Under the new Trump Administration, traffic offenses can cause significant
and serious long-term immigration consequences, including triggering removal
proceedings and risk of deportation. At Bigger & Harman, APC, we are
doing our best to ensure that your traffic case is handled so you’re
protected from other possible legal consequences.
The change from the Obama Administration to the Trump Administration has
undocumented immigrants in Kern County concerned about how their misdemeanor
traffic case affects their immigration status. If you receive a driving
charge, such as a ticket for no driver’s license, this is what you
need to know to help you on your immigration status.
The worst thing you can do is nothing.
The worst thing you can do for your legal situation is fail to take care
of your traffic case. If you have a failure to appear in court, the judge
will issue a bench warrant for your arrest. Any law enforcement contact
with you could result in an arrest on the bench warrant and a call to
ICE to let them know you are in custody. If you are nervous to go to court
because of what could happen to you, hire an attorney to go for you. Either
you or an attorney needs to go to court and get the warrant for your arrest removed.
A plea for probation isn’t good, but it’s better than a jail sentence.
You also want to avoid taking a plea for a deal that involves being on
probation. Probation raises awareness to ICE and others that you are in
the community and you have fewer rights because of the terms the court
gives you as part of your sentence. Settling your case for a deal for
probation is not good. However, probation is better than failing to appear
on your case and not fixing it – or serving a jail sentence.
Avoid a misdemeanor plea if possible, but some misdemeanor deals are better
A possibility in settling your case is a misdemeanor conviction without
probation. But this is not ideal, because any criminal charge can make
it more difficult to change legal immigration status later. However, this
is a much better option than with probation, since once you pay your fine
to the court, state law enforcement does not have any more right to contact
you than they did before your charge.
The best outcome for your case.
The last result is the best result. If you or your attorney can get the
charge dismissed or plea bargain the criminal charge to an infraction,
then your legal status should not be affected negatively by your court
case. You should have the same rights and options as if you had never
been charged with a criminal offense.
Here at Bigger & Harman, APC, we understand there is great pressure
to take care of your family and keep them safe. Come into our office for
a free consultation on what we can do to protect your criminal record
on your traffic-related offense.