1. What happens when I am arrested ?

When an arrest is made the person in question is taken into custody. This means you are not free to leave the scene in question. Who may make an arrest:

• Police officers
• County sheriff officers
• Highway patrol officers
• Investigators in a District Attorney's office
• General Attorney's office
• Private security
• U.S. Citizen - this is called a "citizen's arrest"

Anyone can arrest you as long as they have probable cause and evidence a felony was committed and bring you to a police officer or judge who will take you into custody. The questions you should answer are your name and place of residence, in addition, you will be asked for identification. Show your identification. Whether you are an American citizen or not, you do have certain rights. They are:

• You have the right to remain silent
• Anything you say will be used against you
• You have a right to have a lawyer present when questioned
• If you cannot afford a lawyer one will be supplied by the court

These rights are guaranteed by the United States Constitution; if you were not informed of your right upon arrest, your lawyer may have all questions asked by the police beforehand to be deemed inadmissible. Should you volunteer information without being asked by the police, it can be brought against you in the court of law.

You should contact a lawyer AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!

It is imperative to do so. A lawyer knows the full extent of the law and knows what information you should and should not give out. They can also negotiate to set bail which is imperative if you are a non-U.S. citizen charged with a crime.

* If a non-U.S. citizen is charged with criminal activity, the criminal case directly affects your immigration status. As a result of your criminal case you may be deported.

2. What happens when I get arrested and I do not have a green card ?

When you are arrested and do not have a green card ask to speak with a lawyer immediately. Your lawyer will advise you what you should or should not say and should post bail as soon as possible before you case is passed to Immigration.*

* When your case is passed to Immigration, they will place a "hold" on the suspect and he/she will be sent to prison while they awaiting trial. This may lead to weeks even months waiting in jail for your case to be heard, at which point you may be deported.

When a subject is deported they may not come back into the United States. If caught a second time without a green card the penalties will be more stringent in the sentencing.

3. What happens when I am involved in a car accident ?

When involved in a car accident it is important to stop at the scene and notify the police (911); alter the scene only if it is a safety threat. Exchange valid information such as: name, address, license plates and insurance companies of companies involved. Write down the names, addresses and license plate numbers of witnesses present at the scene. It is important you DO NOT apologize!!!! This may be used against you as evidence that you were legally at fault. Do not engage in any discussions or heated debate with other parties.

Call your attorney immediately. If this is not possible call your family, inform them what has happened and have them call an attorney.

*The immigration status of a non- American citizen is greatly influenced by any criminal or police investigation.