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


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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.