Knowing Your Rights if You Are Pulled Over By ICE or Border Patrol

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The reality is many people in Los Angeles are under attack, and ICE is the one attacking them. This organization is bent on finding ways of stopping you, including pulling you over to see if they can detain you, and you should know your rights.

As any good immigration lawyer in Los Angeles will tell

you, the more you know, the better your chances are should you be pulled over by ICE.

What to Do if You're Stopped in a Public Area?

ICE can stop you at any time. It's important to learn your rights so that you're able to defend yourself.

First off, you can be pulled over in a vehicle, but you can also be stopped by ICE if you are walking anywhere or are simply outside. These officers don't care where they find you; you could even be waiting at the bus stop only to be stopped by these officers.

The following are things good law offices of immigration Los Angeles want you to keep in mind:

Silence is Key

The first thing you have to remember is you don't have to answer anything. You don't have to answer anything about your immigration status or national origin. All they are doing is stopping you because you look a certain way.

It's important to tell the officer in a respectful way that you are exercising your right to be silent. After that, you can stay quiet, no matter how many questions they ask. Remember that anything you say could be used against you. It'll be harder to get legal immigration help Los Angeles if you say something.

Stay Calm and Don't Run

The next thing you want to do is stay calm. This is not the time to start disrespecting the ICE officer nor is it time to run. If you do run, this could be used as an excuse to arrest you.

An experienced Los Angeles family immigration lawyer knows this is a scary situation. Maybe this is the first time you have experienced something like this, but do your best to maintain your cool because these officers hold no power over you.

Record the Experience

An immigration lawyer in Los Angeles would love it if you record the experience. This could only be done if it is safe to do so. If you feel like the situation is too tense, then don't do so, but if you could turn on the recorder on your phone or if you could jot down what happens during this interaction it would be helpful to your lawyer later.

Ask the Big Question

Once you feel like the officer is done asking questions, you want to ask if you are being arrested. There is no way they should be able to arrest you legally if they don't have proof of any wrongdoing.

You haven't answered their questions, and you haven't provided anything, so they should say you aren't arrested. After that, you should ask if you can leave. The ICE officers should say you can leave. When they say this, you can leave, but make sure you do it calmly.

What to Do If Stopped While Driving?

Most people drive in Los Angeles, so the likelihood of being stopped while you are operating a vehicle is high. The following are rights you have if you are asked to pull over:

What You Can Provide

The first thing you should know is you can be asked to provide your license, registration, and proof of insurance. You don't have to respond; just hand over these documents if you are asked to. You don't have to say anything about the documents you are being asked to provide. The officer will know what to do with this information without your input.

Remain Silent

One of your strongest tools against these officers is your silence. When you search for legal immigration help in Los Angeles, they are going to ask you if you stayed quiet. You have the right to tell the officer you are exercising your right to stay silent.

There's no need to answer any questions about your immigration status or any other question that pops into their heads. You'd be surprised how often a person gets in trouble because they answered. There's no way of telling how these individuals can use your responses against you, but they will. 

Refuse the Search

ICE officers don’t have the right to search you nor your vehicle if you do not give them consent. A lot of folks don't know this and give ICE officers the right to search them, which is not a good idea. You don't want to allow the officers to find anything that could get you in trouble.

Good law offices of immigration Los Angeles will tell you to say you don't give consent. Now, no one is saying you should fight a search. You want to be safe since there's no telling what kind of ICE officers you are dealing with.

The most important part is you say you do not consent, and make sure you say it loud enough. If the ICE officers continue to search, then that'll be their problem, not yours. Make sure you tell your lawyer that the officer continued to search even though you audibly said you aren't giving consent.

Hopefully, this is enough to get them off your back, but it's important to keep the name and number of a trustworthy Los Angeles family immigration lawyer just in case. If you are arrested, make sure you continue to stay quiet, and do not sign anything without your lawyer present. Maybe all of this information won't apply to you because this won't happen to you, but at least being prepared can ease your worry.

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