Deportation Relief: Understanding Motions to Suppress

Law enforcement misconduct is a serious issue facing non-citizens of the United States. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers can sometimes violate your rights under the assumption that you don’t know the law. This could have to do with anything from personal bias, or discrimination, to a simple misunderstanding. When a federal immigration officer places you under arrest, you may have to face a formal deportation or removal proceeding. Even an unlawful arrest can result in your deportation if you don’t have adequate legal counsel. While the law is complex and every situation differs, you should familiarize yourself with the concept of “motions to suppress” as an invaluable asset to your legal challenges.

A motion to suppress involves the exclusion of evidence from a trial when that evidence is found to violate your constitutional or other legal rights. In other words, it tells the court to disregard evidence that has been obtained illegally. In order to have you deported, the government must meet a certain burden of proof. While the idea is to have all parties provide legitimate evidence to the court, resulting in a fair ruling, some officers will unfortunately resort to gathering evidence illegally. For instance, they could search your car without probable cause, enter your residence without a warrant, or coerce you into saying something incriminating. Any evidence obtained in this manner should be considered illegal and inadmissible in court.

Keep in mind, no matter your status in this country, you are still protected by the rights set forth in the US Constitution. Law enforcement agents must have probable cause in order to search you or your property. If you are subjected to an unreasonable search and seizure, the resulting evidence is considered illegal under the Fourth Amendment. You are also protected under the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment, which calls for proper legal actions to be taken against you in the case of deportation. In broad terms, you should not be subjected to anything unfair or unwarranted in the eyes of the law. In either of these situations, your attorney should be able to file a motion to suppress and prevent the court from making a judgement based on unlawful evidence.

The government must prove your identity and alienage, or whether you are an unlawful immigrant, before ruling on your deportation. When you file a motion to suppress, you can prevent the government from establishing alienage, but the burden of proof is on you as the respondent. You need to show that some or all of the evidence against you was unlawfully obtained before it can be removed from the equation. The process can be very complex, particularly for someone who is new to the country. You should face the legal proceedings with a skilled immigration attorney who can prove the motion to suppress on your behalf.

As a non-citizen, it is all the more crucial to know your rights so you can defend them in the case of legal issues. Law enforcement officers may assume that you are unfamiliar with American law, and they can potentially take advantage of your vulnerability. Knowledge of the Constitution and other laws can help to protect you in these situations. That said, knowledge can only go so far when you are a non-citizen on the wrong end of a power imbalance. An experienced immigration attorney is far better equipped to assist you when it comes to legal proceedings.

Let Sánchez-Roig Law Firm, P.A. represent you in court with our insightful and informed approach to the legal system. We will work hard to protect your constitutional rights and provide you with relief from deportation.