I’m a non-U.S. citizen and I’ve been arrested. Can I just pay the bond or the fine to get out of jail and go home?

Slow down, and don’t rush to pay a bond or fine in a criminal case. If you are a non-U.S. citizen and you’re not present in the U.S. legally or you have some other sort of criminal history that could make you deportable, there is a big risk that once you leave jail, whether it’s a bond or a conviction, you could end up in immigration custody for deportation. Even if a very low bond amount is granted, you could face immediate ICE detention for potential deportation charges if you’re not lawfully present in the U.S.

It’s really hard to fight a deportation case with a pending criminal case. In many cases, an experienced CrImmigration lawyer would advise you not to pay your bond especially until there is an opportunity for us to take a look at your situation and do a really thorough assessment about what the risk is going to be if you go into immigration custody. Also it’s important to know that if you just pay a ‘fine’, that actually means you are pleading guilty to something.

Be careful before you make a decision about what to do in your criminal case, whether it’s paying a bond or otherwise, until you talk to an experienced CrImmigration attorney. Deportation can be proactively prevented if a CrImmigration Lawyer is involved from the start of your criminal case. Don’t make any quick decisions to pay your bond without experienced legal advice!

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