Marriage fraud is a very serious crime that has come under a more watchful eye by United States authorities in recent years. Charges of marriage fraud can completely upend the life of not just a non-citizen but also the United States resident who assists with the crime. If you have been charged with marriage fraud, then seeking the help of a criminal defense attorney can prevent you from suffering the consequences.
At the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg, we are committed to proving that our clients were married under legitimate circumstances. We have over 30 years of experience helping families stay together and remain in the United States legally. When you need a Kaufman marriage fraud lawyer, we are ready to get to work for you.
How Can a Marriage Fraud Lawyer Help?
If you are accused of marriage fraud, the punishments you face may be severe. According to the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), you could be subject to:
- Fines of up to $250,000
- Up to five years in prison
- A permanent bar from the United States, which prevents you from ever entering the country again
- Federal charges such as harboring an alien, visa fraud, and conspiracy
It can feel intimidating having a United States government agency charge you with a crime, but it is not uncommon for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to make mistakes. If you’ve been accused in error, then hiring an attorney can help you prove that you are not guilty.
Preparing Your Defense
From the moment that you choose a marriage fraud attorney to represent you, they start work on your behalf. The main defense for proving marriage legitimacy is compiling the documentation and other materials that can explain the marriage was created under the correct pretense.
To prove the legitimacy of your marriage, your attorney will compile records that show you and your spouse were never living fraudulently. Items that can prove legitimacy include but are not limited to:
- Pictures and videos of family time, including family vacations
- Proof of shared residence or shared business ownership
- Birth certificates and adoption certificates for children
- Statements from witnesses who can defend the legitimacy of your marriage
- Bank statements that show joint bank accounts or shared income
When you and your attorney are planning your defense, it is best if you offer as much documentation as possible to prove that your marriage was legal. Your lawyer will be able to assist you in determining what will help your case and what is not needed.
Why Would You Be Charged with Marriage Fraud?
The main concern that marriage fraud poses to the United States is security. Numerous criminal organizations and even terrorists have tried to use marriage fraud to gain access to the United States and conduct their schemes from within our borders. Because of this, USCIS and ICE have gotten much tougher on those who seek marriages with non-citizens.
Three Types of Marriage Fraud
ICE states that there are three types of marriage fraud. In some instances, both spouses are determined to be guilty of marriage fraud, while in others the U.S. citizen or the non-citizen may be unaware that they are part of a marriage fraud scheme. The three types of marriage fraud are:
- A foreign national defrauds a U.S. citizen who believes they are entering into a legitimate marriage
- A mail-order marriage that is arranged with one party knowing that it is fraudulent
- A U.S. citizen receives a reward such as payment or is asked to perform a favor by marrying a foreign national who is already in the United States to help them obtain permanent residency
If you believe that you are the victim of marriage fraud, then you should speak with a Kaufman marriage fraud lawyer immediately. This will prevent you from being held accountable in the event that the government determines that your marriage was fraudulent.
For a free legal consultation with a Marriage Fraud Lawyer in Kaufman, call (214) 696-9253
USCIS Monitors Your Relationship
The Immigration Marriage Fraud Amendments of 1986 provide a two-year timeframe for all marriages between citizens and non-citizens. After that two-year window is up, a marriage is considered legitimate. However, some have been using this two-year period as a way to gain access to the country, then divorce their spouse.
Due to these circumstances, USCIS monitors the marriages between non-citizens and U.S. citizens to ensure that they are not observing anything suspicious. If you and your spouse were to get divorced within the two-year period or shortly after, then you may be accused of marriage fraud.
Kaufman Marriage Fraud Lawyer Near Me (214) 696-9253
USCIS conducts personal interviews with each spouse to determine if the two parties are actually married legitimately. Each party will be asked the same questions, and their answers will be cross-checked with the other party’s.
It is important to be entirely honest during these interviews. An attorney can help you prepare for these interviews. They can help you avoid answering any leading questions in an inappropriate way or unknowingly label yourself as guilty.
Contact a Kaufman Marriage Fraud Lawyer Today
If you have been accused of marriage fraud, then time is of the essence. If you do not seek legal assistance quickly, you could find yourself deported or facing hefty fines and long jail time. Additionally, you could be charged with other federal crimes that come with even more severe punishments, if it is determined that your marriage was fraudulent.
At the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg, we help our clients prove the legitimacy of their marriage through documentation, sworn testimonies, and other means. We work tirelessly on your case to ensure that you and your family stay together and remain in the United States. When you are ready to seek the legal assistance of a Kaufman marriage fraud attorney, contact us.