If you are an immigrant in this country, the path to becoming a citizen is long—but there are legal advocates who want to help you. As crimmigration attorneys, we don’t want you to make this journey harder by surrendering personal information unnecessarily.
This may be the most important thing you read. Understand that you have rights under the U.S. Constitution. Whatever your immigration status may be, know what rights you do have.
Being questioned by police—even at a traffic stop—can be frightening. Have a plan of what you should say to a police officer if you are questioned or detained. Because of how scary it may be, you will not be able to think as clearly as you are right now. Make a plan and know your rights ahead of time.
Keep this in mind: you never want to make the situation worse. And you could do this accidentally by becoming angry, fighting with officers, or being obstructive. Another way to cause problems unnecessarily is by lying. Lying will not help you.
Your crimmigration lawyer can help you. Get to her calmly, quickly, and patiently.
To do this, verbally express your desire to remain silent. Depending on your state, you may have to provide your name, but you do not have to discuss your immigration status. Be prepared for the questions to be indirect. For example, ICE may not ask about your immigration status. They may just ask where you were born.
They could search you for a weapon, but you do not need to consent to a search of your private belongings. What you should do is ask to consult a lawyer.
This is where the memorized phone number (of your attorney) comes into play. The conversations you have with your attorney are private. This includes your phone calls.
However, if you are in the custody of an immigration officer or authority, the government does not have to provide you a lawyer —as they do in criminal court cases. That does not mean that there are no options available. Reach out to us right away for help. Ask for a list of attorneys who could represent you for reduced fees, if you cannot afford to hire a lawyer. There are lawyers who care about protecting your rights.
Regardless of whether you already have the name of an attorney, channel your questions and concerns towards her once she speaks with you. You cannot guess the intentions of an ICE officer, but you can trust your crimmigration attorney.
If you are a non-U.S. citizen who has been charged with a crime, contact the crimmigration attorneys at STERN Law, LLC. We have extensive experience with immigrants facing criminal charges. STERN Law understands the impact it could have on your immigration status. We will be there to protect your rights. Or you can memorize our number: (404) 476-8980.