Immigration reform is always politically controversial. Our nation must balance its history of welcoming immigrants with our rich history of respecting the rule of law. The recent inaction of both major political parties has seemingly made immigrants more frightened than ever. This environment has also created angst and confusion in the minds of foreign nationals who are just visiting the United States of America or are here for a short time to work or attend school.
Foreign Drivers and Undocumented Immigrants with SC Traffic Tickets
Generally, most developed nations have a system to provide driver’s licenses to its citizens. Many foreign drivers who come to the U.S. know how to safely operate a motor vehicle. However, operating a motor vehicle in the United States without a driver’s license issued in the United States can be a criminal offense, depending on your country of origin, residence status, and laws of the state in which you are driving. South Carolina has formal reciprocity agreements with very foreign countries, and the SC DMV website provides further information on licensing requirements for international drivers who are not U.S. citizens.
“No Drivers License” or “No SC DL”
If foreign national drivers are pulled over by a police officer in South Carolina and ticketed, they will most likely be summoned to appear in court for “No Driver’s License” or “No S.C. DL.” These are misdemeanor offenses that will stay on a person’s record. Generally, these charges can be dismissed or mitigated with the help of an experienced South Carolina defense attorney. This is especially true if the defendant is able to get a valid driver’s license prior to the final resolution of the case. In order to obtain a U.S license a person will have to provide proof of identity, nationality, and proof of a legal status in the United States. It takes significant time and work to get a valid North or South Carolina driver’s license, but it is well worth it for those people who are able to complete the process. The ability to legally operate a motor vehicle in the United States is a privilege that should be respected. Many of our clients who cannot obtain a valid license (or have not completed the application process) are rightfully concerned about the long term consequences of their South Carolina Traffic Ticket.
Traffic Ticket Defense Attorney for Undocumented Immigrants
Today, South Carolina and North Carolina are both ranked in the top 20 states with the largest population of people living illegally with no documentation. Because of this, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents are active in the Carolinas. Recently, the agency initiated the arrest and prosecution of approximately 200 people across South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia. ICE utilizes violations of a state’s traffic laws to its advantage. Drivers with valid licenses and who obey state traffic laws, have a better chance of avoiding interactions with ICE than those who do not. Law enforcement agents have the authority to arrest undocumented immigrants in sensitive areas such as, court rooms. ICE’s mission is to “identify arrest and remove aliens who present a danger to national security or are a risk to public safety, as well as those who enter into the United States illegally or otherwise undermine the integrity of our immigration laws.” As such defendants charged with violating traffic laws could be at risk for arrest for additional criminal violations.
Traffic Ticket Lawyer for Hispanic & Latino Drivers
Don’t let the fear of being deported stop you from fighting your South Carolina traffic ticket. Everyone deserves a vigorous defense, and pleading guilty to a criminal traffic violation could impact your immigration status. If you are charged with a violation of South Carolina’s motor vehicle laws (including “No SC DL” or “No Driver’s License”) call our firm today and learn how we can assist you. Generally, you never have to appear in court and our attorney can resolve your case without you ever having to testify at trial.
Text a copy of your citation (along with your email address) to 803-351-3597 to learn how our firm can assist you.
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Peter J. Nosal, Esq.
Thomas C. Jeter III, Esq.
SOUTH CAROLINA OFFICENosal & Jeter, LLP 852 Gold Hill Rd Ste 201
Fort Mill, SC 29708