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Is it possible to be denied entry for remaining silent during secondary inspection when interrogated about a case?

Oakland, CA |

I'm on a F-1 visa and was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia. I have completed a diversion program in which i did not have to make any guilty pleas whatsoever. From my research, this is not a conviction for immigration purposes. I have checked with my lawyer already. The case is going to be dismissed. I am currently outside of the US right now and would be returning. I would most likely be sent to secondary inspection at POE to provide more details about the case and if they ask me to explain everything about the case, can i remain silent? I want to be cooperative but not be making any admissions to the crime either.

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

Most likely your lawyer is a criminal defense, and not an immigration, attorney.

That person needs to get an immigration attorney on your 'team'. Or, you need to have a consultation with an immigration attorney at your own expense.

SILENCE is NOT golden. You need to have court papers in your hand ... especially if your research supports your belief that it isn't an immigration conviction.

FORMER IMMIGRATION LAW PROFESSOR -- LEGAL DISCLAIMER: This answer is offered for informational purposes only. It does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.

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Posted

As a matter of fact, the lawyers that i have consulted with are all immigration lawyers of whom are a member of AILA. Yes, i will have court papers in my hand regarding the dismissal of the case and that i have not pled guilty. If you say that silence isn't golden in my case, how can i overcome questions which are directed towards having me explaining the details of the crime? Eg. Tell me what happened during the night of the crime? Did you possess these items knowingly?..etc I do want to be as honest as possible when answering to a CBP officer's questions. But explaining to them the details of my case would jeopardize my chances to be admitted into the U.S. It's kind of like forcing me to make an admission. So remaining silent would still be the safest option if i were to be asked those questions.

F. J. Capriotti III

F. J. Capriotti III

Posted

Are you saying that you paid consultation fees to more than one AILA lawyer, and that not one of them gave you advice on how to respond to questions ... if you were ever pulled into secondary inspection? If so, you are welcome to contact me off-line to chat a bit: franco@capriotti.com

Posted

You state that you have a lawyer. That person is most familiar with the case and the best person to advise you.

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Posted

My lawyer has advised me that it is not in my best interest to admit to any wrongdoings to the CBP officer. He is not 100% certain either, if i choose to be silent, i would be subject to further intense interrogation and put my situation in further risk. I am just here to ask a general question for more opinions on this matter. I understand this is quite an out of the ordinary question too.

Posted

Since this is a case-specific inquiry, I would recommend consulting with your counsel. I would imagine that if you specifically asked re: an incident or arrest at the POE, you cannot remain silent about that, but instead must divulge the facts surrounding the case. Again, consult with your attorney.

This information is for informational and educational use only and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

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Posted

Actually i am just asking the question in general. Would it count as being uncooperative if i remained silent when asked to explain details about my case, and be sent back home because of that? For any case for that matter.

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