Immigrants are often stopped by law enforcement for questioning, and may even be arrested without cause. Here are some steps you can take to deescalate police encounters and how to get legal assistance if you’ve been arrested or detained.
Carry Your Proof of Immigration With You
Adults over the age of 18 should carry proof of immigration status with them at all times. Parents of children under 18 should carry their child’s papers. If an immigration or law enforcement agent requests to see your immigration papers, you must provide them if you have them available. If you don’t, remain silent and do not answer any questions about your immigration status.
Stay Calm and Don’t Fight or Argue with Police
You should stay as calm as possible when dealing with police officers, even if they’re arguing with you or trying to arrest you without cause. If you resist law enforcement, you could face criminal charges, even if the first reason the police arrested you was invalid. Comply with police orders for your safety and fight wrongdoing in the courtroom.
Exercise Your Right to Silence
You have the right to stay silent if you wish, but if you choose not to, what you say will likely be twisted and used against you in some way. It is in your best interest and the interests of your family to avoid answering police questions after identifying yourself as required. Politely let the police know you decline to answer their questions or say, “no comment.”
Do Not Give Consent for a Property Search
If the police ask to search you, your home, or your other property, do not agree to it. They may legally search you or your property if they have a probable cause, a warrant, or if you allow them to. Ask to read the search warrant if police officers claim they have one.
If no official warrant is available, you should decline the search. Let law enforcement officers know that you don’t consent to the search. However, if they continue to search your property or person despite not having provided consent, you should not fight with them or argue.
Call an Criminal Immigration Attorney
If you have been detained or interviewed by law enforcement officers as an immigrant, it’s critical that you understand your rights and strive to protect them. Reach out to experienced Connecticut immigration lawyer J. Christopher Llinas now at 860-530-1781.