Why Traffic Offenses, Like Driving without a License, Are Particularly Serious For Non-U.S. Citizens

Why Traffic Offenses, Like Driving without a License, Are Particularly Serious For Non-U.S. Citizens

At STERN Law, LLC, we protect those who want to live in this country and will fight to keep you here. Because this is deeply rooted in our values and who we are, we want to discuss how relatively minor offenses, such as traffic violations like Driving Without A License, could lead to something as significant as deportation proceedings. Though it may be frightening, it is essential to understand how and why this can happen so you can avoid putting yourself in a compromising situation. Ironically, we hope you never need a CcrIimmigration attorney, and that is the driving force behind why we published this blog. 

When a U.S. citizen receives a traffic ticket from a law enforcement officer, it will specify the violation that was committed, the associated fine or penalty, and the deadline for responding to the ticket. For example, this could happen for minor infractions such as speeding, running a red light, or an improper lane change. Driving without a license is a common offense for which a ticket or citation is issued. After they pay the fine, most people get points added to their driving record, their insurance could increase, or they may have to attend traffic school. The outcome can be more severe, which is critically important for non-U.S. citizens to be aware of. 

In the next section, we will explain the consequences, which may be unnerving, but we will also outline how to protect yourself. 


Traffic Offense Arrests are the #1 Most Common Reason for ICE Detention

As a non-U.S. citizen seeking legal residency, traffic violations are not minor. You can get arrested for traffic violations, especially Driving Without a License; some have mandatory sentencing conditions. (We are focusing on minor traffic offenses today, but it is important to remember that some traffic violations where someone is seriously injured due to negligence could be called a crime of moral turpitude or a felony.) 

There Additionally, there are potential immigration consequences for any offense that puts you in jail. Non-U.S. citizens may be here on specific visas or immigration statuses. Ultimately, this will threaten your ability to remain in the country. These traffic offenses oftencan lead to ICE detention once it is recognized that a non US citizen without legal status is present in the United States without permission. revocation or denial of a visa, or they could lead to status adjustments. 


Convictions are Convictions

Paying a fine is equivalent to assuming guilt. In other words, paying a fine will equal a conviction. As unnerving as this sounds, we aim solely to explain that even minor issues can become large-scale immigration challenges if you don’t take the proper steps. In other words, even something as small as a traffic offense warrants a meeting with a crimmigration attorney.

One of the most challenging components of this issue is that people may pay the fine because they either want to move on with their lives or are trying to do the right thing. Before proceeding, speak with an attorney. Well-intentioned actions, sadly, can still lead to deportation—which is precisely what we are trying to prevent. Being convicted of a traffic offense can make a hard-working person ineligible for immigration benefits, hinder their ability to obtain visas, alter their status, or apply for waivers of relief. 


Protect Yourself & Your Future 

When you make decisions without the support of legal counsel, you risk escalating the situation. There are several scenarios where a traffic arrest can trigger an ICE hold. At STERN Law, LLC, we will work with you to minimize your risk of deportation, and all that we ask is that you contact us. Allow us to protect you, your family, and your future before calling us before you pay the bond for release from jail or rush to pay a traffic citation. Contact a member of our legal team and book a consultation with us today, so we can learn more about how we can help you.


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