Search & Seizure Rights Do Not Protect Texas Immigrants From Deportation
This is the next post in my series on how the relationship between criminal law and immigration impacts undocumented persons in Texas. My last post discussed the relationship between criminal charges and the deportation process and stressed the need of people to hire an attorney who practices in both areas. This post will discuss the fact that search and seizure issues, which are crucial in a criminal case, do not offer protections for those facing deportation proceedings. This is an issue which immigrants should understand when evaluating the strategy of their criminal defense lawyer.
The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects all persons from unreasonable searches and seizure by law enforcement. The amendment requires that law enforcement not detain someone for questioning unless officers have “reasonable suspicion” that the person is engaging in criminal activity. Officers may only arrest a person if they have “probable cause” to suspect the individual or if a Judge has signed an arrest warrant. Individuals seized in violation of these principles can challenge their arrest, or the admission of illegally seized evidence, by filing motions with the Court. If these motions are successful then, quite often, the prosecution against the defendant will essentially end. How search and seizure issues impact immigration law, however, is a different situation.
Our Austin, Texas immigration lawyers also practice extensively in the area of criminal defense and we take a broad approach to ensure that our clients’ needs, in all areas, are met as effectively as possible. We will stay in regular contact with you throughout the process and work to ensure that you know what to expect as the case moves forward. We assist people throughout Travis County as well as those in Williamson County.