With the current political climate, it is more important than ever that you know your rights if you are stopped by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. Since taking office, the current administration has vowed to step up detentions and deportations of undocumented immigrants. Thousands of people have been detained as a result, and in many cases, the persons detained have a legal right to be in the United States. That is why you need to know what to do if you are stopped by ICE agents.
Our skilled criminal defense attorneys at Wallin & Klarich understand your rights and how you can exercise them. Here’s what you need to know before you are detained by ICE.
Law Enforcement Can’t Search Your Home without a Warrant
If federal or state law enforcement agents such as ICE attempt to search your home, you have the right to say no. No law enforcement agents, including ICE, can search your home without your consent unless they have a warrant to do so signed by a judge.
You Have the Right to Remain Silent
As with any other detention or arrest by law enforcement, you have the right to remain silent. To exercise this right, politely tell ICE agents that you decline to answer any questions.
If you are asked for identification or immigration papers, you should provide a work authorization card, visa or green card if you have one. However, you should exercise your right to remain silent while handing your information over to ICE agents.
You Have the Right to Seek Legal Assistance
You have the right to speak to an attorney. However, unlike when you are arrested for a crime, the government will not provide an attorney for you if you are detained by ICE. Be sure to tell the ICE agent that you will not speak without first talking to an attorney.
If you are a citizen of a foreign country, you also have the right to ask your native country’s consulate for assistance or have law enforcement inform the consulate of your detention.
You Do Not Have to Sign Anything
The goal of ICE is to make arrests that lead to deportations. One of the ways they accomplish this is to get a detainee to agree to leave the country voluntarily by signing either a voluntary departure or stipulated removal. In many cases, detainees have signed these documents without understanding what they are signing.
If you are asked to sign any paperwork, politely decline and inform the agent that you will not sign anything until your lawyer reviews it.
One of the biggest mistakes that people make when detained is to lie to ICE agents. Even if you are in this country legally, giving false information or fake documents to ICE could result in legitimate grounds for your arrest and potentially lead to you facing criminal charges.
Our Skilled Criminal Defense Attorneys are Available Now
If you are detained by a law enforcement officer, you should not take any actions without fully understanding the potential legal trouble you are in. Our knowledgeable criminal defense attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have helped thousands of clients in their time of legal need, and we can help you now.
With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Victorville, West Covina, Torrance, Los Angeles and San Diego, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney available to help you no matter where you are located.
Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.
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