On Wednesday, January 30, 2018, Federal immigration authorities formalized – in writing – a policy to have deportation agents go to local courthouses and make arrests of illegal immigrants. This is in direct conflict with the previously expressed judiciary view that such a practice would instill fear among crime victims, witnesses and relatives.
ICE claims its agents will only go into courthouses for specific targets (i.e. criminals, gang members and the like). Moreover, it has made it clear that outside of ‘special circumstances’, family, friends and noted witnesses will not be targeted for arrest, and that agents will generally avoid arresting individuals involved in non-criminal related activity (family court, small claims court etc.) at the courthouse.
In the criminal field, defense attorneys and their clients were most concerned about jail sweeps, and thus negotiations often centered around eliminating jail time. It now appears the focus needs to be a bit broader. Attorneys will need to advise clients that their appearance in court may result in ICE agents arresting them if they are in the country illegally. Whether these arrests will take place upon entry into the courthouse, inside the actual courtroom or after a defendant exits the room/courthouse is yet to be determined. Needless to say, the issue adds a layer of complexity to an already challenging job. The level of anxiety in the courthouse setting is sure to spike, sadly.
Whenever cited for a crime it is imperative to hire a qualified Seattle Criminal Defense Attorney. The Seattle Criminal Defense Attorneys that make up the criminal defense team of SQ Attorneys are highly qualified and reputable Seattle Criminal Defense Lawyers that are dedicated to providing top notch, aggressive representation for those arrested or charged for crime all across Western Washington and the Greater Puget Sound region. The team creates success by working with law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney’s office to ensure that all facts and circumstances related to the allegations are considered in creating the fairest, most equitable and just resolution possible in light of all the surrounding circumstances of the given case. So, whether you are cited with an infraction or arrested and/or charged with misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor or a felony, protect yourself … call SQ Attorneys at (206) 441-0900.