We have built a strong immigration practice to serve our community. Regardless of your goals in visiting or immigrating to the United States, we can develop a thorough strategy to pursue your objectives. We handle family-based petitions, employment-based petitions, deportation and removal cases, naturalization, and post-conviction relief. In other words, we can help you whether you are applying for a visa to come to the United States, or whether you are here and trying to find the best path to citizenship. Conversely, if you are concerned about the possibility of deportation, we may be able to help you.
Family law matters can be emotionally challenging. We strive to make sure that our clients understand that there are different paths to resolving disputes. Not all divorces need to be acrimonious. Sometimes the spouses are able to negotiate an agreement with the help of skillful family law attorneys. Often, a divorce raises disputes between the spouses about property distribution, child custody, child support, or alimony. In some cases, domestic violence plays a role. It is important to choose a trustworthy attorney who understands family law.
Our law firm has extensive experience representing both Petitioners, the person seeking protection from abuse, and Respondents, the person who has been accused of abuse, in Protective Order and Peace Order hearings before the Courts in Maryland. You may be more familiar with the term restraining order - in Maryland you don't petition the Court for a restraining order, you petition for a Protective Order or a Peace Order. A Protective Order can be issued by the Court in domestic situations (spouses, child(ren) in common, related by blood / marriage / adoption, etc.) whereas a Peace Order is for non-domestic situations (co-worker, neighbor, former friend, etc.).
A Protective Order or Peace Order can be entered into by Consent, which is when the Respondent agrees to the order, or at the conclusion of a trial where the Judge finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the Respondent committed abuse (this is called a finding of abuse). A Protective Order or Peace Order entered against you with a finding of abuse can have severe collateral consequences including, but not limited to, immigration and employment consequences. If a Protective Order or Peace Order has been filed against you and you are not a United States Citizen or you have a security clearance for your employment, do not delay - contact our law firm right away.
Generally, a Protective Order or Peace Order, regardless whether entered by the Court or by Consent, will require that the Respondent (the person accused of abuse) stay away from and not have any contact with the Petitioner (the person seeking protection). But, a Protective Order can include many more provisions including custody / visitation for any minor children, use and possession of the marital home, use and possession of the family vehicle(s), family maintenance (money the Respondent must pay to the Petitioner each month), possession of a pet, etc. If you are a Petitioner seeking protection from a spouse, romantic partner, or someone you have a child with, contact our office as soon as possible to make sure you know what you may be entitled to receive as part of the Protective Order and your rights are protected. Child Custody
In Maryland, both parents are presumed to be natural custodians of their kids. There is no preference for either the mother or the father. Instead, the court will look at the child's best interests when making a custody determination. Factors that are considered in determining a child's best interests include who the primary caregiver is, the character and reputation of the parents, whether there is an agreement in place, which parent will better allow the child to maintain family relationships, and the financial resources of the parents, among many other factors. Sometimes a child's best interests change over time. It is possible to petition the court to get a modification of a child custody order after a divorce. Divorce
Divorce can be difficult under the best of circumstances. In Maryland, you can get a no-fault divorce. This means that you would not need to allege that your spouse did something wrong in order to get a divorce. You would just need to show a voluntary separation for 12 months or an involuntary separation for two years. Alternatives to divorce include legal separation and annulment. If the grounds for divorce happened outside Maryland, one spouse needs to have resided in Maryland for at least a year before filing for the divorce. Visas
If you are a citizen of a foreign country and want to enter the United States, our Maryland immigration attorney can help you apply for a visa. A visa is an official document that is typically stamped or glued into the visa-holder's passport, which is a document issued by a traveler's country of citizenship. In the United States, the type of visa that you will need to obtain is based on the purpose of your travel. It is defined by immigration law. There are different visas for tourism, employment , family relationships, study, or travel. Green Cards
Lawful permanent residents are also known as green card holders. They are immigrants under the Immigration and Nationality Act, and they have rights, benefits, and privileges that allow them to live in the United States permanently. If a lawful permanent resident meets the conditions and maintains the green card for five years, they can become eligible to apply for citizenship. People married to an American citizen can apply after three years as a green card holder with the assistance of an immigration attorney in Maryland. Green card holders have many benefits, including eligibility for education benefits, eligibility for health care benefits, the ability to come in and out of the country with fewer restrictions, and the ability to work in the United States without a work visa. Deportation Defense
Anybody who is not a United States citizen can be deported from the country for violating immigration or criminal laws. Under the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, immigration judges may order deportation after conducting removal proceedings. If you are an immigrant facing removal, you may be fearful about the process. Deportation starts when the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement issues a Notice to Appear to a noncitizen. The noncitizen then must appear before an immigration judge in court. If you receive a Notice to Appear, it is critical to retain legal representation throughout the process. Citizenship
There are two ways to become a United States citizen. You can become a citizen simply by being born within the country. You can also become a citizen through the naturalization process, with which a Maryland immigration lawyer can assist you. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) administers naturalization law and policy, and it reviews citizenship applications to determine eligibility. Certain classes of people can apply for naturalization if they also meet the other conditions for eligibility. These classes are permanent residents for the five years before applying, permanent residents for at least three years who are married to a citizen, people with qualifying service in the armed forces, and children of citizens who live outside the country. Personal Injury
We also handle personal injury lawsuits. We have helped victims injured in car accidents, train accidents, bus accidents, medical malpractice, and slip and falls. There are often emotional and physical consequences to injuries, and we try to minimize a client's stress. After an accident caused by someone else, you may be able to sue for damages in a personal injury lawsuit. Damages may include medical expenses, lost income and earning capacity, and pain and suffering. Car Accidents
If you are injured in a car accident, you should consult an experienced attorney. Maryland follows a traditional fault system, so you may need to establish the defendant's negligence to recover damages. You will need to show that the defendant owed you a duty of care, and the defendant caused the accident by breaching the duty to use reasonable care. Another driver can breach the duty to use reasonable care by driving while texting, eating, distracted, fatigued, or drunk, or by failing to obey road rules and signs. You have three years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit in Maryland. Criminal Defense
It is frustrating to be charged with a crime that you did not commit, and even more frustrating to be convicted. All crimes, whether felonies or misdemeanors, must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. However, in most cases, the government has more resources than the defense. It is important to work with a criminal defense attorney who will get to know the details of your case and apply a strong legal strategy. We have handled criminal charges involving drugs, handguns, domestic violence, assault, DUI, sex offenses, and theft. DUI
You can be charged with DUI if you operate a car when your blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08% or greater. Even if your BAC is between .04% and .08%, you can be charged with driving while impaired. We may be able to negotiate a plea bargain in which you would receive a wet reckless charge instead of a drunk driving charge. In other cases, it is appropriate to take the case to trial. Maryland has an implied consent law. This means that if you refuse to take a chemical test, you can be fined, and your license will be suspended automatically. Business
As an entrepreneur, you know legal issues are a part of business but, inevitably, your day-to-day focus lies with the business itself. Failure to attend carefully to legal issues, though, whether related to business formation, a merger, or dissolution, can lead to devastating consequences. The same is true when it comes to negotiating and signing a commercial contract, licensing a product, or hiring (or firing) a vendor (among other things.) Our attorneys have the familiarity and experience it takes to address the full spectrum of business needs and give you the customized legal representation that will help you maximize your business' success. Consult an Experienced Maryland Attorney
We provide thoughtful and caring legal representation in connection with immigration, family law, criminal defense, and personal injury matters. Anthony A. Fatemi has more than 20 years of experience. Our firm has earned the trust and respect of many satisfied clients. We will do our utmost to earn your trust too. Call us at (301) 519-2801 or (888) 519-2801 or contact us via our online form to discuss your situation with an immigration lawyer in Maryland or seek guidance in another civil or criminal matter.