Law Offices of Erik Steven Johnson

247 N. Third Street, San Jose, CA 95112

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San Jose Domestic Violence Defense Attorney

san jose domestic violence defense lawyer

Lawyer Defending Clients Against Domestic Violence Charges in Fraudulent Marriages in Palo Alto, Saratoga, and Santa Clara County

Fraudulent marriages are common in the United States. Oftentimes, immigrants from different countries will marry U.S. citizens only to obtain green cards (permanent legal residence) and then claim their spouses abuse them. By alleging that their spouse abused him or her, an immigrant who entered the U.S. on a marriage-based visa can request special status, via different avenues, which would allow him or her to stay in the U.S. even after a divorce or separation. Many U.S. citizens are duped in these fraudulent marriages and then have to suffer the consequences from being convicted of domestic violence.

If you are being criminally charged for abusing a foreign spouse, contact our domestic violence lawyer at the Law Offices of Erik Steven Johnson. Attorney Erik Johnson will strive to determine if your immigrant partner is falsely accusing you of domestic violence in order to effectively defend you against domestic violence charges.

Rights of Foreign Domestic Violence Victims

Although your spouse may not be a citizen, he or she is granted similar legal rights that other spouses who are U.S. citizens have. Under federal laws, your foreign spouse has several protections and rights granted to them as an alleged domestic violence victim, including the following:

  • Right to legal separation and divorce without your consent.
  • Right to some of your marital property during a divorce.
  • Right to obtain a restraining order against you.
  • Right to obtain a protection order for your children. A protection order in which your children are the protected persons can prevent you from visiting and contacting them.
  • Right to the temporary custody of your children.
  • Right to financial support from you.

U Visas and Domestic Violence

Domestic violence victims who are not U.S. citizens can self-petition for legal status under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), apply for a cancellation of deportation under VAWA, and petition for U-nonimmigrant status. U Visas grant lawful status to non-citizens if the following requirements are met:

  • The non-citizen is a victim of a qualifying crime such as domestic violence, abusive sexual contact, stalking, sexual assault, etc.
  • The non-citizen suffered significant emotional and physical abuse from being a victim of a qualifying crime.
  • The non-citizen is helpful, or will be helpful, to law enforcement in the investigation of crimes.
  • The qualifying crime occurred in the United States or violated U.S. laws.

A U Visa allows a spouse to remain in the U.S. for four years; however, an extension to their stay can be requested. If you sponsored your foreign spouse, then you may be held liable for his or her costs after a divorce. The U.S. requires sponsors of foreign spouses to file an affidavit of support, which holds the sponsor liable for 10 years for government aid or public financial assistance that the sponsor's spouse and children may receive in the future. Even if you believe your marriage was fraudulent, you may be required to pay back the costs associated with the financial assistance your spouse and children accessed. Your requests for your spouse's removal from the country may be denied because he or she is protected under a U Visa.

Domestic Violence Attorney in Campbell CA

Your significant other may be taking advantage of immigration policies by filing domestic violence charges against you. At the Law Offices of Erik Steven Johnson, our dedicated domestic violence lawyer will investigate the motives behind the domestic violence accusations in order to build a strong defense for you. To schedule a free consultation, call us at 408-246-3004, or contact us online. We serve clients in San Jose, Milpitas, Cupertino, Los Gatos, Santa Clara County and the San Francisco bay area.

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