The Orlando Immigration Court, also known as the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), is located at 3535 Lawton Road, Suite 200. The Court handles all non-detained removal and deportation cases for Central Florida, Northern Florida and much of Northwest Florida. As of the Fall of 2017 the Court also has jurisdiction to hear detained cases from the Baker County Detention Center in Macclenny, Florida as well as the Folkston Processing Center in Folkston, Georgia.
While immigration courts are part of the federal government, they are distinct from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). While these agencies are part of the Department of Homeland Security, the immigration courts fall under the Department of Justice. The Orlando Immigration Court has seven immigration judges and is governed by the Office of the Chief Immigration Judge.
The Orlando Immigration Court is open from Monday through Thursday, from 8:00 a.m. through 4:00 p.m., and on Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. It is closed daily for lunch between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Additional information about the Orlando Immigration Court can be found on its website.
What Happens in Orlando Immigration Court
If you are scheduled for a hearing with Orlando’s immigration court, you should arrive at the courthouse dressed appropriately. You will be required to go through security and present identification in order to enter the courthouse, and should allow extra time to go through this process in advance of your hearing. If you fail to arrive at your hearing on time, even if you are in the building and waiting in the security line, it is possible that you will be deported on this basis.
Once you are through security, the next step is to locate the courtroom where your case will be heard. Make sure that you are in the courtroom before the time that your hearing is scheduled to begin. If you do not have an attorney, show the judicial assistant your hearing notice. When your name is called, you will then be asked to sit at the respondent’s table.
Although each immigration case is different, the trial attorney for ICE will generally attempt to prove that you are subject to deportation from the United States. If you are represented by a lawyer, he or she may be able to have the case dismissed because you were not properly served, or by proving that you are not actually subject to deportation under the law. If the charges are not dismissed and the government’s attorney demonstrates that you are subject to deportation, then your Orlando deportation defense lawyer may be able to demonstrate that you are eligible for immigration relief and file an application for relief, along with supporting documentation. A hearing will typically be held, where witnesses will testify on the question of immigration relief, and the judge will rule on whether you are eligible for immigration relief.
How an Experienced Deportation Defense Lawyer Can Help
American immigration law is extremely complex, and the consequences in an Orlando Immigration Court are serious. In many cases, if you make an error in representing yourself before the immigration judge, you will be deported from the United States. This may include admitting any of the charges against you including that you committed a crime or that you were properly served with a notice to appear in court. While an unrepresented person may request a continuance to seek an attorney, the immigration judge has discretion to grant or deny this request. That is why the best time to hire a deportation defense attorney who has extensive experience practicing before the Judges in Orlando Immigration Court, such as the seasoned lawyers of Colombo & Hurd, is immediately after you first receive notice of a hearing with the Orlando Immigration Court. Because the stakes are so high in immigration court, having an attorney to represent you is the best way to protect your interests and to increase the possibility of a favorable outcome.
Seasoned Orlando Immigration Court Attorneys
The lawyers of Colombo & Hurd have substantial experience representing immigrants in Orlando’s immigration court. We have a thorough understanding of the deportation and removal process, and will work diligently to ensure that our clients’ best interests are protected.
If you have received a notice to appear in Orlando Immigration Court or are concerned about potential removal or deportation proceedings, contact Colombo & Hurd today to speak with on or our Orlando Deportation Defense Attorneys at (407) 478-1111.