Criminal and Traffic Law Resources
What Happens When You Go To Court
Want to know how trials work in criminal and traffic court? Click here.
KNOW AND ASSERT YOUR RIGHTS
For US citizens and non-citizens alike, it is critical to know your legal rights when you have an encounter with law enforcement officials. The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) division of the US Department of Homeland Security runs a nationwide enforcement program that aims to identify, arrest and remove undocumented immigrants with a prior order of removal, deportation or exclusion. One of the most common reasons that non-citizens are ordered to be removed from the United States is that they have been found guilty by a criminal or traffic court of a deportable crime or traffic offense. As a result, non-citizens can face significant immigration-related consequences if found guilty of a crime or certain traffic offense. Therefore, it is critical that both citizens and non-citizens understand their constitutional rights and how to protect them whenever they come in contact with the police or other government agents. The US Constitution provides anyone present in the United States, regardless of immigration status, with important legal rights when it comes to encounters with law enforcement agents and the criminal justice system.
First and foremost, KNOW YOUR RIGHTS!
- Immigrant Legal Resources Center - Know Your Rights.
- American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) - Know Your Rights
- ACLU - What to do if you are stopped or questioned by the police.
- ACLU - QUÉ DEBE HACER SI LA POLICÍA, AGENTES DE INMIGRACIÓN O EL FBI LO DETIENEN
- An Overview of Your Constitutional Rights and Where They Come From
To protect your rights, YOU MUST ASSERT YOUR RIGHTS. To easily assert your rights, you can print one of the "Red Cards" produced by the Immigrant Legal Resources Center. You should present your Red Card to any law enforcement agents (police, FBI, ICE) whenever they want to ask you questions or conduct a search of you, your personal property (including bags or your car), or your home. Click on the following links to print a Red Card. Be sure to carry it with you and give it to any law enforcement agents in the event that you are stopped or questioned for ANY REASON.