Top Reasons to Speak with a Personal Injury Attorney in New Mexico

Top Reasons to Speak with a Personal Injury Attorney in New Mexico

Personal injury cases can be quite complex. There are fault investigations, coordination between insurance companies, medical providers, and law enforcement. Additionally, there are negotiations with insurance companies who make deals in their best interest. Hiring a personal injury attorney in New Mexico who is knowledgeable and has experience fighting for your rights is key. Here are the top reasons you should hire a personal injury attorney in New Mexico.

Claim Assessment

Personal injury attorneys are experienced and can tell you if your case is worth the legal hassle. If it is doubtful that you will win, you can avoid the time and cost of preparing your case.

Understanding of Personal Injury Law

Complicated legal and medical terminology are typical in most personal injury litigation cases. Personal injury attorneys can navigate through all the red tape and examine the evidence needed to resolve your case.

Additionally, Personal injury lawyers use their extensive knowledge of the law to present your case in a legally favorable context.

Assesment of Involved Parties

In some auto accidents, it is easy to tell who is at fault. However, in some cases, there may be more responsible parties. Automotive defects, road conditions or the sale of alcohol to a drunk driver could have also played a role.

Experience with dealing with lawyers

During your discovery process, you will need to share facts and documents. Personal injury attorneys are familiar with this process and can handle this more efficiently.

Experience Dealing with Insurance Companies

Calculating your injuries, lost wages, pain, and suffering is difficult without a personal injury attorney.

Furthermore, insurance companies make offers for their own benefit. A personal injury attorney can recognize a bad settlement offer and advise you of the best action to take.

Higher Settlement Amount

Personal injury lawyers use their experience and negotiation skills to get the settlement you are entitled to. As a result, personal injury attorneys settlements are 300% higher on average.

Trial Experience

If your case goes to trial, attorneys have many hours of courtroom experience. Therefore, personal injury attorneys understand how to present your case before a jury.


When you have an accident, you can be frustrated and want a quick resolution. Insurance companies use this to lure you into accepting low settlement agreement. A personal injury attorney won’t take a low settlement agreement.

Contact a Personal Injury Attorney in New Mexico

As a result of the complexity of personal injury claims, you should consult with a personal injury attorney in New Mexico. Attorneys investigate the accident, calculate your damages, and determine a fair settlement. When you hire an attorney, you show the insurance company that you will not settle for less than you deserve.

In addition, there is nothing to lose and no upfront expense for consulting with a personal injury attorney Contact us today at (575) 308-0308.

10 Things to Document From an Auto Accident Scene

10 Things to Document from an Auto Accident Scene

When you have been involved in an auto accident, proper evidence collection from the accident scene is important for your case. Evidence can be photos, videos, and documentation. The evidence will help to demonstrate that you were not at fault. Additionally, it will show the accident was responsible for your injuries.

Here are 10 things you should document from an auto accident scene.

1. Evidence from First Responders

If you find yourself in need of medical attention, call an ambulance. This provides you with needed medical attention. It also provides a medical record to use as evidence in your case. Medical first responders can serve as a witness to injuries at the accident scene.

If you are not in need of immediate medical attention, contact the police. Document their names and badge numbers. The police report will also serve as evidence for your case.


2. Driver’s name and contact information

The driver’s information shows who was operating the motor vehicle when the auto accident occurred.


3. Insurance Information

The other driver’s insurance card will contain the contact information for the insurer. You may need to contact the driver’s insurance company to obtain information and coordinate repairs.


4. Vehicle Description and License Plate Number

Take photos or take note of the car make and model as well as the license plate number.

5. Photographs of the Final Resting Positions of the Vehicle from the Auto Accident Scene

This is very important. The final resting place of the vehicles after the auto accident shows a lot of information about the impact. Information such as vehicle speed and impact angle will be helpful in backing up your personal injury claim.

Photographs should be from multiple angles and distances. This will reveal information such as your distance from an intersection or a warning sign.


6. Photographs of the Damages

Detailed photos of the damage to both vehicles are also helpful in determining fault. Additionally, it provides supporting evidence for a personal injury claim.


7. Photographs of Road Conditions

Road conditions can play a key role in determining the cause of the accident. Document Potholes, oil slicks, missing or obstructed signage that could have contributed to the accident.


8. Photographs skid marks

Document Tire Marks from accident scene

Skid marks or lack thereof could show if the driver attempted to brake or not. Lack of braking could be a sign of a distracted driver.


9. Information from Witnesses

witness testimony after auto accident scene

If there were witnesses to the accident, collecting their names and contact information will be useful. If you sustain injuries your attorney may need to speak with them.


10. Photos of Your Injuries

auto accident injuries

Contact The Law Office of W. Shane Jennings

Creating a record of your injuries can go a long way in proving what injuries you sustained from your accident. This will support your personal injury claim. The Law Office Of W. Shane Jennings will review your case and provide you with a free evaluation

5 Things You Should Never Say After a Car Accident in New Mexico

5 Things You Should Never Say After a Car Accident in New Mexico

After a car accident, you will need to speak with the other driver involved. What you say next could make or break your case. It is important that you are aware of the pitfalls for some of the most common responses. Here are 5 things, from The Law Office of W. Shane Jennings, you should never say after a car accident in New Mexico.

“I feel fine”

After a car crash, you are full of adrenaline and disoriented and unable to assess the pain you are in. It is very common for injuries not to surface until hours, sometimes days later. Therefore, stating how you feel at the time can work outside of your best interest. Saying “I feel fine” could lead to questions when you file a personal injury claim. You should never say anything that will make light of your condition.

“I’m sorry”

Car accidents are scary and cause many inconveniences for both parties. It is human nature to want to apologize, even if it wasn’t your fault. However, the other party can be interpreted that as an admission of fault. It is best that you say little as possible and let the evidence speak for you. Otherwise, you could forfeit your personal injury claim and pay out of pocket for the damages you suffer.

“It was my (your) fault”

It is important not to accuse yourself or the other party for the auto accident. There could have been other factors involved in causing the auto accident. Not only can accusations cause a heated exchange of words, it could even lead to physical violence adding more tension to an already tense situation. It is best to allow law enforcement to do their job in conjunction with your insurance company to determine who was at fault.

“I know what happened”

You should be as exact as possible when talking with law enforcement about the facts of the accident. However, you should avoid speculation about the events. This could make the case more difficult to resolve. Speculation such as vehicle speed and driver intent can cause inconsistencies during the investigation that could damage your case.

Speak to a Personal Injury Attorney in New Mexico

The actions you take immediately after a vehicle accident in New Mexico are critical to ensuring just compensation for your claim. We are standing by to provide you with the assistance you need after your accident. Contact us The Law Office of W. Shane Jennings today (575) 308-0308

Tips to Avoid Distracted Driving

We all have busy lives filled so many things to do and so little time. We often have to multi-task to compress time and get things done. Sometimes it is unavoidable, however, in certain situations, it can cause more harm than good. Driving is one of the situations that should command our full attention. Distracted driving is responsible for about 9 deaths and more than 1000 injuries every day.

Here are a few tips from The Law Office of W. Shane Jennings on things to do to remain focused on the road.

Get Plenty of Rest

When you do not get enough sleep, nodding off can distract you from driving and this can lead to big problems.

The problem of drowsy driving is much higher than federal estimates show
According to newly released research from the AAA Foundation for traffic safety about 10 percent of all motor vehicle-related crashes.

In-car camera footage of over 3500 drivers in a span over several months reveals that drowsiness was a factor in 9.5 percent of all crashes and 10.8 percent of crashes resulting in “significant” property damage – markedly higher than the 1 percent to 2 percent federal agencies estimate.

“As many Americans struggle to balance their busy schedules, missing a few hours of sleep each day can often seem harmless,” AAA Director of Traffic Safety Advocacy and Research Jake Nelson said in the release. “But missing just two to three hours of sleep can more than quadruple your risk for a crash, which is the equivalent of driving drunk.”

  • AAA offers tips to help drivers avoid drowsiness behind the wheel:
  • Drive during normal awake hours.
  • Don’t rely on your body for warning signs of fatigue.
  • Take breaks every two hours or 100 miles.
  • Drive with an alert passenger and take turns driving.
  • Don’t take medications that cause drowsiness or other impairment before driving.

Put your cell phone away

Using a cellphone takes away your focus from the road and increases the danger to pedestrians, other motorists, and passengers.

Hands-free or Bluetooth devices do not reduce the dangers of distracted driving. If you must make a call, pull over to a safe place and make the call or text. Joseph McKillips, executive director of the Vienna, VA-based Network of Employers for Traffic Safety had this to say.
“Hands-free use, it’s cognitively distracting to the driver,” “The research says so.”

Here’s what you can do:

  • Let your friends and co-workers know that you do not take calls, respond to text messages, or emails while you are operating a vehicle.
  • Remove access to distracting items. Items such as paper and pen, or a cell phone, should be made inaccessible.
  • Pull over if there is something you need to take care of before you reach your destination.

Don’t Eat and Drive

Eating while driving is not illegal, however, studies show it should be. Eating while driving has proved to be just as dangerous as texting while driving.

This video shows how an Albuquerque, New Mexico city bus driver learned this the hard way.

In a Lytx study done in 2014 shows that a driver who is eating is over 300% more likely to be in an auto accident that their non-eating counterparts. However, According to an Exxon-Mobile survey of 1000 individuals, 70% of drivers have admitted to eating and driving.

Don’t Apply Makeup While Driving

This one should be a no-brainer, however, 46% of women have admitted to applying makeup during their daily commute.

IN 2009, the data revealed that about 450,000 auto accidents per year were caused by women applying makeup while driving. In some states, such as California, it is illegal.

Call a New Mexico Auto Accident Attorney if you are a Victim of Distracted Driving

This is far from a complete list. Any activity that removes your eyes from the road, removes your hands from the wheel, or takes your full attention from the road, should be recognized as distracted driving.

If you have been a victim of a distracted driver in New Mexico contact The Law Office of W. Shane Jennings at (575) 308-0308 for more information and free consultation.

What to Expect After a Car Accident in New Mexico

Automobile accidents can affect the lives of those involved in many ways. From minor injuries and property damage to wrongful death. When you are involved in a car accident in New Mexico, you will need to work with your insurance provider, and possibly a personal injury lawyer. It can be a painful ordeal. Therefore, New Mexico residents need to be well informed about the auto accident settlement process.

Should I Report a Car Accident in New Mexico?

If the accident resulted in personal injury or damages to property that exceed $500, New Mexico requires two reports, an oral report to local police, in addition to a written report.

Oral reports must be filed over the phone to your local police department. Written reports must be filed within 5 days of the accident and must be filed with the New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT).

In addition, however, even if the injury did not result in personal injury you should still exchange insurance and contact information with the other party involved in the accident.

New Mexico Car Insurance Laws

New Mexico requires drivers to carry minimum liability insurance of at least:

$25,000 for bodily injury to or death of one person,
$50,000 for bodily injury to or death of two or more persons
$10,000 for property damage in any one accident

How Do Car Accident Settlements Work in New Mexico?

Almost all disputes over car accident damages end in an out of court settlement. When you negotiate a settlement, you are calculating the amount of money you will accept to drop your legal claim.

New Mexico also has an alternative dispute resolution method called settlement facilitation. Settlement facilitation conferences are a type of mediation. A mediator, or facilitator, helps guide the parties in reaching a resolution. In this method, the parties have the ability to create their own agreement that is satisfactory to both parties.

How Much to Expect from a Car Accident Settlement in New Mexico?

There are no guarantees in what your settlement will be. Since each case is unique and the settlement depends on a number of factors. For instance,
there will be different amounts if the result of the accident caused:

  • Minor injuries with no ongoing complications
  • Substantial injuries that require surgery, or physical therapy
  • Spinal trauma or paralysis
  • Brain injuries that created a cognitive disability
  • Wrongful death
  • Vehicle repairs
  • Lost wages

Consequently, the extent of the damages you sustained is the most important factor in determining a settlement amount.

How Long Do I Have to File an Automobile Accident Lawsuit in New Mexico?

The Statutes of Limitations for filing a legal case for a car accident in New Mexico is three years for personal injury claims and four years for property damages.

Most noteworthy, Statutes of Limitations are non-extendable time limits. Therefore, be sure you have time to file a lawsuit.

Free Claim Review from The Law Office of W. Shane Jennings

In conclusion, The understanding of fault, damages, meeting the appropriate deadlines are all key aspects of a successful settlement and can be a daunting task for the average person. A free claim review from The Law Office of W. Shane Jennings can help prevent other issues that could stop your case before it starts. Call us at (575) 308-0308We are standing by to help guide you through the process.

Annulment: Frequently Asked Questions

If you want to end your marriage there are several options available. For many individuals, an annulment is the most prudent choice, but you might not know exactly what this process involves.

It is critical to understand the differences between separation, mediation, a traditional divorce and an annulment to help you determine what is the right option. Here are a few frequently asked questions you might have about an annulment.
What Is the Difference Between a Traditional Divorce and an Annulment?
In many respects, an annulment and a divorce are very similar. For example, both are legal proceedings that end with two former spouses no longer joined in marriage. However, it is critical to understand the main difference between an annulment and a divorce before going forward.
When seeking a divorce, the two parties or the court acknowledge the marriage occurred. An annulment, on the other hand, is a legal end to a marriage the court states was not valid. In either case, both former spouses can choose to remarry.
What Are a Few of the Grounds for Annulment?
There are two types of divorces: fault and no-fault. For an individual to seek a fault divorce, they must prove that the other spouse’s actions led to the divorce. In a state with no-fault divorce laws, neither party must provide evidence of the other’s wrongdoings.
In a way that is similar to a fault divorce, one spouse must provide valid grounds to receive an annulment. Some of the most common reasons include:
  • Previous marriage. The other spouse was legally married to another person.
  • Blood relatives. The spouses are relatives. An aunt and nephew, uncle and niece, grandparent and grandchild, or parent and biological child are a few examples.
  • Forced marriage. One party was forced into the marriage.
  • Underage. One party was under the age of marital consent.
  • Consummation. The spouses did not consummate their marriage.
  • Misrepresentation or fraud. For example, if one spouse lied about being a drug user, their age or a past criminal history, it could be grounds for an annulment.
These are only a handful of examples. If you have any further questions about what is considered grounds for annulment, don’t hesitate to contact an attorney.
Are There Any Benefits to Seeking an Annulment?
Depending on an individual’s circumstances, there are several advantages to seeking an annulment. These benefits will depend on individual situations for both spouses. For example, if one spouse was collecting alimony before the annulled marriage, they can often begin receiving those payments again from a former spouse.
If either spouse’s finances were destroyed because of their marriage, an annulment can often help both spouses become more stable. In many states, an equitable division of marital assets is a legal option. However, if an individual is granted an annulment, they will be allowed to retain all their assets, including those assets that were obtained before and after the marriage.
Finally, for many individuals who can seek an annulment, a piece of paper that confirms their marriage never occurred in the first place can help those individuals more easily rebuild their lives and move on.
What Should I Do First?
If you are considering your options for ending a marriage, your first step needs to be contacting an attorney. Your attorney can help you determine if an annulment is the right choice, or if it is even possible. Next, your attorney will guide you through the process of determining the grounds for your annulment and finding evidence to support these grounds.
Do not try to go through this process alone. Instead, contact an attorney to learn about your options and rights.
Obtaining an annulment for many individuals is the best option available for many individuals. If you have further questions, don’t hesitate to contact the professionals at the Law Offices of W. Shane Jennings.

Case Won: What to Do If Your Civil Judgment Goes Unpaid

When you choose to get involved in a lawsuit, you typically expect to win monetary compensation from the party that has wronged you. If you win the lawsuit, the next logical step is that the losing party pays you by order of the court.

However, in some instances, the losing party in the case does not pay the judgment for some particular reason. He or she might not have the money to pay the judgment or might simply refuse to pay.
If this happens to you, you will need to take additional measures and pay extra court costs in order to collect your judgment. The following are some things to remember when you attempt to collect your money after winning a civil case.

Refusal of an Individual to Pay a Judgment

The losing party in a civil case may refuse to pay a judgment for any number of reasons. If you have sued an individual person, the refusal to pay is likely due to a lack of funds. If they do not have the money, they will have nothing to pay you, unfortunately. It can be difficult to collect your money in this type of situation without further action on your part.

Wage Garnishment

Refusing to make a payment for a civil judgment does not automatically get the losing party out of the final judgment. If you have sued an individual and they refuse to pay, you can have their wages garnished – assuming that the individual is employed and is paid legally.
If you choose to have the individual’s wages garnished in order to collect the judgment, you will need to back to court and schedule a hearing. You will also need to provide proof that this person owes you money for your case and has not made payments toward the judgment.
Each state will limit the amount you may garnish from each paycheck, up to a certain percentage per pay period.
If the individual claims not to work or have any sort of income, you can have a post-judgment discovery conducted if you believe that is not truthful. You will need to work with your attorney and the court to do so. The individual could be subjected to questioning and depositions and may also have to provide documents.

Refusal of a Business to Pay a Judgment

Most businesses will comply and pay the judgment right away to avoid any negative press that could hurt their revenue. However, some businesses may choose not to pay out judgments.
If this happens, you have a few more options. The first thing to do is to garnish the bank account of the business, much like you would do with an individual.
However, garnishment may not always an option. Some businesses, especially small businesses, opt to work on a cash-only system. In this case, you would need to work with your local sheriff’s department to make a collection.
With assistance from your attorney, the sheriff can seize the cash in the register of the business in order to pay you. Other assets, such as equipment or inventory, can also be seized in order to help collect your judgment.


If the individual or business that you have secured a judgment against files for bankruptcy, you may be out of luck. Chapter 7 bankruptcy essentially throws out just about all debts that are due, including any judgments issued by the court.
For any of these collection options, you will need an attorney’s assistance at minimum. Keep this in mind when you are deciding whether or not to move forward with collection, as the money you will need to spend may outweigh the amount you are due. For assistance with your legal matters, please contact the Law Office of W. Shane Jennings.

Being Charged With Domestic Violence In New Mexico

If you are arrested for charges related to domestic violence, you may feel intimidated. Of course, dealing with the legal system is never a walk in the park. The difficult road ahead of you is one reason why you might consider hiring an attorney to combat the charges.

Each state has its own guidelines for domestic violence charges. Domestic violence in New Mexico may include physical harm, severe emotional distress, assault, threats of injury, criminal trespass, criminal property damage, and harassment.
If you are arrested for domestic violence, you should quickly become acquainted with New Mexico’s domestic violence laws and processes. This guide will help you get started.

Understanding Domestic Violence Arrests

Your arraignment will be your first appearance in court, during which you will hear orders from the judge. In domestic violence cases, a New Mexico judge will order that you do not have contact with the alleged victim. Typically, lawyers advise that you plead not guilty.
If you are ordered to have no contact with those alleging violence, you may have to move out of your current residence. In some cases, the judge will issue a protective order. Protective orders can set restrictions for abuse and stalking, but it can also award temporary custody of a child to one party.
You will be expected to stick to the terms of your bond, including any restraining orders. Failing to do so could mean that you will be arrested and detained until it is time for your trial.

Understanding Domestic Violence Laws

According to New Mexico law, domestic violence can be committed against any member of a household or a member of the family that is not a resident, including parents, children, spouses, ex-spouses, romantic partners, or roommates. Domestic violence laws also apply to those you have had an intimate or romantic relationship with, even if you don’t live together.
One major misconception about domestic violence charges is that they can be dropped immediately if the victim does not want to press charges. The decision is actually up to the legal system.
Several types of domestic violence charges exist. For instance, some cases are determined to be an assault against a household member, which is a petty misdemeanor and may include an attempt to batter rather than physical contact. Battery, a misdemeanor, includes physical contact. Aggravated battery, a felony, includes contact with a weapon or causing great bodily harm by any means.

Understanding Domestic Violence Consequences

If you are convicted of domestic violence in New Mexico, the consequences are steep. In addition to jail, prison, or fines, you may also be required to attend counseling sessions as part of a treatment program.
Petty misdemeanors are punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $500. Misdemeanor convictions mean up to one year of jail time and a fine of up to $1,000. On the other hand, felony assault is punishable by up to three years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000 depending on the degree.
Repeat offenders face steeper punishments. If you have been convicted of felonies in the past, a new felony conviction may be deemed more serious.

Understanding Domestic Violence Defense

To fight back against potential consequences associated with domestic violence charges, you need an attorney. Your lawyer is responsible for understanding and interpreting the law to provide you with a defense. Defense against domestic violence can be difficult, so you need professional representation.
The Law Office of W. Shane Jennings provides legal services for those facing domestic violence charges. We are compassionate and understanding while maintaining extraordinary legal expertise to help defend you against domestic violence accusations.

5 Ways You Can Defend Against Deportation in New Mexico

Deportation can suddenly become a real and present possibility for many undocumented immigrants and other non-US citizens in New Mexico. Defense against deportation is possible, but rarely easy. Defenses can vary widely depending on many circumstances. Here are some of the defenses of deportation that may work for you or your loved one facing removal in New Mexico.

1. Pick Apart the Reasons for Removal at Your Removal Hearing
Before the start of a removal proceeding, the court will issue a Notice to Appear, which outlines the charges and reasons for deportation. These reasons can include:
  • Illegal entry into the country
  • Expired visa or other temporary citizenship credentials
  • Violation of visa or other temporary citizenship laws
  • Criminal activity
Each one of these and other charges come with defenses. Picking apart these deportation reasons can help remove someone from detention or stay the removal process.
Sometimes, one or more of these charges aren’t even relevant. For example, a visa violation charge can occur because the rules regarding a particular type of visa changed suddenly. Proving someone didn’t violate the original terms of their visa can help.
You can deny the allegations and proceed from there. The burden of proof for any charge falls to the DHS. If they cannot prove the allegations, then there are no grounds for deportation. Even if the DHS can come up with the proof they need, other options are still available.
2. Make Use of Any Form of Relief or Relevant Waivers
Several relief methods exist that can help with deportation. Many of these methods have strict guidelines for usage. Also, you must know which forms of relief are available and applicable. Here’s a few worth considering:
  • Waiver of inadmissibility
  • Cancellation of removal
  • Withholding of removal
  • Asylum
  • Relief under the Convention Against Torture
  • DACA
  • U Visa, VAWA, T Visa
  • Motion to Terminate or Suppress
  • Adjustment of status
The status, age, and even gender of the detainee can help them gain relief. Occasionally, applying for a specific type of assistance can at least prolong the case. Proceedings must sometimes wait for the outcome of the relief application before they can continue.
3. Leave Voluntarily to Gain the Best Chance to Come Back
One defense that can help (more than many think) is to leave the country voluntarily. In cases where the detainee has avenues to return to the US legally, a voluntary departure can speed up that process.
Deportation can often come with a ban on attempting to return which lasts a decade. Sometimes, that ban is a permanent one. Voluntary deportation can sometimes remove the ban and allow someone to come back for a fresh start sooner than later.
4. Appeal a Decision While Also Pursuing Other Options
Despite best efforts, a negative outcome can still occur. In such a case, you can still appeal a judge’s decision. You can still pursue other forms of relief while appealing a decision as well. Note that appeal isn’t possible if you file a voluntary departure.
5. Hire an Experienced Immigration Attorney in New Mexico
The immigration laws can create a lot of confusion. Many people face removal with little to no understanding of what they can do about their situation. In addition, the laws on immigration are in a constant state of change. Having an advocate is a necessity. Legal representation can help with:
  • Explaining the situation clearly
  • Finding and explaining possible defenses
  • Finding and explaining which forms of relief are potentially available
  • Providing paperwork and other necessary documentation
  • Answering any questions and providing guidance
  • Handling the appeal process
It helps to understand what’s going on, but there’s no substitute for a knowledgeable legal representative.
At the W. Shane Jennings Law Office, we can help you or your loved one find the best path to remaining in the country. You have to act quickly. If you or a loved one is facing deportation in New Mexico, contact us immediately.

Options When Your Fiancé Visa Application Is Rejected

The process of applying for a K-1 fiancé visa can be complicated, and many seemingly qualified couples have their applications denied all the time. A rejection can be confusing and upsetting, but you and your fiancé still have options. Here are the next steps you should take after your K-1 visa application is rejected.

Determine Reasons for Rejection

To qualify for a K-1 fiancé visa, you, the petitioner, must prove that you are a U.S. citizen, you and your fiancé are legally free to marry, you met within the last two years, and you intend to get married within 90 days of your fiancé’s entry into the U.S.

Failing to meet these basic requirements set out by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will result in a visa application rejection.

The USCIS rejects fiancé visa applications to mitigate marriage fraud. At the consulate or embassy level, the official interviewing you can reject your application if he or she is not convinced that your intentions for applying for the visa are legitimate.

Also, the USCIS conducts extensive background checks on petitioners and applicants to preserve the country’s safety. A criminal record or a tainted visa history on you or your fiancé’s part can raise red flags that could prompt a rejection of your K-1 visa application.

Certain crimes carry a heavier weight than others. Just because your record is not completely clean does not mean your application will automatically be denied. An immigration attorney can help you to navigate the process if you have a criminal record resulting from a misdemeanor. You should also speak to an attorney if you are unclear about the reasons why your application was denied.

File an Appeal

If you believe you met all the requirements set out by the USCIS, one option is to appeal the decision to deny your visa application. The Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) is in charge of listening to and reviewing appeals from negative immigration decisions.

The AAO applies existing laws to the facts of a case to provide non-precedent decisions. This means the final decision is based not on past cases but on existing laws and the unique situations surrounding your case to ensure accuracy and fairness.

To file an appeal, you must submit the Notice of Appeal (Form I-290B), attach a copy of the rejection letter from USCIS, and pay the applicable filing fee. You must file your appeal within 30 days of receiving the rejection letter. To avoid making mistakes with your appeal, speak with an immigration lawyer to review your application.

Send your appeal documents to the USCIS office that rejected your application. The USCIS will review your original application, a process that may take 45 days. In case the USCIS upholds its denial, the AAO will review and provide you with the final decision within six months.

Send in a New Application 

Your other option is to reapply for a fiancé visa. Submitting a new Petition for Alien Fiancé (Form I129F) is cheaper than an appeal and allows you to correct any previous mistakes. If you did not make copies of your initial application, you would have to do the paperwork all over again.

Understand that your fiancé will attend his or her interview at the same U.S. consulate. Also, your application could be rejected again unless it is evidentially different from the original one.

When applying for a K-I fiancé visa, a lot could go wrong due to lack of knowledge. It is also very distressing when you keep getting a negative response from the immigration department. Working with an experienced lawyer can help make the process less tiresome and boost your chances of success.

Make an appointment with Law Office of W. Shane Jennings to discuss your application process and legal options if you have been denied.