If I am in the country illegally and have a court date because I was driving without a license, what will happen to me at court?

I was at a complete stop at red light, when a police officer rear-ended me. The officer hit me because he was trying to avoid hitting a car that was switching lanes illegally. That car tried to get away so the officer went after him. I panicked and drove off because I don’t have a license. I later called the police to tell them what happened. I now have to go to court. What will happen to me there?

Asked on November 9, 2011 under Immigration Law, California

Answers:

SB, Member, California / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

See if you don't have to appear in court because if you do, it is very possible, especially depending on where you are, that your unlawful status will be uncovered and you can be taken into removal/deportation proceedings.  If you have a way of legalizing your status, I would strongly suggest that you take steps to start that process.  If you do not, either see if you can delay the court date until you can figure out what to do or have an attorney appear on your behalf, or cancel it altogether.


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