I am illegally present in the US but applying for a work permit. I was told by a lawyer (a criminal defense attorney but not an immigration attorney) that if I did not “tell” the court that I was illegally present, no one would know. I was wondering if I would run into trouble by presenting the form to the court, since that would be essentially “telling” them that I’m currently illegal. Should I present the form, perhaps partially mitigating that I was driving without a license but revealing my current status, or should I just keep it to myself? Also, I was advised that I should talk to the prosecutor before the trial and try to get the charges dropped, but if that doesn’t work, should I plead guilty, not guilty, or no contest? And how do I find the prosecutor before the trial?
First of all, the fact that you have employment authorization will have absolutely no bearing on your criminal No Valid Driver's License case. It will not serve as mitigation in any way unless it somehow will assist you in obtaining a driver's license. Second of all, the prosecutor will not speak with you unless you have a lawyer, and then they will only speak with your lawyer. You need to hire a criminal defense attorney to represent you. Pleading guilty or no contest to any criminal charge if you are not a citizen of the United States can result in your deportation.
If you are here without lawful status, you are not entitled to a work permit unless you qualify for one under the law. As to the immigration component of your question, to the extent there is even an immigration question, I urge you to contact an immigration attorney before you apply for a work permit for which you may not qualify. While you may have the ability to adjust your status lawfully now or in the future, applying for work authorization by misrepresenting facts could very likely eliminate your potential ability to adjust your status. Be very careful.
You should be using an attorney for all of the above. Prosecutors will not negotiate in the same manner with a lay person as they would with an attorney.
Herbert Tan, Esq.
The National Newark Building
744 Broad Street, 16th Fl.
Newark, New Jersey 07102
(973) 735-2681 (W)
(973) 735-2682 (F)
305 Broadway, 14th Floor
New York, New York 10007
Member of National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA)
I do not see how the EAD would mitigate the traffic ticket. I don't see any obligation to disclose it to the criminal court. You should try to get the best plea possible, maybe even a dismissal, by hiring a good attorney to represent you and negotiate on your behalf.
Hire a lawyer to protect your legal rights.
Jeffrey J. Estrella, Esq.
Licensed Attorney and Counsellor At Law/Abogado y Licensiado
Licensed in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut
The Estrella Law Firm, P.C.
75-20 Astoria Boulevard, Suite 170
Inside The Bulova Corporate Center
Jackson Heights, NY 11370
T. (347) 628-2391
F. (718) 672-4728
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