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I am an immigrant and I have been arrested. What do I need to do now?

Being arrested can be an extremely stressful ordeal, especially when you are concerned about possible deportation.  It is important that if you have found yourself being arrested and charged with a criminal offense that you remember these important steps.

Step One:  During the Arrest.  It is very important that when you are facing arrest that you do not give a false name.  Giving a false name to law enforcement is a crime.  It is also important not to give any false documentation to the police as well.   When you are brought to the police station, they will fingerprint you and they will find out your identity, hence it is important to be truthful.  
Step Two:  Consult a Criminal Law Attorney.  It is important to have representation during the criminal process.  It is important because all sentencing is heightened in the process of immigration.   It is very important to consult with an experienced criminal law attorney to represent you because of the consequences that your potential conviction can hold in your immigration process.
Step Three:  Consult with an Immigration Attorney.  In 2010, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Padilla v. Kentucky that criminal law attorneys must advise non-citizens of the risks of being deported when they face criminal charges.  With that being stated, many criminal law attorneys are not experienced in the immigration field.  Therefore, when you consult with a criminal law attorney, it is important that you share your immigration attorney’s information immediately with your criminal law attorney.
Being charged with a crime doesn’t mean automatic deportation, but remember, naturalization is the only blanket of protection against deportation.  It is important that you know your rights as a non-citizen to effective counsel.
If you find yourself in a criminal proceeding and you are unrepresented by immigration counsel, it is important to call an immigration attorney immediately to preserve your status.  I am an experienced immigration attorney with advanced knowledge of the immigration process and how criminal charges come into play when filing for your citizenship.

Call me today for a free consultation regarding preserving your rights and status if you are facing criminal proceedings!

Tia Smith, Esquire
Daniels & Smith, LLC

(404) 719-5135


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