theft & Robbery

Whether you have been charged with a misdemeanor or felony Theft of Robbery offense in Dallas County or the surrounding areas, we can help! We have experience in handling Theft and Robbery offenses, and there are often solid defenses based on the facts and circumstances of any particular case. For example, just like those who have been charged with DWI, persons facing a Theft charge are afforded protection under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which guarantees that the people shall be "secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures" except where law enforcement has obtained a warrant or has probable cause to make a search or seizure of property. In 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision in Byrd v. United States, 138 S.Ct. 1518 (2018), unanimously reaffirming an old concept, which is that a person has a "reasonable expectation of privacy" where he or she has lawful permission to be in the vehicle. In the Byrd case, the Supreme Court held that right applies to rental cars, even where the driver himself did not make the rental car agreement but did have permission from the person who rented the car. The Byrd case came about from a heroine charge, but it could just as easily be applied in a case involving theft, robbery, or possession of stolen property.

Tampering with a Governmental Record (Fake ID)

Over the past several years, it has been our experience that the government has charged many of our clients with Tampering with a Governmental Record, more commonly known as making a Fake ID. Oftentimes, this happens just because our clients, many of whom are immigrants, are simply looking for a way be able to work, run a business, pay taxes, and take care of the essential necessities in life. However, these cases are winnable in the criminal courts, and if you are an immigrant who has been charged with possessing, using, or making a Fake ID, it is highly advisable that you hire competent representation in criminal court in order to avoid serious immigration consequences later on. As the saying goes, the best defense is a good offense!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can I bond out my family member if he or she has an immigration hold?

 Yes, it is technically possible to bond a person out of jail even if he or she has an immigration hold or "detainer" lodge by U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE). However, the chance that your loved one can actually get out of jail varies greatly and depends on his or her history of immigration violations and criminal conviction history. Sometimes, it is possible to get the immigration hold lifted by ICE, but sometimes it is simply not possible, such as where a person has already been deported or removed in the past.  In some cases, the ICE officer will not release the immigration hold, but it is still possible to get the person transferred to immigration jail, where they might have an opportunity to request that the immigration judge issue an immigration bond, which is in addition to the regular criminal bond that has already been paid. In most cases, where a person is in criminal jail and is being held on an immigration detainer, it has been my experience that it can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks before an ICE officer of judge will grant a immigration bond to release the hold.

Do you offer payment plans? How much is this going to cost me? And how long will this take?

 Generally speaking, we do offer payment plans any time our legal fees (not filing fees) exceed $1,500 in a single case. Depending on the type of case you have, the legal fees may range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. However, we generally charge based on the amount of work that must be done in any particular case, so the less complicated  your case is, the less we will charge.  By the same token, we also realize that some cases, especially cases in immigration court, may take well over a year to complete, so we offer lengthy payment plans that extend over the duration of the case in order to minimize the impact on your finances. It is our goal to remain within the financial reach of our clients. 

What are my chances of winning my case? If I hire you, can you guarantee I will win my case?

 The ethics rules of the State Bar of Texas, as well as those of all other states in the country, prohibit attorneys from guaranteeing a particular outcome. Considering this, any attorney who guarantees you that he or she will definitely win your case is either lying to you or otherwise trying to advantage of you. That said, we do guarantee that we will put forth effort in defending your rights and trying to achieve your goals as a client. After all, happy clients refer more clients! 

What forms of payment do you accept?

We accept cash, check, money orders, and all major credit cards, including Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express. For the convenience of our clients, we also accept online payments through the LawPay app on our website and via email.