In my recent column Consulta Migratoria® answered a concerned reader's question about her son's case following the sentencing and closing of a fake lawyer's office.
Each case is different and the answers vary depending on each person's immigration history.
Here I provide general answers to your questions. Please consult with an immigration attorney to receive personalized legal advice before starting any procedure.
This is the column:
I hired Eddie Bonilla to help me with my son's asylum case. He told me he was a lawyer, but now I find out that he is not and that the authorities closed his office. What happens now with the case and all the documents I gave to Mr. Bonilla? -Leticia G.
Leticia, that's right, authorities investigated Eddie Bonilla after receiving complaints against him and determined that he was practicing law without a license in his business Servicio Latino Legal Office (Oficinal Legal Servicio Latino) and SLLSCO Inc.
Bonilla, whose full legal last name is Rivas Bonilla, was prosecuted. He pleaded no contest to the charges against him and was sentenced to 24 months probation. He was also ordered to pay a $$1,450 fine, serve 10 days of community service and not practice law without a license.
But Bonilla violated the terms of his probation and continued to serve clients. Authorities found out and a judge added additional terms to his sentence in late June of this year.
Upon seeing Bonilla's non-compliance, and fearing that it could cause further harm to his clients, the Superior Court of the State of California took possession of Servicio Latino Legal Office and SLLSCO Inc. and closed the office. In addition, it appointed the State Bar of California to contact all clients, return their files and advise them to seek a licensed immigration attorney to review their cases.
You can read all the details of the case by clicking here.
The most important thing to do now in pursuing your child's case is to go to a licensed and experienced immigration attorney who will analyze your child's situation, review his or her files, and determine your legal options.