theCryptofishist wrote:Okay, just tossing this out there. What's the possibility that he'll end up on a list and be forbidden to cross the border next time he comes? After what happened to Deb, I think that's an extra consideration. Also, if it's hard for people in the states to get the time and money to travel to a court date, it's going to be really hard on Europpeans and other foriegners.
I am not a lawyer or immigration official, or anything in that capacity, but there are some fundamentals:
First of all, all foreigners should brush up on what rights they have in the US. They may not be the same as in your own country, and it's good to know that you do have rights and are not ignorant of them. Remember, you're a foreigner and it's easy to identify and pick on foreigners, especially by those who already hold a dislike for "American hippies" let alone some "goddamn Eurotrash hippies". Some officers may feel emboldened by the fact that you may not know your rights. Be respectful, act like you're a guest n a foreign country, but of course don't waive your rights.
I would make sure you have "your papers" (international drivers license, passport) and also know the number of the consulate/embassy of your home country. Without documents your car can be impounded, and you placed in jail to ensure you don't flee. Without proper ID you're going to have a hard time getting through to your embassy/consulate if you really need to. Though the US is a signatory of the Vienna Convention on Consulate Relations and your consulate should
receive notice of your arrest, the Supreme Court has ruled that if the consulate was not notified (accident, etc.), that it does not have a binding effect on your case. As such, you should request
contact with the consulate in the unlikely event that you are arrested.
Getting flagged: it's probably only an issue if you're arrested, and it's going to depend on whether you get convicted of the crime. If not done for you, you should report the arrest to your embassy in order to ensure that you'll be eligible for visas later, as well as to gain representation and consultation from the embassy. Getting a ticket or something low-level more than likely won't get you placed on a watch list or something like that; it's not worth the effort to document every person for watch lists, let alone foreigners. It may affect your international driver's license. I'm not sure.
Many people, they'll simply disappear later when they leave the country and not pay the fine for tickets. I have a feeling that to prevent that, there are some bindings on your international driver's license that may affect your status. I'm also guessing that fleeing will affect your standing if you ever return, at least to the jurisdiction in which the ticket was issued. They may forget about it too, and some officers will simply not bother, and let you off with a warning because it's a pain in the ass.