If you’re an immigrant who hasn’t yet obtained citizenship, It is important to be aware of the potential consequences of both criminal and civil violations, as even a minor offense can lead to deportation.
A traffic violation may seem like a minor incident (and usually is), but it can have severe consequences for non-citizens if certain mistakes are made.
How can a traffic stop lead to deportation?
Everyone is familiar with that nervous feeling you get when you see police lights in your rearview mirror and a police officer motioning you to pull over. For many U.S. citizens and non-citizens alike, minor traffic infractions like speeding and running a stop sign are not typically a cause for concern. You will likely pay a fine and go on with your life.
However, there have been cases when the person stopped suddenly panicked and gave the police officer false information. Lying to a police officer or providing them with false documents is a more serious offense than speeding or running a red light – and may get you deported from the United States.
It is essential to understand your rights and options. If you are a non-citizen and are stopped by police, you do have the right to remain silent and not answer questions, including any questions about your immigration status. You also do not need to give them consent to search your vehicle.
If you are facing charges that could result in deportation, it is vital to consult with someone who understands immigration law and can help you navigate the complex legal process.