Las Vegas is home to countless immigrants who are here illegally. Recently, Nevada became the 11th state in the country to offer driver authorization cards to illegal immigrants. Nonetheless, being here illegally means they could find themselves detained by the government. If you or someone you love has to live in fear of this circumstance, here’s what you need to know about being detained.
Always Have a Lawyer’s Contact Information
Getting arrested and/or being detained is never ideal, but it will certainly go a lot smoother if you tell the authorities that you want to speak to a lawyer. While they can hold you for 48 hours without charging you, they can’t deny you your right to counsel. Having the number for a qualified attorney who is experienced with immigration law is even more important. It’s doubtful you need to be reminded of what’s on the line, so don’t take chances with your representation.
Don’t Volunteer Any Information to the Police
Even if the police ask you directly, you don’t have to tell them anything about your immigration status. Let them find that out on their own. As you should be told when the police read you your Miranda rights, anything you tell them can be used against you in court. There’s no sense in giving them that ammo.
Do Not Lie
That being said, you definitely don’t want to be dishonest either. This means if they ask you about being an immigrant, you simply respond about wanting to speak to a lawyer. If you make the mistake of lying—especially lying about your immigration status to the authorities—expect serious repercussions.
Record as Much Information as Possible
Write down as much relevant information as possible, like the name of the arresting officer. After being arrested and handed over to immigration, you will eventually be assigned a deportation officer. Be sure to take down their name and phone number, as well.
The deportation officer will give you a Notice to Appear (NTA), which, among other things, will contain information about the charges against you. This document is vital and you’ll definitely want to give it to your lawyer ASAP.
If you never received an alien registration number or simply, “a number” (it’s on your green card), one will be assigned to you. It should be an “A” followed by eight digits. Ask your deportation officer for your alien registration number immediately if you didn’t already have one.
Keep Your Documents with You at All Times
When you’re detained, they could keep you at a local jail or another facility here in Las Vegas. However, they could also transfer you, even out of state. You need to have your documents with you at all times, as transfers can even happen in the middle of the night. If you’re keeping them stored at the detention center, ask the staff for them as soon as you hear you’re being moved.
Getting detained can certainly be frightening. The best thing you can do right now is commit the number 702-333-1111 to memory. You’ll be guaranteed one phone call; make it to Bighorn Law.