Will a misdemeanor ticket affect my ability to stay in the US? 2 Answers as of March 10, 2011

I am 20 and undocumented but when I was 17 (2007) I got a ticket for driving without a license. Since then I haven't paid the ticket. Any advice that can lead me on the right direction.

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Law Offices of Juan Dotson
Law Offices of Juan Dotson | Juan Dotson
You likely have a warrant for your arrest if your case was filed as a misdemeanor.

Since immigration officials regularly check the jails for undocumented people, you must avoid jail.

To clear the warrant, you or your attorney will have to appear before the judge. To stay out of custody, be ready to pay the bail amount or plead guilty (consult attorney first!). Depending on the court house, judge, and facts of your case, your case may be reduced to an infraction.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/10/2011
Marie Michaud Attorney At Law
Marie Michaud Attorney At Law | Marie Michaud
You probably have an arrest warrant. Hire an attorney to go to court and pay the fine for you. This is the safest thing. A ticket - or arrest warrant for failure to pay a ticket- is usually not sufficient to disqualify you from most immigration benefits. However, having a warrant by itself makes you vulnerable. A client of mine got pick up by the police when he failed to stop at a stop sign. The police ran his name, discovered he had an arrest warrant, client got taken to jail where the Immigration found him and took him to an alien detention center. Not a pleasant experience. Additionally, let's sayyou are eligible next year for an immigration benefit but not at the present time. Being in an alien detention center could get you deported before you becomes eligible. So make sure to hire someone to take care of your ticket. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/10/2011
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