Covered by NYDaily News. Las Vegas man accused of threatening a prominent attorney and making vile remarks.
Covered by New York Times, and other outlets. Fake heiress accused of conning the city’s wealthy, and has an HBO special being made about her.
Accused of stalking Alec Baldwin. The case garnered nationwide attention, with USAToday, NYPost, and other media outlets following it closely.
Juror who prompted calls for new Ghislaine Maxwell trial turns to lawyer who defended Anna Sorokin.
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In 2022, Netflix released a series about one of Todd’s clients: Anna Delvey/Anna Sorokin.
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Voluntary departure is basically a way for someone facing deportation to leave the United States on their own terms rather than being formally deported. It allows them to avoid some of the more negative consequences of deportation.
If someone is in deportation proceedings, they can request voluntary departure from an immigration judge instead of fighting the case. If approved, it means they agree to leave the US at their own expense within a certain timeframe, usually 60-120 days.
Voluntary departure has a bunch of benefits over formal deportation. First off, it lets the person choose where they get sent back to, instead of potentially being banished to a random country. It also gives them some time to get their affairs in order before leaving the US.
The main reason someone would choose voluntary departure is to dodge the harsh consequences of a formal deportation order. An order of deportation basically bans you from legally coming back to the US for 5-10 years, sometimes even longer. It also makes it really hard to get visas to other countries.
To get approved for voluntary departure, you’ll generally need to meet a bunch of requirements to convince the judge you deserve it. Some of the main things they look at are:
You’ll also need to prove to the court that you have the means to actually leave the country within the timeframe and have somewhere to go. If you’ve got strong connections keeping you in the US, it can help demonstrate you’re not just trying to dodge deportation.
If you want to request voluntary departure, you’ll need to formally apply for it during your deportation hearing. The basic process goes like this:
The decision is totally up to the judge – there’s no guarantee you’ll get approved. That’s why it’s so important to show them you fully deserve voluntary departure and aren’t just trying to cheat the system. Having an experienced immigration lawyer on your side increases your chances big time.
If you’re granted voluntary departure but don’t actually leave on time, the order automatically switches to deportation. And you can be banned from coming back to the US for 10 years as punishment. So it’s really important to follow through if you get approved!
To summarize, voluntary departure is basically a way to avoid the worst consequences of deportation by agreeing to leave on your own. Here’s a quick comparison:
As you can see, voluntary departure is much more humane and gives the person a chance to avoid deportation’s worst consequences. That’s why it’s a go-to option for many immigrants who have lived in the US for a long time and want the possibility of coming back someday.
Trying to navigate voluntary departure and deportation defense on your own is really tough without legal expertise. An immigration attorney can help increase your chances of getting approved and avoiding deportation. They know exactly how to present the best case to the judge.
Look for immigration lawyers in your state or city that specialize in deportation defense and voluntary departure cases. LawInfo, FindLaw, and Avvo all have good state-by-state directories to find attorneys.
The right lawyer can make a huge difference in getting your voluntary departure approved. They’ll also walk you through each step of the process and help avoid any issues with leaving on time.
While still difficult, voluntary departure is often a better alternative then getting hit with a formal deportation order and 10-year ban. For long-term US residents with strong ties, it can be the most realistic option to preserve the chance of legally returning someday.
Getting approved involves convincing the judge you meet all the requirements and aren’t trying to cheat the system. An experienced immigration attorney is almost essential to have on your side. They can navigate the complexities of the law and help secure approval for your voluntary departure.
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