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DWI Laws in New Jersey

F. If You Are a Non-US Citizen

If you are a non-US citizen, we highly recommend contacting this office immediately. This office defends international clients in a consultation with an immigration attorney. Tailoring your defense and strategy based on your immigration needs and status can significantly affect your future life in America.

When you get arrested for DWI and indictable charges in New Jersey, the police officer will ask your immigration status. This question is already included in the current DWI arrest report. In the arrest report, there is a section to identify whether an arrestee is a US citizen or not. You do have the right not to answer, but DO NOT LIE ON ANY DOCUMENTATION.

The arresting officer can ask the defendant?s citizenship, immigration status, and nationality. Attorney General?s Office in New Jersey emphasizes cooperation between local police and Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) regarding arrests and detection of serious crimes. It further states that the arresting officer must report the status to ICE and the court of an undocumented immigrant. Based on an arrestee?s information, a Municipal Prosecutor can inquire about the arrestee?s immigration status to ICE. New Jersey has implemented the system by an arrest report question intended to obtain particular information about defendants who are non-US citizens. New Jersey?s stated policy is to continue a cooperative relationship with ICE for public safety improvement.

Immigration status is also considered when the judge sets bail. Factors to be considered in setting the bail generally include such as the length of defendant?s residence, family/community ties, or risk of failure to appear in court. If you are a non-US citizen, who holds nationality in a foreign country besides the USA, the judge may perceive that you have a thinner relationship with New Jersey than US citizens, on average, which can result in a perception of higher risk of escaping to the country of origin. Information of immigration status is now incorporated in various ways in the legal system to detain a non-US citizen for prosecution in court.

 

 

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