The attorneys at HAWM Law handle all areas of immigration law, whether you or a loved one is facing the urgency of potential deportation, the long wait for a visa, pursuing a green card, or you have a small to medium size business and are seeking these benefits for employees, we will evaluate your immigration case and help navigate you through the immigration process from start to finish.

Being prepared can go a long way in resolving your immigration matter. Here are a few helpful tips if you are stopped by law enforcement.

Question: If I am a non-citizen and stopped by law enforcement, do I have to answer their questions?

Answer: No, you have the same right to be silent as a citizen. There are some exceptions, such as ports of entry, borders and airports.

Police Officer Reprimand Female DriverQuestion: Will I need my immigration papers to show the officer if I am stopped?

Answer: If you are over 18, the law requires you to carry your valid U.S. immigration documents at all times. According to the American Civil Liberties Union,

These immigration documents are often called “alien registration” documents. The type you need to carry depends on your immigration status. Some examples include an unexpired permanent resident card (“green card”), I-94, Employment Authorization Document (EAD), or border crossing card.) Failure to comply carry these documents can be a misdemeanor crime.

If you have your valid U.S. immigration documents and you are asked for them, then it is usually a good idea to show them to the officer because it is possible that you will be arrested if you do not do so. Keep a copy of your documents in a safe place and apply for a replacement immediately if you lose your documents or if they are going to expire. If you are arrested because you do not have your U.S. immigration documents with you, but you have them elsewhere, ask a friend or family member (preferably one who has valid immigration status) to bring them to you.

Question: If I am arrested by an immigration officer, what should I do?

Answer: You still have rights, you don’t have to answer any questions. It is usually in your best interest to speak with an attorney. There can be major consequences of signing any documents while in detention. These documents may result in you giving up your right to a hearing or getting deported before seeing a judge. Immigration laws are very complex. Immigration officers may not explain all your options. Since you will not have the right to a government appointed attorney, it may be in your best interest to have the phone number for a reliable immigration attorney such as HAWM Law available.

Let the experience and knowledge of the attorneys at HAWM Law help you through the complicated immigration process.

If you’re unsure about communicating in English, don’t worry, HAWM Law provides language interpretation for our Spanish, French/Creole and Portuguese clients, along with a free consultation.