Deportation Defense: Understanding the Difference Between Motions to Suppress, Reopen, and Reconsider

Deportation Defense: Understanding the Difference Between Motions to Suppress, Reopen, and Reconsider

The prospect of a deportation proceeding can be an extremely stressful time for the defendant and their family. Many defendants are concerned that during the proceeding their rights will not be protected, or that if they lose their hearing, they will be unable to appeal the decision. A qualified immigration attorney can utilize three common motions—a motion to suppress, a motion to reopen, and a motion to reconsider—to help protect the rights of the defendant during the proceedings, as well as after an unfavorable decision is reached. Motion to Suppress A motion to suppress is used during deportation proceedings when the defendant alleges that the evidence being presented against them was obtained in violation of federal law, most notably the Fourth and Fifth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution. In essence, use of the motion says to the court that the evidence should not be allowed to be part of the deportation determination because the way in which the evidence was gathered was in violation of the defendant’s rights. Motions to suppress are only used in deportation proceedings when the government’s conduct is found to be especially egregious. Motion to Reopen When a defendant loses at their deportation proceeding, there are two motions that can be filed in an attempt to reverse the unfavorable decision. The first is the motion to reopen. A motion to reopen tells the court that the case should be reopened because there are new facts that, if heard, would lead to a favorable decision. The new facts must be supported by affidavits or other documented evidence. A motion to reopen can only be filed once, and must be done within 30 days of the date of the final administrative decision. Motion to Reconsider The second type of motion that can be filed by the defendant after an unfavorable decision is a motion to reconsider. Unlike a motion to reopen, which alleges the existence of new facts, a motion to reconsider alleges that the court made an error in applying the law or policy to the facts as they were presented. A motion to reconsider can be filed once within 30 days after the final decision. Defense during and after a deportation proceeding If you or a loved one are facing a deportation hearing, an experienced immigration lawyer can help protect your rights and guide you through the deportation process. For help with your deportation hearing, contact the dedicated immigration lawyers at Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C. for your free 15-minute consultation with a paralegal.
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