For illegal immigrants, the likelihood of getting taken into ICE custody or being streamlined into deportation is very minimal in most cases. For those convicted of a misdemeanor charge (or various other minimal charges) holding a relatively clean record these cases typically don’t reach the higher levels of the judicial system. That is why at Power Bail Bonds, we are able to bail out most U.S. noncitizens with a standard bond rather than needing a complex immigrant bond required during more serious offenses. Knowing Your Rights While many think that their options are limited in terms of being approached, arrested or detained by a police officer or immigration official, in reality, noncitizens in living California have real rights and protections. Staying informed will keep you safe, decrease your risk of jail time, and hopefully smooth over uncomfortable legal troubles. By knowing your rights, and who to call when in these situations you’ll safeguard yourself and your family. Here are a few examples of where knowing your rights and protections can have a large effect on the outcome of a potentially serious situation:
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- If a police officer or an immigration official questions you about your legal status, you have the right to remain silent. In California, we further the protection, by not requiring you to state your name to a police officer (this is not the case in most States). In addition to rightfully declining to state, you also have the right to ask the officer if you are being arrested or detained. Of course, it always helps to communicate with the officer in a polite manner, speak clearly and not rush through your words. This will only help to keep the interaction as neutral as possible and avoid unnecessary hostility on either end.
- Again, if a police officer or immigration official questions you about your status, you have the right to remain silent. This also means that you do not have to show them any identity documents, state your name or present them with paperwork. In fact, it’s probably best you don’t, as you won’t know what could help or hurt you until you speak with an attorney.
- Keeping a copy of a Know Your Rights Card is a very helpful safeguard in case an event such as this should happen to you. An immigration officer cannot force you to answer any questions. Even if you are arrested and taken into custody, you have a right to remain silent and to ask for a lawyer. Upon inquiry, you legally do not have to (nor should you) tell the officer where you were born. Other identifying factors such as your nationality, or what your immigration status is could be potentially harmful during this process, so don’t relinquish those things until you speak with an attorney. Do not sign any papers, and above all else, never lie or show any false documents to authority figures. This will only cause a mountain of issues and potential harm for you down the road.