What Are Spanish-Speaking Lawyers?
A Spanish-speaking lawyer is one who is a native Spanish speaker, or who is otherwise fluent in Spanish. As such, they are able to assist individuals with their legal issues when they would prefer to speak in Spanish. A Spanish-speaking lawyer is licensed just the same as any other lawyer; the only difference is that they have the ability to communicate in the Spanish language, possibly in addition to English.
A Spanish-speaking lawyer is essential for competent legal representation for those who speak English as a second language, or not at all. In court proceedings, if an individual cannot understand or speak English, they are entitled to receive the services of a translator or an interpreter. As such, a Spanish-speaking lawyer can assist such clients with understanding all aspects of their case, as well as with literally understanding what is being communicated to and about them.
One of the many reasons for hiring an attorney that speaks and understands your language is to overcome the possibility of discrimination. Just because discrimination is illegal in the United States does not mean that it does not still occur. The goal of this article is to provide a summary of the facts related to the history of discrimination for Latinx, Chicanx, and Hispanic Americans, as well as information on how to obtain a Spanish-speaking attorney for your legal case.
What Are the Laws Surrounding Detention Centers? How Can I Locate an Individual in a Detention Center?
One of the most hot button issues regarding latinx, chicanx, and hispanic immigrants is the growth of immigration detention centers throughout the United States of America. Importantly, there are no enforceable regulations or standards that address physical or mental medical treatment, legal services, or access to telecommunication services. As such, numerous detainees are not able to access legal representation services while in a detention center.
If there is a detainee who has a medical condition, they do have a right to appropriate medical treatment at ICE’s expense under the National Detention Standards (“NDS”). However, ICE is unable to follow through with many required medications and medical treatment. Therefore, it is important these individuals get in contact with an immigration attorney to advocate on their behalf for appropriate medical treatment. Family separation is a major concern facing many, but an immigration lawyer can assist with such challenges.
Thus, if someone you know has been detained by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) it is important to first locate where they are detained. One way of locating where a person is being held is by using the ICE detained person locator, found here. Information you will need to locate the individual include their birth date, country of origin, and name.
It is important to note that if the individual was recently detained, or under the age of 18, the person may not be able to be located in the database. The person may have also been taken to a correctional facility or jail. It is also important to note that anything you say regarding the person, may be used against them in immigration court. Therefore, it is important to not give details as to an individual's immigration status, or history. Instead, you should think about contacting an immigration attorney to assist the individual being detained.
How Can an Individual Be Released From a Detention Facility?
It is crucial to note that when an individual is detained in a detention facility, immigration court proceedings move at a much faster pace. Although there are some cases in which an individual should see the judge earlier, most detained individuals need time to build their case to present to the judge. For that reason, the best option for most detainees is to have them released from the detention facility.
The first question to ask when trying to get an individual out of a detention center is whether or not they have a bond. A bond is often set on detained individuals in order to allow them to be released from the detention facility if they pay the set amount. The bond is essentially a bail, and ensures that the individual will return to their specified court date, or risk losing the bond amount. However, some individuals are not eligible for a bond.
If the individual is eligible for a bond, but you believe the bond is too high, the individual or their representative may ask for a bond hearing on the matter. At the bond hearing, the detained individual or their representative can argue that the bond amount be lowered to a more appropriate amount. The minimum bond amount for immigration matters is $1,500.00, but may be set at any amount. It is also at the bond hearing that the judge will set the calendar for all future court dates involving the bonded detainee. It is important to stick to the calendar and show up at the court dates in order to avoid having a warrant issued for your arrest, or your bond being forfeited.
How Can I Find Legal Help in Spanish?
Competent legal representation in one’s native language is essential for obtaining equality, the right to a fair trial, and the right to counsel. However, the right to counsel may be a challenge if you can only speak and understand the Spanish language. Because of this, those who speak only or predominantly Spanish should seek the counsel of a Spanish-speaking attorney.
There are many tools that can assist you in your search for a Spanish-speaking attorney in your area, specifically for ones who are in close proximity to where you live. It is important to choose an attorney who can relate to your case the most. If you are Hispanic, oftentimes the best attorney for you to hire is one who speaks your language and understands your cultural differences. This ensures the most effective communication between you and your attorney.
Choosing a lawyer who does not understand what you are saying may cause miscommunications and issues with interpretation. While a family member or a friend may be able to help translate between you and your attorney, you may not want your friends and family members having inside information regarding your legal issues.
As previously mentioned, should you not be able to obtain legal representation in your primary language, you have the right to request a translator during your court proceedings. A translator can assist you with understanding terms which are not familiar, as well as explain what is expected of you by the court. Additionally, having a translator provides some level of assurance that your civil rights are not being violated.
Can LegalMatch Help?
LegalMatch assists clients with finding the best lawyers near them, as well as legal representatives for all types of legal concerns. Simply visit the LegalMatch website and indicate that you need the help of a Spanish-speaking attorney. Suitable LegalMatch attorneys in your area will respond within 24 hours and provide information regarding their background, experience, and fees.
Many attorneys who are members on the LegalMatch website are fluent in Spanish, or will be able to assist you in locating a Spanish translator to make things easier for you. This is just one of many advantages that LegalMatch offers to its Spanish-speaking clients. Presenting your case to LegalMatch attorneys is free of charge and takes just a few minutes to initiate the process.