Can a Border Patrol Agent Pull Me Over?

Can a Border Patrol Agent Pull Me Over?

Border Patrol agents are most well-known for patrolling the area around the U.S.-Mexico border, but that is only one of their tasks. For example, Border Patrol agents may set up checkpoints in areas near the border in order to stop drivers and question occupants of the vehicle about their immigration status. Border Patrol agents also can conduct roving patrols, looking for individuals who are violating the law. As a general rule, the jurisdiction of the Border Patrol extends about 100 miles from the border, which covers a good portion of the state of California, but in certain situations, they can travel outside of that area. They are federal agents who do have the authority to enforce laws in all 50 states and U.S. territories, which can include questioning individuals and arresting them for having committed crimes. Despite these powers, however, Border Patrol agents are not regular police officers and are not responsible for enforcing traffic laws. Therefore, a Border Patrol agent will not pull you over if you are speeding or have a broken taillight. Nonetheless, a Border Patrol agent will pull you over if he or she has a reasonable suspicion that a crime or immigration violation has been committed, or will be committed. This is a lower standard of evidence than probable cause, which is the legal standard that a regular police officer must meet in order to legally pull over a vehicle or request a search warrant from a judge. While probable cause requires that there be some evidence that a crime has been committed, reasonable suspicion just means that the agents have observed facts that, based on their training and experience, have reasonably led them to believe that a crime or immigration violation has occurred or is about to occur. Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C. is an Oakland immigration law firm who has dedicated their practice to protecting the interests of immigrants who are seeking to remain in the U.S. and facing potential deportation. We are prepared to build the strongest case possible in order to defend you against deportation. Contact us today to set up your legal consultation and discover what assistance we can offer to you and your family.
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